Monday, August 27, 2012

Am I A Racist?


I don't think I am. I have never been accused of being one before. I feel that all are created as equal as can be and that race, gender, religion, and sexual orientation should not be a factor of how far a person can go. I also know that many do not believe that way.

On Friday, I posted the above picture on Facebook. It is appalling commentary. I'd never heard of this guy, but the fact that he was important enough for anyone to create a picture of him with his quote sickened me. That and the fact that he calls himself "Reverand" and I wonder how many women he is poisoning with this brand of hate.

After I posted I had to be away from the computer for about three hours. When I returned there were over 70 comments and many of them were hostile - seriously so. All of those commenting thought that this man's words were unacceptable (I would have immediately unfriended with any moron who dared to agree with him), but the ugliness came because the a commenter stated, "For a black man to say that is... well.. interesting."

Another friend declared that she was a racist to point out the color of the man's skin and that others in the GOP had said this and no one bothered to point out that their color. The commentary spiraled from there. Whitewoman tried to explain her comment. Blackman telling her exactly why she was wrong. Asianwoman jumping in with excellent information, but not understanding that Whitewoman and Blackman were conversing, thinking Blackman's comments were toward her. She kept trying to make herself heard and ended up sharing way to much, then she was embarrassed about her comments and left. Meanwhile I am receiving private messages from Blackman telling me that Whitewoman is a racist and why.

I do not understand how pointing out that women and African-Americans have something in common regarding voting rights is considered racist. Am I wrong? I was told that the fact that I do not understand why it is wrong makes me a racist.

In my mind those who have experienced discrimination should be more compassionate toward other groups that have experienced discrimination. So women, all races other than caucassion, religions other than mainstream, and those who are not heterosexual should work together to ensure equal rights for all of us. Had this man been homosexual (say - Neil Patrick Harris) I would have pointed out his homosexuality. I would have said, "I am appalled that a homosexual would say that about women's rights."

Am I appalled when a straight white guy makes those comments? Of course. Do I advertise that fact? Of course. And maybe my friend is correct that white men (who have really not experienced discrimination in any way to what other groups have - although some have been discriminated against) are held to a lower standard of understanding. I don't expect them to feel for those who have faced discrimination because they have no idea what it's like.

Does the fact that I probably would have made the same comment about being appalled that the quote was from a black man make me a racist? Does the fact that I am still fairly certain that my friend is being sensitive make me a racist?

I am heartsick over this. He and I have become very close and I feel like that closeness has disappeared. But I also feel that I have to be honest with him that I think he is over-reacting. Not everyone is a racist.

But maybe I am.

8 comments:

Suzan said...

You're no racist, my friend, and whenever I hear that someone refers to him/herself as Reverend my hackles start rising as it's a term that springs not from any such "title" but from a congregation who would call them "the Reverend Mr. Black, etc.,".

Funny how none of the pretenders seem to know this, isn't it?

Stay strong.

You are in the right.

S

TinCanMan said...

Racist for pointing out a truth? Hardly.

Just for fun, try this: Take the Jesse Lee Petersen picture off and replace it with say the head of the KKK then go to his narrative and replace the words 'women' and 'woman' with the words 'African-American', 'black' or 'Negro' what would that narrative sound like?

Hate and ignorance go hand in hand no matter who the instigators are. This Jesse person and those who think (I use that term loosely) like him should be ashamed of themselves.

Mr. Charleston said...

Everyone is racist to some degree. It's just natural. However, I believe there are far more black racists than white these days. For example, this guy Chappell makes his living off of racist jokes but let a white comedian try it and see what happens. I would interpret your friends comment to mean that she's surprised to see such a comment from a black man given that by-in-large, black men have given up control and leadership of their own culture by being absent in the majority of households. Anyway, certainly not something to stress over, anyone who is so sensitive that they can't see a friend's side of an issue isn't realy a friend to begin with.

Mr. Charleston said...

Everyone is racist to some degree. It's just natural. However, I believe there are far more black racists than white these days. For example, this guy Chappell makes his living off of racist jokes but let a white comedian try it and see what happens. I would interpret your friends comment to mean that she's surprised to see such a comment from a black man given that by-in-large, black men have given up control and leadership of their own culture by being absent in the majority of households. Anyway, certainly not something to stress over, anyone who is so sensitive that they can't see a friend's side of an issue isn't realy a friend to begin with.

Carl (aka Sofarsogoo) said...

Hi, Lady! You shouldn't waste another second of your valuable time worrying about whether or not you're a racist. Being a very rational woman, you know perfectly well that you of all people are not, and that's all that matters.

But before you posted that "Reverand" thing on Facebook, leading to what seems to have been quite a confused melee, did you ever wonder whether that item was just another Republican "dirty trick" that they hoped would be spread just like a computer virus? As you know, they have a long tradition in doing this kind of thing, and now that the campaigning is finally swinging into high gear, this is just the time to do it, and the pic of this guy plus his message just don't look right. It looks just like something expressly designed to sow discord between the two groups that the Repubs fear most in the voting: women and so-called "black" people, and they didn't do too sophisticated a job of it. This man's clumsy phrasing, along with the "Reverand" bit, if that's how he spelled it, points to that. Religious pretenders of any stripe and color usually try to make it look as if they got at least a little education before they ventured onto the pulpit.



LeftLeaningLady said...

Thanks everyone. I am still a bit stunned by all of the brouhaha on Facebook over this, but it will pass.

Carl, someone did look this guy up and he has his own Wikipedia page, complete with links to his stuff. Most of these pictures have lousy spelling, even if the quotes are correct. I TRY to check everything before posting, but it gets difficult, and I get in a hurry!

Ahab said...

Ugh. Petersen. I remember that particular sermon well -- its naked misogyny was brazen even by Religious Right standards.

I don't think you're being racist. I think you're merely pointing out the irony of a member of one oppressed group promoting oppression of another group.

Reggie said...

Then maybe I'm a racist too, or maybe this guy is just a fucking idiot?!?

I'm thinking it's the latter one.