Help ATS with a contribution via PayPal:
learn more

Confessions of a Racist

page: 1
44
<<   2  3  4 >>

log in

join
+34 more 
posted on Oct, 5 2009 @ 03:10 PM
link   
I spent my young years on the South side of San Antonio. Most of you may know that San Antonio, Texas is a fairly diverse City with many ethnic groups represented and a very large Hispanic population. It is highly populated and has all of the negative attributes of a City it's size.

My father was terribly racist and these ideals were handed down like some sort of badge for membership in a special club. Some of the earliest words I can remember were racial slurs. My whole family was 'ate up' with it. Much like gossip, or picking on the nerds, racial bias and insults were encouraged among the 'white folk' I knew, provided none of them 'other colors' were around. One of my uncles was in the KKK. When I think back today, I'm astounded by the hate that existed in my family for anyone that didn't possess the same skin pigment or culture.

I'm an old man now and still plagued by remnants of this past. I've been throughout our country and down to Mexico a few times and have met all types of people. I've served in the military, have held jobs, partied...all with people of varying cultures.

I've spoken out AGAINST racism and all along have harbored my own misunderstandings and bias. To this day, irrational ideas, bigotry, unwarranted fear and a predisposition towards association with those my own 'kind' persist. I struggle to deny it, struggle to change it, struggle to understand it, but it exists. As sure as it is ME typing these words, there exists in my mind race-based bias.

I find it irrational and crippling. When I see a person of a different color, or hear someone speaking a different language, my mind goes through milliseconds that seem like hours, of internal debate, rationalization and judgement. It pains me because I KNOW better. I KNOW that skin color has absolutely nothing to do with anything. I KNOW that I am not to judge by appearance. I know that people of all different races and cultures have contributed to making this world the marvel, and abomination it is today, but yet the silent, internal judgement continues.

The thing that is most difficult for me to understand is that there are some people who seem to not be affected in the least by another person's race. They SEEM that way, anyway. I know there are many that will argue that race has no bearing on the content of a person's character and I will argue that myself, but all the while, the nagging uneasiness pokes at my consciousness, like an acid jet though a pinhole and I am no closer now, in my advanced years, than I was as a child in finding the way to plug the hole, or neutralize the acid.

I learned to speak Spanish fairly well, for a white guy, because I had some Hispanic friends that helped me. I partied in a field within a stones throw of the Rio Grande with a Hispanic Sheriff. I've had black Muslim friends. I've had black friends with whom the N word was regularly exchanged, but we would have fought for each other.

I live out in the middle of nowhere now, in Kansas. The old people around here still have fresh in their minds the segregation of the Hispanics in the 60's and 70's much like the Blacks suffered in the far South earlier on. Bigotry is not something that is encouraged in public, lest you get a good beating, but behind closed doors it will often rear it's ugly head.

ATS has taken me further in my desire to change myself than I would have ever imagined a silly place like this could. I know that there are some very enlightened people here and that you will have some insight for me.

I could go on pretending that I am unaffected by bias, or I can admit it, accept it, and move towards changing it. I choose the latter. I don't feel like a bad person. I don't feel full of hate, I just don't know how to address the irrational feelings I have that hinge on someone's physical appearance. I don't know if what I experience is normal and that others who SEEM unaffected have just learned to deny it within themselves, or if there are people in the world that are truly unaffected by racial and cultural differences and I am some sort of throwback, or dead end on the road of spiritual enlightenment.

I'm not really after insults, though I know some of you may feel that is warranted. What I'm really hoping is that some of you that are more open with your compassion and love for your fellow man can give us an idea of how you do it. Is it too late for me? Can bias be unlearned?

In other circles, I have heard the terms 'act as if' and 'fake it till you make it.' I'm tired of acting and I'm tired of faking.

Tell me, how does one so affected move beyond the external? How does a person not judge by appearance? How does a person elevate others, or lower his opinion of himself, so that all of mankind is equal? Where is it that I should be looking? How is it that I eliminate this specter completely from my subconscious? How is it that I can be free?

Your input is eagerly anticipated. Thanks for taking the time to read.



+5 more 
posted on Oct, 5 2009 @ 03:28 PM
link   

How is it that I eliminate this specter completely from my subconscious? How is it that I can be free?



Well, it's a good thing that having a racist attitude is a No-Go with you...


Considering your demographics, wonderful family, military time and not too mention human nature, you are simply a product of your life experiences - with one catch...you want to do better.





Consider yourself cured kind sir...but, if you choose to beat your inner-self up until the end, please get a bigger stick so it's over quickly.





posted on Oct, 5 2009 @ 03:31 PM
link   
I myself see it this way.
I don't dislike anyone for their skin colour,I dislike them for sticking to their own race.
Like a chinese guy who only has chinese friends or a white guy who only has white friends.
Racism is rampant in every race is how I see it so I only dislike those that want to keep that going and stick to their own kind.
Skin colour is no way to judge and no way to base beliefs.

Touchy subject,I commend you for it.


Taboos define your weaknesses.



posted on Oct, 5 2009 @ 03:31 PM
link   
Your father was simply from another time.

You live in the south, a lot of white families in the south pass down racism. A lot of groups and friendships from your father's past were founded on racism.

Racism is still alive and well, just try reading a comment on youtube. That's were all the racists go to gather.

I live up north in canada, but racism is still quite strong here as well. Many people proudly wave the confederate flag up in Canada for some reason, more so that the northen states.

It's a release for a lot of people, to be able to blame all their problems on a race, and be able to use violence against that race. It gives them a strong purpose.

[edit on 5-10-2009 by FouL-LiveR]



posted on Oct, 5 2009 @ 03:33 PM
link   

Originally posted by happygolucky

How is it that I eliminate this specter completely from my subconscious? How is it that I can be free?



Well, it's a good thing that having a racist attitude is a No-Go with you...


Considering your demographics, wonderful family, military time and not too mention human nature, you are simply a product of your life experiences - with one catch...you want to do better.





Consider yourself cured kind sir...but, if you choose to beat your inner-self up until the end, please get a bigger stick so it's over quickly.




I agree entirely my friend. It seems as thought you may have already solved your problem, since you stop yourself from thinking that way. Our environment as children can have a massive affect on our over all development.

It's a though scene. I think however, as stated above, your beating yourself up and in time those kinds of things will go away. And you will do better with your children then your parents did with you because of these experiences.

I wish you well and as far as I am concerned you are top notch
.

~Keeper



posted on Oct, 5 2009 @ 03:33 PM
link   
First off all you know and recognise those feelings as being wrong.

The brain is designed to see patterns and put things in little boxes with a name tag on it, and make groups.

A child learns by imitating his parents and people around them. These behaviours get so ingrained, it's hard to get rid of them. One day people often realize how much they are like their parents.
You just need to get the programming out of your system. Because thats what it is, you recognised this outdated program running in the back of your mind, and its not you. You know that.

Maybe this is a good place for you to start, Link

I applaud your courage and your willingness to change


[edit on 5/10/09 by locster]



posted on Oct, 5 2009 @ 03:37 PM
link   
reply to post by KSPigpen
 


Star and Flag

I grew up with some of the same circumstances. My whole life I was surrounded by racists...closet racists...which many people are. Many of the people who criticize Obama are...although certainly not everyone. After awhile you can see who those people are on ATS that are closet racists.

I've struggled with what you have myself...and you've got some guts posting this on ATS.....good for you on that.


All people are "racially aware"....and that means that we recognize our differences with others. It's not just skin color...or religion. It's wealth, stature, even one's happiness. People are always looking for a way to diminish another...sometimes I think it has to do with primal instinct.

The great thing is that you know what is wrong and what is right....and that's half the battle within yourself.

The only thing that will cure racism in this country is time....if ever. It still hasn't been that long since the civil rights movement either. This country has a long time before it can heal.



posted on Oct, 5 2009 @ 03:40 PM
link   
reply to post by DrumsRfun
 


The first thing I thought of when I read your post, not that I agree or disagree, is what about nature? Intermingling in the animal world is very rare. I'm not talking about one watering hole with ten different species of animals there getting a drink, I mean daily life. I have no position on the subject, I could care less who hangs out with who and for what reasons. Just a thought.




posted on Oct, 5 2009 @ 03:42 PM
link   
Well for starters, I just think people are people. Thats how I look at it. Know matter where you go.

Another thing you can try to do is try and imagine what life would be like in there shoes. If you feel very irrational and opinionated towards a subject, try your hardest to look at it through another persons eyes.

Strike up regular conversations with people from a different race. Make eye contact when you speak and listen to them. You'll be amazed at what you can learn and help yourself grow by a simple little chat with someone at the bus stop... I hope any of this helps.



posted on Oct, 5 2009 @ 03:44 PM
link   
reply to post by KSPigpen
 


S&F my friend.

I just remember Dr. MLK and judge by content of character, than colour of skin.

Then again, growing up a "mutt" I didn't have much choice, I could've hated all but chose just to annoy them instead.

We're all human, -sheessh- more people need to be honest and lighten up, in my humble opinion.






posted on Oct, 5 2009 @ 03:45 PM
link   
reply to post by inbound
 


Well I wasn't trying to condone racism,I was just telling the op how I justify what I do being I am not racist but have to deal with them in this life.
Thats how I do it...if they are racist then I take a disliking to them as a person...not their race as not all are like that.



posted on Oct, 5 2009 @ 03:45 PM
link   
Well that is the beauty of a web forum site isn't it? You can actually get a discussion going about the type of things you really only hear behind closed doors or in the company of people who know you. Take my position on homeless people from another thread of yours. I couldn't go spouting stuff like that on a city bus, all the bums on there would beat me down! LOL

But, old man, know this. You come from a generation when this stuff was common place, and i rarely hear young people saying the type of stuff you are, it's generally older generations that have an uneasiness about other races. Pay attention I think you can see segregation slipping away at an accelerated rate. In case you didn't notice, we even have a black president.

As for my personal experience on this issue....well my best friends over the years have been 1/2 mexican, 1/2 mexican, 1/2 peruvian, and 1/2 chomorro. Literally my list of closest friends since age 12. My older brother lives in Japan, is married to a Japanese girl.

So while you're generation still struggles with racism, mine at least the cross sections I have been dealing with is trying to just forget about it, and we're doing a great job.

I was talking with a black coworker of mine not too lang ago about this kind of stuff(yes, my generation has interracial discussions of racism). He stated that classism scares him far more than racism. Think about that.



Tell me, how does one so affected move beyond the external?

sounds like you've done a pretty good job of that, but sorry, you might not ever be able to shake it completely. No worries in the next life, this will likely not even be an issue for ya.



How does a person not judge by appearance?

Impossible, and for the record, there's nothing wrong with judging by appearance. Judging by race doesn't make a lot of sense most of the time. But if you think a person's outward appearance doesn't reflect who they are and how they think then you're crazy. Life would be impossible without be able to make judgments based on appearances.



How does a person elevate others, or lower his opinion of himself, so that all of mankind is equal?

try and do yer best to elevate others, don't lower your opinion of yourself, leave that to me and everyone else, we'll do it for you if you are really deserving. I think by posting stuff like this and getting it out into the open you've helped to elevate someone.



Where is it that I should be looking? How is it that I eliminate this specter completely from my subconscious? How is it that I can be free?

Don't know, it's not the kind of stuff I generally struggle with.


Liquid



posted on Oct, 5 2009 @ 03:55 PM
link   
I know how unproductive it can be to 'kick my own ass.' so I really try to avoid it. I feel it very important to stare down the things I don't like that bounce around in my head and try and find out how to make them go away.

When I was a child, I had a coping mechanism that I used for difficult situations. It was simply 'brown cow.' Thinking of brown cow, I could stop thinking of the thing that was causing me grief internally. This helped me in the NOW, (then) but was like taking pain killers for a bad tooth. Eventually, the tooth has to be removed.

It's not self-loathing that leads me down this road, but an attempt at greater self love. I don't think I can truly love others until I can love myself and I don't feel as though I can progress further in my goals until I have learned how to unlearn what I know is wrong.

I gave up many years ago blaming my various 'conditions' on nature, or nurture....on my genes, or my parents, or my environment. I strive for more accountability in my thoughts than that. It IS, after all MY mind. I have this silly notion that nothing should exist in there other than what I approve of...that no thought should continuously pop up in my mind that is contrary to the being that I strive to be.. Perhaps I am being unreasonable, but I just feel that it's time to cut this one loose and that's why I'm here today.



posted on Oct, 5 2009 @ 03:59 PM
link   
reply to post by liquidsmoke206
 





So while you're generation still struggles with racism, mine at least the cross sections I have been dealing with is trying to just forget about it, and we're doing a great job.


What I find that with many people...once they get out of the shell they had lived in growing up....the whole world opens up to them a bit....and they realize that they are just a tiny blip in an ocean of 6 billion people.....and we are all pretty damn equal in most every regard and we all want the same things.

Life, Love, and Security.

Once everyone realizes that....the world will be a better place!!

Holy crap I'm starting to sound like a hippy!! Ah well it is what it is!



posted on Oct, 5 2009 @ 04:01 PM
link   
Realize that we are indeed different and diverse, there is nothing wrong with noticing this, and it is to also note that our diversity doesnt end when our skin contrast does.

Acknowledge that we are all different and diverse, and that there really is no such thing as better outside the eyes of someone who prefers.



posted on Oct, 5 2009 @ 04:01 PM
link   
I absolutely LOVE your post! I wish I could express it to you better than that.


My thoughts: We ALL judged based on appearances. You sound absolutely normal and healthy to me.
I don't know how old you are but I have been in the process of shedding my "racist roots" for many, many years. These things our parents teach us are not easily dropped sometimes. It's never too late and yes, the bias can be unlearned.

I think I will always have a special place in my heart for black Americans now. Because I have studied the history of this country in relation to the black people that live and have lived here. I studied what they went through and what they go through every day. I watched movies and read books. Everything I could get my hands on. That is the single most influential factor in where I stand today as far as my feelings about race.

And that is what I suggest to you. Here are some to consider, because I like movies.

Amistad
Crash
Freedom Song
Birth of a Nation
Mississippi Burning
A Raisin in the Sun
Black Hollywood: The Way It Was
Lilies of the Field
Stereotypes and Minorities; Familiar Faces, Unknown Names.

Meeting David Wilson was excellent! You might be able to rent the DVD.

I know there are more. Do some research on it.

I really admire you wanting to change these biases you have, but remember... "Change is a process, not an event..." Don't be too hard on yourself.



posted on Oct, 5 2009 @ 04:03 PM
link   
reply to post by David9176
 


We must stop labeling those who call for peace, love, and security "hippies", it undermines the most important ideal in the universe.



posted on Oct, 5 2009 @ 04:03 PM
link   
reply to post by KSPigpen
 


You are not your thoughts. A lot of people are probably going to disagree with me here, but still, it's what i believe.
Try not judging your thought for a while and see how that makes you feel.
They are just thoughts and you are not your thoughts, if you were, how can you disagree with some of them?



posted on Oct, 5 2009 @ 04:11 PM
link   
reply to post by KSPigpen
 


Classic White Guilt Syndrome.

Did the election of Mr. Obama do anything to quell some of your "White Guilt?"
Did it make you feel better about yourself?
One of Mr. Obama's czars encourages white people to give up their jobs to minorities.
Do you believe this is appropriate? How far would you go to make ammends?



posted on Oct, 5 2009 @ 04:15 PM
link   
I have written to a friend who was my teacher in the late 80's. He teaches a technique that is powerful and easy to do that can go a long way in helping you connect with your truer self. That part of you that was innocent before your were remade in a humans image.

I know because I have used it and I was so blown away by the power of it, I got trained. I am looking to see if there is someone in your area.

But you can still work it through. I grew up on a farm in Michigan. Both my folks had been born in Detroit. I came from a large family. When I was young my mom got to send us to a camp in the summer for two weeks, because she knew the camp director. The camp was for inner city kids to get a chance to see country life, learn boating, and just have afun.

Well I went to camp with people from all backgrounds and colors and religions. But we were all just kids and we never saw each other as different except where we were from.

The n word was never allowed in our home and a whooping was there if we slipped up. Myself I have never used the word.

When I was fifteen, after my folks had divorced and we lost the farm to emminent domain and the Hilton Hotel chain, I lived with my dad in Detroit across the street from GrossePointe Park.

This was when I learned that the shade of ones skin had a unusual affect. Especially when my first crush was black. My dad still had his shot gun and I learned for the first time, my dad and my mom did not see eye to eye on this subject.

I knew it exsisted now, but it still had no affect, except the riots I kept causing by not keeping my mouth shut in very white places.

Then when I was almost 16 I was rapped and left for dead by two spanish speaking thugs. To this day I can not stay in a room with people speaking a language I do not understand especially if I am alone.

I have been nearly killed on four occasions, all by a white male.

In the end I came to realize that my mother was right, there are only two kinds of people on earth, those who seek for the betterment of others, and those that seek for the detriment. And the only two colors are those of love and hate.

Near my eighteenth birthday I was in an accident and I died in the ambulance. Since my return I have noticed that of all the hate crimes that exist , the hatred of women and children tops the charts.

I try to comprehend why any human hates another, or why some want to eliminate a whole group. Did God not make a multitude of flowers of various kinds, sizes and smells and colors? And trees, plants, animals?

Whay do we not revel in our uniquenesses? Yes there is hate and all hate stems from fear. As I have seen the door of death and what lies beyond, for those who choose it, I know that to fear or hate is the greatest weakness we can have.

I served as a Volunteer Firefighter for my community bewcause I loved the people and the place. When I had to run into a burning building, I noticed if I harbored fear I had difficulties, but when I did so out of love, I amazed myself.

For any healing to ever take place you have to love yourself first. Like children who are raised with abuse, know that you are not to blame. And that you are an adult now and can choose. Just as it took many years to indoctrinate you, it may take a time to erase that. Keep telling the thoughts, "no, you are no longer welcome in my house." Kick them out, the power to do so is yours.

But the mere fact that you do not treat others that way is a powerful testament to your own inner strength. Don't think in terms of age, think instead interms of moments. By not letting the thoughts become actions you are retraining yourself and as you work to kick out the thoughts they will eventually die from lack of attention.

Always remember that you saw what hate looked like, so now you can show the world what love looks like. I applaud you and wish you only good thoughts and a multitude of friends.






top topics



 
44
<<   2  3  4 >>

log in

join