Thursday, September 22, 2016
True-Life Snippet on Common Racism
The sad thing about racism, is that it is often cleverly disguised... For starters, people may not even realize how it has infiltrated our minds. For example, a woman was telling me a story this week about a black man she & her mother encountered. Her mother is elderly and she was really enthralled by his fancy car and asked to sit in it, then asked to take it for a spin, once she sat in it... He was amused by her moxy, and decided to let her take it for a drive... in the midst of this, the lady tells me, "He was a black man who was probably a football player... and his girlfriend.. or significant other... " That caught me for a second. Sure, I know that this woman didn't realize that what she said was a bit racist... but that's how racism gets the most innocent of folks. To imply that "he must have been a football player"-- implies that he couldn't have had that fancy car, otherwise... and to assume that he was not married to the woman, also implies the stereotype. I know it may be a bit of a reach, but that's exactly how it struck me. When I think of non-black men with the similar physiques and fancy cars, I almost never thing "He must be a ball player"... I guess she asked the man if he was a ball player, and he said "No"... Interesting... [side eye]... Not that I have anything against ball players, I adore them-- my brother is one-- but it's just the implication that she only thought that because of his nice car. It goes to show how little and insignificant details can build on the lies within racism. It has been the state of our society that has made it hard for people of color, especially males, to succeed in much else than being a rapper or being some kind of ball player...We just have to continue to prove that we're more than just "entertainment". I don't hold any ill-will for the lady who told me this story-- but it's just evident how easily manipulated people are into believing things about others they don't know.