Racism no longer exists!-Some Earthling from 7510
Astute 1960s music aficionados will recognize the aforementioned, 7510, as the year that Zager and Evans said, “If God’s a-coming, he ought to make it by then…”
That’s right, over 50 years ago our dear singers predicted that 7510 would be the year of Divine judgment!
Personally, I believe that we are being judged daily–by our own conscience.
That’s assuming that we have one.
Anyway, I find it kinda eerie that while Zager and Evans titled the song, In the year 2525, they don’t say much else about that year–other than to wonder “if man is still alive…”
In fact, it appears as if they simply opted not to complete their thesis about what 2525 might bring.
I shudder at the thought!
Anyway, this post has very little to do with that song other than to illustrate how much farther, as a society, we have to go in order to become more advanced in our thinking; I pray we get there before 7510 because 2525 is beginning to look like a freaking wash!
Ok, so after watching and listening to a whole lot of people talking about racism these days, I decided to put in my proverbial two cents by offering a couple of suggestions on how to avoid racist/prejudice talk in your daily conversations.
I might even throw in a little story.
In essence, if you are interested in having a genuine conversation on race–or anything else–with black folks, please refrain from saying any of the following:
- “Racism does not exist.”
- “You’re being overly sensitive.”
- “How do you know <insert complex, intellectual, technical, little-known, sophisticated topic here>
- “How did he/she/they get a better grade than I did?”
- “How did she/he/they get that job, house, car, thing?”
- “Family doesn’t mean much to Black people” (Said by some foolish ass congressman, very recently.)
- “That’s not racism!” (An easy out for people who are uninterested in learning about racist remarks and behaviors.)
This list is not exhaustive.
While some of the above points are blatant, others are very subtle yet highly offensive. In fact, I’m NOT even going to include the REALLY blatant shit that people say.
That said, I am willing to offer a more slick example of how prejudiced beliefs and attitudes slither into a daily conversation. (This is an example of my 3rd point from above)
For your consideration:
Granted, the average person in Georgia has no clue what Findhorn is–never mind where it is.
Hell, some of you are also probably wondering how I knew about it.
Let’s just say that I am an avid reader who loves to learn about new people, places and things.
At any rate, it’s not so much that she asked that question, it’s more the way she asked the question.
It was clear to me that she didn’t think it was possible for me to have any knowledge about a subject that she did not already know about.
Who was I to know so much about something that she had never heard of?
Now, I can hear someone in the ethers saying, “How is that racist, she’s just a know-it-all.”
She definitely was a know-it-all!
But here’s the thing…do you think she would have asked a white woman or man the same question– with the same kind of undertone?
Would she have been completely amazed that another white person could know about Findhorn?
I’d wager that she would not have asked another white person that question–at least not in the same way.
She asked me with an air of suspicion–disbelief.
Now, if, in fact, she had asked another white person, it would have been out of genuine curiosity–a “tell me more” kind of situation.
Trust me, as a black woman, I know the difference.
I’ve experienced this, or something like it, more times than I can properly count.
Seriously, I could give you a thousand other examples; including the one where the white male student asked my Political Science professor how I got a better grade than he did on an essay exam. It should be noted that the professor, who was also white, was the one who told me what the guy said.
Oh! What about the time a white co-worker told me that I was not “black… black.” By that, she meant that I was not like “regular black people”–whatever that is.
Or, the time my white Biology professor told me that I was one of only two black students to ever get an A in his class. Why did he feel the need to tell me this?
Oh yeah, what about the white English professor who stopped me after class one day to ask where I was from because she could tell from my writing style that I couldn’t be “from around here.”
Whew chile…it’s tiring y’all!
So, I think I’ll stop here and encourage anyone who is ready to have a polite and meaningful conversation about anything that I mentioned in this post to drop down in comments so we can chat.