Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Am I a Racist?

reading through big fat delicious, she has a post there about a rather shitty and racist e-mail she got from a family member. it's one i've seen too about how we label anyone white as racist for doing things POC do like attend "black" colleges, or have history months, or days to celebrate dead leaders. i know part of the reason we don't have these things is we don't really have to. every history class, with a growing number of exceptions (YEAY), are white history classes. we don't need to celebrate white men and women who fought the good fight for the advancement of the white race, because there wasn't much in the way of resistance met. yes, there were many people of all ethnic backgrounds who fought for civil rights in countries all over the world. and yes, i think anyone who uses racial slurs is racist. and so i am kinda torn over this kind of thing... cause on the one hand the knee jerk reaction is to say omg yes, that is SO wrong. and yet...... maybe it's a mark of my own privilege that i feel like some part of this is right. maybe it's that i'm still getting over myself. maybe it's the fact that i'm not proud to be white, and white alone, but i AM proud to be of russian/german/french/jewish ancestry and there is no earthly way anyone can say my skin is not pale as can be. is that the difference? naming the places my forebears came from and being proud of those origins rather than the blanket term "white." and yes, there are times when i feel like people are too quick to slap someone with the term racist, or that there is a pendulum swing in the opposite direction somehow. but how do i reconcile what i see in my own world with the very real injustice still happening? especially when it seems like those things contradict one another? and how do i respond to the accusation that pride in my heritage makes me racist?

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