RACIST! (But who deserves that label?)

I’ve been mulling this one over for a long time. This is going to piss some people off.

I ask that you consider this as it was intended more as a thought experiment written from the perspective of a white person who wants to do the right thing but who’s painted into a corner by the over use of the word Racist.




You can shut down any conversation in this country by calling one or more of the involved parties


I’ve been thinking about it since the whole Travon Martin case.

But it’s deeper than just Travon, more widespread and much more ugly.

Travon was not the angelic child wearing the white hoodie. He was a 17 year old male.

Think about this, Travon was less than a year away from the age where he would be considered an adult by the courts, and could vote. 

Had George Zimmerman & Travon Martin gotten in a fight just a few months later, would we have seen the outcry we’ve seen?


Why was George Zimmerman who identifies as Hispanic made out to be White in the media? Could it be that it was a better sell to have White on Black violence than Hispanic on Black violence? 


Why didn’t someone stop the media? I remember seeing one of the guests on a talking head program ask that question and he was shouted down.



Why is it that asking a question like “What incentive do people waiting to come into this country have to stay in line,  if we offer amnesty to those people already here and others who bypass the rule of law?


Why do we need an ID to write a check but not to vote? When laws are enacted to prevent voter fraud by requiring an ID at the polls, it’s… You guessed it


The tragedy of Travon Martin is that his was a young life wasted.

Worse is that his name may be inexorably tied to a divisive racist philosophy that has been sold to the American people by certain individuals who profit from divisive rhetoric.


The full facts of the Travon Martin case may never be known. What is known is that a jury of women acquitted George Zimmerman of all charges as they were called upon to do by the law.


It’s not racist to follow the law.

If the law is wrong then change it.

It is by definition racist to call for harm to another group based on ethnicity. 

Oddly, we’ve seen folks who, (due to their history) had the most reason to prevent such calls for violence, instigating exactly the kind of mob violence they themselves have suffered.

Instead of being a light and an example certain leaders have chosen vengeance.

Racism knows no color or ethnicity. It’s as simple as being able to define anyone as “Not US“. 

Anyone can engage in racism and no skin color is more or less prone to racist behavior. Yeah, no one gets a pass in my book.

But because racist is tossed around so loosely and used as a means to shut down opposing viewpoints it’s losing it’s meaning and it’s impact.


Now days it seems that just because I’m white, I must be a racist.

That’s just as bad as seeing a black man and assuming he’s going to rob you.



Well, Virginia… 

I was raised in the South in the 60s and had a good deal of racism around me.

The first word I learned for a black person was the “N” word.

By the way, it was said as casually as “go get the broom”. It was often synonymous with “go get the broom” because the cleaning people were exclusively black.

For example: “Awww crap theres dirt all over the floor. Son, got get the N-word to clean it up.”

My Mother however saw the inherent wrongness of racism,  she taught me there was a better way, a way of equality and that we could live side by side being decent to each other.

Her belief in a better world that we could make real in a generation was very strong albeit perhaps idealistic.

Nonetheless she gifted me with a desire to see a world where color was irrelevant and people were measured and acknowledged for their deeds.

That philosophy allowed me to approach the smartest kid in my chemistry class for tutoring because I was having trouble getting it.

Albert was a black guy and he helped me pass that class. I wouldn’t have asked him for help if I didn’t believe that color was a poor measure of intelligence. Alberts deeds, his test scores and participation in class demonstrated he knew his stuff and I needed a lot of help. Thankfully, he was a kind and generous person otherwise, I’d have flunked that class. 

Albert… Where ever you are, Thank you for proving that humans are much more than skin color and intelligence knows no bounds.

I have recognized racism in the workplace and stood against it. Meeting commitments is not something that changes because an HR person finds out an employee is black.  Promotions should be based on merit not quotas or fallacious racist beliefs.

For the large majority of my life I’ve worked very hard not to allow racism in my life, thoughts, or in fact to interact with racists. 

In the past decade, I’ve been called a racist more often than not, simply for asking a question.

I’ve been treated badly at the hands of people of color, and time & again told I was evil, unfair, privileged, and the source of all the problems of the world.

There was a saying once… Racists are made, not born.

Well folks… If no matter what I do, I’m going to be labeled a racist… 


With “Owning” it comes freedom.

I no longer labor under the burden of white guilt, I honestly don’t care what you think anymore.

You’ve decided based on the color of my skin that I’m a racist, so be it. You’ve added another person to the ranks of people you claim are your enemies. Congratulations!


Where do we go from here?

Burning neighborhoods?


Drive By shootings?

Molotov Cocktails?

Do we let the hate fully blossom and start killing each like the Hatfields & McCoys, or like the Calvary and Lakota until one of our groups is dead and the other so decimated that they may never recover?

It’s been done…

We can read about it in history books.

You can ask permission to speak with an elder of a Native American tribe, They can tell you a story of blood, tears, and hatred…

Where do we go from here?