Hi y’all! I know you’ve all been waiting eagerly for my next post (sarcasm alert) after a long break. It was a really distressing time – more on that later. But first on a topic I’ve been wanting to write about for quite some time. It will be refined as time goes on, kind of like the women and science topic – new challenges, new things to write about.

So most, if not all, colored people trying to move up the ranks in their lives, have encountered this phenomenon in “the land of opportunity.” The middle ranks onwards, professional communities are made up of white people, and in order to remain there, let alone move up, you have to socialize with white folks, fit in as much as you can with their culture, and still be their minority friend. If you’ve experienced racism in your life, and especially if you’re a feminist, you’ve got to grow a thick skin and get lots of de-stressing to deal with the phenomenon. The phenomenon is one where educated white people, those who readily differentiate themselves from “white trash” (who in their minds are the only racist white people), make such ignorant comments about the state of race and culture in the US, that you’re baffled about where to start your response. Needless to say this isn’t all of your liberal white friends, but many. And this isn’t just white people either, but some colored people ignorant to the oppression of other colored people (South Asians, anyone?). My purpose in writing about these issues is to gather my own logic, and make readers of this blog (the two of you) aware of the logic and plethora of evidence behind claims of racism. Perhaps it’ll help your next discussion with your well-meaning white friends.

This situation is encountered by members of many marginalized groups – women among men, LGBTQ among heterosexuals, B and T among anyone, really, mentally or physically handicapped among able people, etc. Each marginalized group experiences this phenomenon in unique ways and has to deal with them in unique ways. I have experienced the gender, race/ethnicity, and class intersections and so that’s what I’ll write about, in several posts.

ISSUE 1) “Racism isn’t a problem today as it was 50 years ago!” Bullshit. According to Tim Wise, only 11% of white people surveyed recently think racism is a problem nowadays. Majority of blacks and latinos think racism is still a problem today, because, of course, they’ve experienced it in their lives. So 89% of white people ignore and/or disbelieve what colored people say today about racism, even though they have no personal and/or academic evidence to back that disbelief. Now most of these well-meaning white folks will acknowledge that it really sucked to be a black in the olden times, like 50s and 60s. And, oh, slavery sucked too, but today’s white folks shouldn’t be paying for what their unknown ancestors did (!) (even though they enjoy the privileges). Well that’s all good and all, until you realize that about 2/3 of white people surveyed in 1963 also thought racism wasn’t a problem in their society. 1963, that’s before the Civil Rights Act. In 1963, most white people thought blacks got equal opportunity as whites, just like majority of white people think society is equal today. They also have this tendency of pointing out how progressive society is today, by reminding you that lynching, name calling, and overt segregation doesn’t happen today, which makes me wonder, how dumb do they think colored people are? I kinda already know that those things don’t happen today (actually do in some areas and isolated cases) and that’s not the kind of racism I’m talking about. Truly intelligent people recognize the oppressions in their own times, and try to do something about it, instead of just acknowledging the oppressions in history, which doesn’t take any merit. Even then, many people don’t consider the implications of that history, and know an incomplete history to begin with.

Most people would think it’s absurd to ask an able-bodied person what issues handicapped people face. Less people, but probably more than 11% of people today would think it’s absurd to ask heterosexual people about issues that gays and lesbians face. But on issues of race, gender and class, privileged people totally DISREGARD affected people’s experiences even though they have none of their own. I mean, why the hell would you contradict a person’s opinion from experience when you have NO experience or data to back your counter-opinion? I’m sure I do it sometimes too, but it’s still beyond me to understand how some people do it so often!