Children of color are old enough to face racism when they’re born. Old enough to bear the weight of stereotypes & hate before their little eyes can focus. But somehow white kids are supposed to be too delicate & too shielded to even know race exists because somehow that might hurt them. When your definition of innocent child doesn’t include my babies? I know what you’re on & I don’t have any patience for the lies you tell yourself or your children.
True story: my skin was so light that my early medical records say my race is “white.” However when my white grandmother’s now ex-husband took one look at me as a newborn he said “never bring THAT in my house again.” When I was told this story as an adult, my white stepdad tried to ease the pain by saying “he didn’t hate you, he gated your skin.” As well-intentioned as that was, I know that’s not true. The old man hated my culture. This is what bothers me when people act like racism isn’t a problem. That incident happened in my generation, the generation of a millennial. It’s not in the distant past. That man is still alive, and my mother has yet to forgive.
I agree that we all say and do stupid stuff when we’re young and that we don’t necessarily understand the consequences of our words and actions. I am all for giving people a second chance - especially if they are coming from a place of ignorance, especially if they are child stars that were plucked out of their small white conservative towns and didn’t have a chance to have a real education. Justin Bieber is clearly going through a strange time in his life and I genuinely hope that he can get his life back on track.
But here’s the thing about racial slurs - it’s not up to us to decide whether or not they’re hurtful. And with regards to the N-word, it will never be up to white people to decide how and when that word can be used. Maybe the N-word, to your “white guy friends”, isn’t a big deal. And maybe they feel that they can casually drop it in conversation “all the time” without thinking twice about it. But it’s really ignorant and destructive to overlook the history and weight behind these terms. Just because they don’t hurt you, does not mean that they aren’t hurtful.
If you don’t approve of it, and if you know why it’s wrong, you have a responsibility to call your friends out. Help them learn and help them to understand why it’s not ok to say these things. Do you know anything about discrimination? Oppression? Rape? Slavery? Lynchings? Murder? Understand history and show some respect.
Justin Bieber has apologized for his remarks. Is that enough? I don’t know. It’s not up to me to decide. But I think that it’s the least we can expect and it’s hopefully the first step toward clearing up this mess. I’m sure we’ll all be keeping a close eye on his words and actions now that he’s an adult and won’t have the excuse of saying “stupid stuff that we don’t understand when we’re young”.
Very well said. I couldn’t put it better myself. *slow clap into standing ovation*
Look, I understand that the Southern confederates had other things they were fighting for other than slavery, but that’s not just some small aspect that can be ignored.
Also, not all Southerners tote around the Second Navy Jack and I don’t think all Southerners or even most Southerners are racist. There are other ways to show pride for the south that have less negative aspects of our nation’s history attached to it.
When I see the Confederate flag, I’m reminded of the fact that over a four year period over half a million U.S. soldiers died as brothers literally fought against each other to the death, and many of those Confederates died to protect the right to own my ancestors as property listed directly above horses and cows in their ledgers. To me, that is racist.
Day 2 : Write whatever it is in your head right now.
Her: "Oh yeah, I was about to text you. I think your half Korean."
Her: "Yeah, I’ve been thinking about it, and you know those pictures of half Korean babies? Your baby picture looks like that. So I’m saying your half Korean. I’m pretty sure about this."
Me: "Um, Ok."