How often do you think about the colour of your skin?
If you’re white like me and live in Canada, my guess is that your answer is probably rarely. I may think about my whiteness every few weeks or months. If you ask a person of colour this same question you will likely hear they regularly think about their skin colour — perhaps every day. The reason is that they live in a world of ‘white privilege’ and wonder whether the words, actions or decisions by others have anything to do with their skin colour.
- When they apply for a job, was the decision about who was appointed based on the colour of their skin?
- When someone is rude to them, was it because they aren’t white?
- When a person cuts in front of them, was it because they don’t look like most people in their community?
I don’t wonder whether my skin colour is the reason I am stopped at the highway check stop, if someone doesn’t speak to me in the store, or if I am bypassed for service at a coffee bar. There are surely reasons for all of these things happening, but it’s not because I’m white.
Maybe you’re thinking that I’m exaggerating or perhaps even completely wrong. If that’s the case, you’re wrong. Racism exists — it’s in our stores, in our offices and in our schools. People of colour experience it — they also think about it regularly — more than a person who is white.
“OK, so we still have a long ways to go in our society to build equality. I get that. But, that doesn’t make ME a racist. I don’t do anything because of a person’s skin colour. I’m not part of the problem.”
Hmmmm … are you sure?
(More on Page 2)
7 thoughts on “Be Vocal in Your Opposition to Racism”
Interestingly, I am regularly concerned with this because my marriage is a “mixed” one. My spouse is “of colour” and I am white. My spouse’s and children’s complexions, though makes them “chamelonesque” because it is not immediately apparent as to their origins and they are taken as having exotic but not defined “ethnic backgrounds.” I do feel there are differences in the racist reactions that various people suffer. Non-white experience is not all the same, so it is part of the problem when we think that it is. If white experience says – “I’m not racist because I have non-white friends” or “there is no racism in my work experience because we have a diverse workforce” just because there are some people representative of “other than white,” these attitudes are part of the problem for those that suffer most.
An excellent series of points. My own dive into the complexity of racism is an eye-opening experience for me. Thank you for adding to the narrative and stressing the importance for all of us to become more informed and responsive.
Dave, Is it possible to make your URL a “live link” it’s not easy to get to page 2 on a phone. Thanks.
Hi SJ. Thanks for your question. The second page can be fairly easily accessed on a phone or tablet by scrolling to the bottom of the first page and clicking on the ‘Page 2’. I don’t believe there is another way for me to format the blog into two pages.
Reblogged this on royalbutterfly8's Blog and commented:
Here is an amazing article and quote by a wonderful person!
” Your words lose their value when they don’t match your actions. Living true to your values means acting consistently in support of them.”
Thank you for reblogging my post on Racism and for your kind words. Both are greatly appreciated, royalbutterfly8.
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You are most welcome .