Sunday, October 26, 2008

White People Don't All Look Alike

In today's NYT's Frank Rich published an interesting piece about how not all white people are racists.  He believes the McCain campaign has been promoting this idea (along with the media).  Well there are lots of folks that believe white people wouldn't vote for a Black man- my Dad told me that early on.  But now he has an Obama sign in his front yard... so I guess he worked things out and thinks his white friends have too.

While many of us say that America is still very racist (which in many ways is true) - there are actually white people out there who really try not to be that way.  Of course we all have our prejudices - none of us are Mother Teresa.  But things are in no way similar to how they were 30 years ago.  Of course there are still lots of white people who mistrust Black people (or any group of color for that matter)- if that wasn't true, the KKK wouldn't exist anymore.

But believe it or not there are some white people that at least make an effort.  Over the years I have learned that many times people say things out of ignorance.  They simply have the wrong information - we can thank the media for that.

And then there are all sorts of gradations of prejudice.  Some white people get along great with Black people, but couldn't imagine their kids marrying anyone of color.  Some white people don't think they have any prejudice in their bones but still say that "Mexicans are sneaking across the border" or use the term "illegal alien" -  (news flash--  the term is highly offensive).

These same people may be the ones who are lobbying Congress to stop the ICE raids.  

Its a confusing and complex world when it comes to race and ethnicity.  But Frank Rich has a point.  Not everybody is the same, and not everyone has the same prejudices.

In Defense of White Americans
New York Times
October 27, 2008
by Frank Rich

the... less noticed lesson of the year has to do with the white people the McCain campaign has been pandering to. As we saw first in the Democratic primary results and see now in the widespread revulsion at the McCain-Palin tactics, white Americans are not remotely the bigots the G.O.P. would have us believe. Just because a campaign trades in racism doesn’t mean that the country is racist. It’s past time to come to the unfairly maligned white America’s defense.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry, but on what planet are those living in a country illegaly NOT "illegal aliens?" If I went to France without the appropriate paperwork, I would certainly be an "illegal alien." And are "Mexicans" NOT in fact, "sneaking across the border." We have a border, yes? And they often sneak across that border, no? At a certain point, the failure to use appropriate and accurate language to describe situations or status is just plain ridiculous. What next- will we be referring to criminals as "those who have, on occasion, stepped outside the law?" Give it a rest...