06 September, 2006

Guess What I Found Out This Morning

According to certain cognoscenti within the blogosphere, I am racist. This decision was made not because of any action I've taken or words I've spoken. The mere fact that I am mostly white (who knows how far back my snowy genes reach?) is enough to brand me racist.

"All white people are racist."

Okay. Good to know. Hadn't thought of it that way.

Funny. Here I thought that I was a person living according to the words of Dr. King

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.


I first heard that speech when I was eight. And it made a huge impact on me. Because it dovetailed nicely with what I'd already been taught from the Bible--that God is not a respector of persons. That Christ died for everyone, regardless of their wealth or social status. That we shouldn't judge at all. That word "judge" is the only problem I have with Dr. King's speech right there.

I have spent the last 26 years of my life interacting with people based on the contents of their characters.

Sticks and stones break bones, words merely irritate me. Am I a racist? Some people out there think so. I'm not quite sure that I agree with them.

Update: Fixed link.

19 Comments:

At 12:07 PM, September 06, 2006, Blogger Ivy, the Great and Powerful said...

Well, I can't be racist, since I'm not entirely white. ;) :::points and laughs at Kat's obvious whiteness:::::

:P

 
At 12:11 PM, September 06, 2006, Blogger Kat Coble said...

I may be "white" but good Lord, I'm also Welsh. Which, if you were to ask some people is about the worst kind of white you could be.

 
At 12:24 PM, September 06, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My problem with this accusation, regardless of who makes it, is that it actually masks the true ugliness of racism by hyper-diluting it. Rather than being an active, intentional choice to devalue another person based on the color of their skin, racism gets defined down to being an unintentional, passive and indirect benefitting from the acts of actual racists, often taking place many generations ago. It becomes more about some vague, universal sense of white guilt than about individual responsibilities and present behaviors.

It seems odd that many of those who are ostensibly most concerned with fighting racism are also among the first to throw up their hands in surrender to the idea of the unavoidable racism of all white people. No possibility of change. No opportunity for redemption. Do not pass Go. Do not collect $200. By eliminating personal responsibility it shifts the issue from making meaningful social change to mere self-flagellation.

 
At 1:09 PM, September 06, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If White people are inherently racist, isn't it possible for black people to be racist as well? Years of slave history and blatant discrimination should be reason enough for their discrimination against white people. In my opinion, you shouldnt even feed into the idea that just because you are white, you are racist. Anyone can be racist- white or black- and that's what doesnt depend on the color of your skin.

 
At 1:41 PM, September 06, 2006, Blogger Rachel said...

A little less than 3/4 of me is racist against the other 1/4 and thinks its eyes are funny, but that quarter is better at math and just giggles at the silly white 3/4 girl. Ahem. Where would that leave me exactly? ;)

(by way of an explanation, i'm 1/4 korean)

 
At 2:50 PM, September 06, 2006, Blogger dolphin said...

The link is down so I cant read teh context, but I am surprised nobody has mentioned that the statement "All white people are racist" is an inherently racist statement.

 
At 3:15 PM, September 06, 2006, Anonymous brittney said...

Who said all white people are racist?

 
At 3:29 PM, September 06, 2006, Anonymous Lesley said...

I'm growing weary of the online debate. Chris and I will never see eye to eye on what's racist. We'd already decided that when he said that the mammy dolls sold at the Charlie Daniels museum were racist.

 
At 3:51 PM, September 06, 2006, Blogger Rachel said...

"It's not surprising considering that if you're white and American you have a 99.9% chance of being a racist. - That's from B's post that Kat is referring to. I haven't had a chance to respond to that lengthy discussion, though.

 
At 3:55 PM, September 06, 2006, Blogger Kat Coble said...

I was more referring to the commenter Momo who said, in part:

oh please. i cannot believe any white person can honestly say he/she is not racist.

 
At 3:59 PM, September 06, 2006, Blogger Rachel said...

Kat - yeah, sorry, I meant the post you were linking to. I haven't been able to get past the 99.9% of white people thing, so that's what stuck in my mind.

 
At 4:18 PM, September 06, 2006, Blogger Kat Coble said...

I got past the 99.9% thing, cause I can generally let one or two go without batting an eyelash. But the proverbial upganging from "momo" and another person I don't know and Chris Wage rates a collective "oh please" on my part.

At least with the 99.9 figure, B. put a lot more understanding and explanation about herself and her worldview behind it.

Some of the others were just full of invective. And I don't like that.

 
At 4:36 PM, September 06, 2006, Blogger Rachel said...

The invective is why I haven't really been able to make myself say much in the discussion. I'm not convinced anyone is getting anywhere in the conversation.

 
At 5:02 PM, September 06, 2006, Blogger Malia said...

Welsh, huh? Well that does it, I'm outta here!

;-)

 
At 7:10 PM, September 06, 2006, Anonymous Tim W. said...

Hi Kat,

To thine own self be true.

Kind regards,
Timmy

 
At 8:56 PM, September 06, 2006, Blogger tatiana said...

Kat, I am new to your blog, and was able to scroll through most of Aunt B's comments. Yours were the most brilliant! For you actually backed up what you had to say w/o just spewing typical liberal jibberish. Now, I consider myself a non-conformist....and get pissed at both sides equally depending on the issue being debated, but I have to say - I enjoyed reading your posts. You go girl! Maybe I am a sissy for not posting - but I do not have the time nor the patience to respond to a slew of angry posts that I would no doubt receive if I were to post on Aunt B's topic. As a former prosecutor in cook county - I can comment FIRST HAND on all the black on white racism I've had the displeasure of experiencing. Somehow, no one wanted to comment on that (me included...Guilty as charged). But seriously - quit friggen laying the blame on the white folks. Regardless of what happened in the past. there are plenty of blacks that are ridiculously racist against whites! Ok, hopping off my soap box now.

 
At 10:17 PM, September 06, 2006, Blogger Kat Coble said...

Thanks, tatiana. I'm glad to know that I didn't come off as a complete Welsh crackpot. ;-p

It's a hard discussion to have without touching too many nerves. I think it can be a worthwhile discussion, though. That, combined with the fact that I'm waiting for information from a client all day, meant that I could get way into it. ;-p

Rachel, I'm totally cracking up at your 1/4 vs. 3/4 thing. Talk about your self-loathing.

Tim, you actually called yourself Timmy!!! My Tim refuses to let me do that.

 
At 11:43 AM, September 07, 2006, Blogger Heather said...

Kat,
As a joke mine is Timmy-Tim-Tim-Tim.

It's something Aidan started.

 
At 12:48 PM, September 07, 2006, Anonymous sista said...

So, you're telling me Tom Jones is a racist? I'm going to have to change my ringtone then.

 

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