Yes, I am white. I am not a racist and this is my take on how to stand up to such labels.
Saying, “I’m not a racist” only proves you are a racist, right? In a recent conversation I said, “I’m not a racist.”
The response floored me, “just saying you’re not a racist proves you are.”
What, you have to be kidding, right?
You have encountered someone like this or you wouldn’t be here yourself.
No matter what sound data you bring to the table your approach may need to be modified.
What I am offering you is some shoes (idea).
Try them on.
If you don’t like them simply give them back.
And some times with anything new, at first you may not like it (eg, the style, fabric or even the fit).
Just try it on and see if it grows on you.
Next, here is how to not drown yourself in a sea of accusations.
REMAIN CALM & AT A DISTANCE
A drowning victim knows their life is in danger.
When someone is drowning, if you have had any training in this field, you know to keep your distance if at all possible.
A drowning victim will pull you under.
They do not intend to harm you. They are in a fight or flight situation.
If climbing on top of you (and forcing you under) will save their lives, they WILL do it.
You did not cause the situation yet you are still in a position to save the conversation.
This is not to say that Black Lives Matter (BLM) need saving.
You have probably realized you do not align with all of their intentions and your survival may feel threatened too.
The two best ways to save this hypothetical victim is:
- Throw them a floating object they can hang on to or
- Approach such individual from behind to avoid being pulled under.
2020 is unfamiliar territory for most.
Although we may not be literally drowning; we are all caught up in a sea of emotions.
HONOR OTHERS POSITIONS
Given the recent events (e.g., George Floyd’s death and the fallout that followed) one can easily agree our current climate feels threatening to all sides.
Hippies of the 60s said, “make love, not war.” Their words and actions outraged another class.
People would beat up hippies and even shave their heads. Older generations hated the narrative, but it was their movement.
Thankfully we have our First Amendment.
Think of racism like COVID-19. Viruses can not tell the difference between a protestor or a presidential rally goer.
When an individual thinks they have identified a racist it is validating.
Note: Narrative therapy like used in I’m So Sad is a powerful tool in identifying the reason they believe you to be racist; it is not the quickest or easiest route.
Try on that we all represent a life and the future in some capacity. This is what is charging this situation.
We are all desperately trying to get it right for our future and for the future of those we will unavoidably leave behind.
Respect everyone is doing their best with what they have.
For example, if you had to bring statism into fruition while trying not to use force, how successful do you think you would be?
With such a movement you would eventually be unable to protect your space and take up arms to do so.
What came first, the wild west or 2020?
Thus, falling victim to the oppression of a government you were trying to avoid, like our forefathers.
The Amendments were added to the Constitution.
Either way, if you honor what you are up against, as much as someone is trying to prove it is a good idea, you gain common ground.
Is this a guarantee you will not be attacked personally?
Can you stay off the hook?
IDENTIFY A HOOK
First, it is your responsibility as an individual to know and be able to discern bait to be able to identify the underlying hook.
This does not come with a guarantee of quick or easy.
the burden of research and experience will be yours alone.
Here are just some hooks I’ve encountered when saying I’m not a racist:
you’re a __________ (insert nasty name), you don’t understand because of your white privilege, you’re part of the problem, all lives don’t matter right now, you don’t get it, you support violence (if you support protesting), you support corruption (supporting your political party/cops, etc.), there are bigger problems going on right now (if you support social distancing) and so on.
Where are these responses coming from?
UNDERSTAND THE NARRATIVE
If you are not familiar with narrative therapy, I’m so sad is a good example of what it is and how it works.
If you feel you are dealing with a victim mentality, consider you may be dealing with a black swan fallacy.
Black swan fallacy: The logical error of discounting the possibility of something in which the arguer ignores contradictory evidence on the basis of past experience.More: https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/black_swan_fallacy#:~:text=Noun,the%20basis%20of%20past%20experien
When discussing racism, some individuals will be operating from events they’ve experienced themselves.
Others will be operating from events passed down by their ancestors.
Some issues, such as ancestral wounds (e.g., slavery), will be discussed later; let’s start with the police.
POLICE ARE NOT THE ISSUE
The police have been enforcing law and order since 1838.
Let’s start there.
Some people do not understand the law and that may or may not be detectable based on your own knowledge.
People will try to make you feel guilty for following the law.
This might look like, you’re “spewing stupidity” for suggesting being shot by the police is 100% avoidable if you do not engage in criminal activity.
Plenty of evidence shows Derek Chauvin killed George Floyd on May 25th, 2020.
Two men made a decision that day that lead them both to the end of their life in one form or another.
The U.S. stood in solidarity against this horrible event.
A policeman became a criminal in that moment.
Not a white cop, just a bad cop.
Is it based on the BLM timeline?
There are reasons for grand juries and charges, etc.
Nothing is worse than being directly involved except being a witness to the fallout.
Here is how you know police are not the epidemic the media has made them out to be.
The United States has a population around 300 MILLION and roughly 800,000 sworn police officers in 2019.
That is one cop per 375 citizens!
Let that settle. That is with no other data.
There are stricter adult:child ratios in our daycare systems!
And those children do not pose any of the threat to society.
FEAR KEEPS YOU FROM SPEAKING UP
But let’s look at it from a more recent “cops kill” number.
Police killed 1,098 people in 2019.Mapping: https://mappingpoliceviolence.org/
Let’s do some math.
The odds of you dying at the hands of a police officer is 0.00000366%.
In the U.S. you are more likely to die from:
- a doctor (100,000 a year),
- a car wreck (between 30-40k)
then you are at the hands of police.
Now, the black population represents 13% of the U.S. population.
Still find yourself saying: I’m not a racist?
Let’s break it down by race.
Total crime based on race from FBI.gov (table 43):
White – 51%, Black – 27% and Latino- 18%
Total police killings based on race using statista.com:
White – 53%, Black – 26% and Latino – 21%
Who’s still at the top? Whites…
In 2018 the FBI released over 6 million criminal offenses via the National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS).
Keep in mind in 2015 the New York Police Department (NYPD) alone had over two million interactions with New Yorkers.
Arrests by race:
Whites – 69.6%, Blacks – 24.7% and 2.8% were other races.Read more: https://www.fbi.gov/news/pressrel/press-releases/fbi-releases-2018-nibrs-crime-data-as-transition-to-nibrs-2021-continues
Again, not blacks.
Am I a racist? Some have said yes.
And each and everyone usually lacks some basic history.
KNOW YOUR HISTORY
It is difficult to know which conversation might make you feel guilty about being white; keep in mind ethnomasochism depends on white guilt.
Eethnomasochism (n) (uncountable) (politics, derogatory) Self-loathing on the grounds of one’s own race.More: https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/ethnomasochism#:~:text=Noun,grounds%20of%20one’s%20own%20race
If white guilt is an issue, remember whites do have the right to self determination, just as any race.
If you are not familiar with the self determination it means: a personal decision to do something or think a certain way.
You do not have to be a victim because, someone orders you to do so.
You can have an opinion about this topic, which is protected by your First Amendment rights.
Whether or not someone else likes it is not in your control.
Just knowing history will help navigate the conversation and help the other person have a more informed conversation in the future.
Third world countries primarily create dictatorships, poverty and civil war.
Recall just three of the dictators from WWII: Adolf Hitler (Germany), Benito Mussolini (Italy), and Emperor Hirohito (Japan).
World War II was from September 1, 1939 – September 2, 1945. That was only 75 years ago.
Let’s not forget about Robert Mugabe (Zimbabwe).
He just died last year and Kim Jong-un (North Korea) is still alive.
Consider: the United States has never had a dictator.
Will we be he only country that would go through a second civil war because, the first one offends us.
SLAVERY HAS BEEN PRACTICED BY EVERY RACE
- More whites have been abducted and enslaved by muslims (and for longer) than whites that owned black slaves in the U.S.
Yeah, you read that right.
North African pirates abducted and enslaved more than 1 million Europeans between 1530 and 1780Read more here: https://www.theguardian.com/uk/2004/mar/11/highereducation.books
- Native Americans owned THOUSANDS of black slaves.
- Blacks owned black slaves.
- Black Egyptians enslave many races to build places we visit today.
- Romans enslaved Greeks.
- Whites founded abolitionist movement that ended slavery in the United States. (So, if you want to take down that history you can take it all down, including all memories of slavery and segregation).
- Two thirds of the world’s modern day slavery occurs in Asia.
Empiricism Works in the United States
Why does Empiricism work in the United States?
Yes, because we are the best at it.
Empiricists are people who believe in the philosophy of Empiricism (and believe that knowledge is gained through experience). They believe in the power of sensory experience and evidence. The way that people make gain experience is through touch, sight, smell, taste, and sound.Read more here: https://www.papermasters.com/empiricists.html
How can you tell?
The United States has remained at the top economically, and military wise, despite being the third highest populated in the world (and a global pandemic) and current events.
- The U.S. has had the highest stock market recovery in history twice THIS year, despite the alleged “oppression.”
- Take into account that the Mongols (Mongolia) created one of only two of the largest empires in history. No one to-date has asked them to give up their cultural or racial identity.
The empire was created in the 13 and 14th century!
Mongol Empire: the largest contiguous land empire and second-largest empire in history, behind only the British Empire.Read more here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mongol_Empire
Finally, if you find yourself wanting to defend your position, kneel/ask for forgiveness for your white privilege or even thinking, I’m not a racist.
Consider you may be experiencing white guilt because, white privilege is not real.
Take a step back and understand the person you are dealing with is trying to honor their own difficult, or otherwise unfortunate situation.
You should be able to recognize if you are dealing with current data or wounds of the past.
KNOWLEDGE IS POWER
When you are informed you can have a practical discussions/debates if the other person is also informed.
If they are not, you will probably be met with ugly remarks to deflect their position of “feeling” stupid.
So, if you understand and share the data that is one way to fight the disparage: police are the problem or whites enslaved us for centuries.
You are not a slave owner and they are not slaves.
Those are the facts of our present day, no matter the current climate.
Asking the people of the United States that fought a civil war for reparations is off base.
Logically ask yourself: would it or would it not be correct to collect such reparations from the continent that sold them into slavery – not the country that delivered them from it?
What has kept our country great?
Summed up, it has been by following the fundamental principles our founders laid out in The Constitution.
Deviating from that foundation will only pave the way for excuses to behave badly as we’ve seen in various cities rioting.
More over, damage like this does not help anyone’s growth or development, but rather further divides an already suffering race: the human race.
So what if this is just a fascist movement?
Should a white person feel offended by the racism they are facing or is this just a race to see who is the bigger victim?
Here are your options:
- You can be the competition to the oppression you claim to hate (if you can’t beat ’em join ’em).
- Or you can change your thinking through actual data because, that is the only thing in your control.