Unpacking My Racism

12 Jul

I have always said that racism is in the water. Whenever a white person declares indignantly, “I’m not a racist”, I have to laugh. Being raised white almost anywhere on the planet ingrains racism into our being. This week I saw how true that was for myself. I looked in the mirror and had to come down off my high horse. I am no exception.

A Visitor

I was kayaking one beautiful morning this week on Laguna Bacalar where I live and met a young couple sitting with their toddler on a dock near my house. We began talking in Spanish, because after all we’re in Mexico. When I realized that the man was translating our conversation for his wife, I asked them where they were from. The answer was, San Diego (California USA).

Sunrise on Laguna Bacalar

Our conversation continued with them asking me questions about Bacalar, and I then committed what is referred to as a micro aggression. I asked this brown skinned woman again where she was FROM.

Our Dock

I’ve been to San Diego. I was in awe of its perfect climate, big homes, flower filled streets and high cost of living. I guess my racist brain could not imagine this brown-skinned family being from such a white, wealthy place. I discovered that she was Philippina, which is besides the point. She was from San Diego.

We’re All In This Together

Seeing my unconscious assumptions is what unpacking racism looks like. Processing the immediate shame and embarrassment is important, only NOT with a person of color. My black and brown friends do not want to hear about my racism. They already know. My prayer is that seeing my stupidity will help me be less stupid next time. I will however make different mistakes, cuz that’s what it means to be human in this world.

DOS TORTAS

Amen

8 Responses to “Unpacking My Racism”

  1. Emilie July 12, 2020 at 4:39 pm #

    I have done similar things. I would say on the racism spectrum I’m quite low, but it’s still there. How could it not be? I was raised in a white neighborhood reading history books that glorified wars against Indians and talked about slavery as though it were just casual.
    I try to work on myself nearly every day. Layer upon layer upon layer and so it continues.

    Like

  2. Jack Scott July 13, 2020 at 3:30 am #

    It’s easily done but what really counts is where it comes from.

    Like

    • afish25 July 13, 2020 at 8:10 am #

      I’m not sure I understand. My mother used to say, “the road to hell is paved w good intentions “

      Like

  3. Karen Hodgens July 13, 2020 at 7:38 am #

    You aren’t alone! I’ve Done exactly that. Ah well, all we can do is see it (can’t fix what you can’t see).

    Like

    • afish25 July 13, 2020 at 8:08 am #

      Yup, and sharing my stupidity helps me not feel ashamed of it.

      Like

  4. Pat Nash July 13, 2020 at 8:13 am #

    Beautiful and so on point.

    Like

    • afish25 July 13, 2020 at 8:28 am #

      I am wanting to be more vulnerable in my life.

      Like

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