The Day That I Started To Understand Racism

IMG_8342It was a hot June day in 2011. My wife and I had been parents for just four days.

I suppose by this time I had become pretty settled with the idea that America as a whole had shifted away from the “real” experience of racism of a previous generation. Blacks were serving as CEO’s, excelling in higher education, and had even been elected POTUS. Sure. Racism reared its head from time to time in ugly episodes, but I thought that most perceived racism was just leftover from the tensions of another era.

We chose an unusual path to parenthood, in part because we took seriously the call of the Scripture to care for orphans. We became foster parents with the intent of eventually adopting. We had marked on a form that we were open to children of any race, but I don’t think we understood how significant that would be for our lives. So when they called us to receive our first child into our home, our concerns about becoming parents were much greater than our concerns about becoming a bi-racial family. (Rightfully so, parenting still seems more difficult to me than having a bi-racial family.)

Our first weekend together we were on our way to a birthday party and had to stop to get a last minute addition to our gift. We had to stop at a store that was in a town not far from our own. That town had a long and well-known history of racism. So as we got out of the car to walk into the store, I began to run scenarios through my head. What might I do if someone in this store makes a racist remark to this boy that has been given to my care? Should I just ignore it as if the comments don’t matter? Surely I cannot let that be OK for my new son. Should I confront the racist jerk and tell them how ludicrous their comments are? I couldn’t imagine what I might say. Would I just respond with violence and stand up against injustice? That didn’t seem like a Christian response and no one likes to go to jail.

It took a couple days before I realized the significance of that shopping run. For the first time in my life, I had a sense for what it was like everyday for my black friends. They regularly have to make decisions about whether they will defend their honor and stand up to racism or shrink back again from the threat of violence and its consequences.

The instances of violent responses are the only ones that we hear about in the news. But every trip to the store in “that part of town” results in our black friends wondering if today will be the day that they will face a decision about their response. It’s no surprise to me that some people respond with violence when faced with the choice of having their dignity stripped or acting out on their own behalf. That doesn’t excuse violence but it does explain it.

(The best response that I have seen to this article comes from an African woman that recounts her experiences of hatred and fear while regularly running through her white Georgia town. If you want to hear more about how one act of racism creates the fear of another, then her story is a good one.)

It’s true that racism in our country does not mean that people of color won’t be hired for any job. We no longer need bus boycotts and lunch counter sit-ins.

For those of us for whom thinking about race is an optional matter, we have to be very careful about touting the advances in racial matters. Things are better than they were even a generation ago. But the realities are still there. I don’t think we can continue to pretend that racism is only “really” racism when someone is starving, being killed, or being enslaved. My friend, Pastor Jon Robinson, said it like this:

Privilege not only causes white people to miss instances of racism but it causes them to think they get to set the terms or parameters for what constitutes racism as well. For example; situations that can universally be understood as racist like a blatant hate crime, are “in bounds.” But anything that’s not as obvious is dismissed and those who attempt to shed light on less obvious forms of racism get accused of race baiting or, my personal favorite, playing the race card. Which essentially means that if it’s not obviously racist to a white person then it’s not racist.

Race is a complicated matter. The most important thing that I can tell my white friends is that racism is different when you experience it than when you think about it. As long as your reflections upon race and its consequences come from textbooks and muted conversations over coffee, you will not know the realities of racism. Can you imagine walking in fear or anxiety every day of your life? How would it change you? How has it already changed so many young men and women?

Pastor Robinson said that these anxieties aren’t even the worst part of subtle racism. He says, “The frustration and pain of not having my perspective taken seriously or feeling like I have to defend my position all the time, is even more of a problem than living in fear and making the kinds of choices you describe. I spend almost every day feeling like I have to fight to the death to be heard, seen and respected.” I’m not surprised that these are almost the exact same words that I hear from women in the church time and again. We cannot continue to silence these voices.

If these questions cannot be resolved in a heady conversation, then it seems that there is at least one other path: the way of experience. We began to understand racism because we had a chance to experience its possibility along with our son. You too can “experience” racism. If you already have friends of color that will trust you to tell you some of their stories and experiences of racism, then ask them to share. If you don’t, then these Lenten Disciplines are a great way to start decentering your own experience for the sake of another. In the end, nothing will replace an emotional connection with the real suffering of our neighbors of color. You only get that through relationship.

This isn’t the only thing that we learned from raising our son (that we gladly adopted last year). We also have learned that parents that want the most for their children are often faced with a dilemma (even when they have the means to make educational choice) about whether they will give their kids a school environment that is supportive of their identity. Or shall we choose a school where lots of children look like him and he can learn about being black in America? Usually the schools with large African-American populations are struggling and under-resourced. Do I use the means that are within my reach to send him to a school with opportunity that will ensure that he has very few friends that look like him? Is that somehow better? The thing that I’m learning here is that racial minorities have to ask questions that majority populations get the privilege of ignoring. I still don’t know all the questions that I need to be asking.

I think that I can also straightforwardly say that African-Americans treat me differently when they see me with my son. I don’t know how to explain the boundary that exists between many (BUT NOT ALL) black and white persons. But somehow seeing me with my son helps me get past that boundary many times. This makes me think that there may be other ways to overcome this distance. And that may be what is required if white persons in America are to begin to understand racism.

I’ve written a follow up to this very popular post:
You Aren’t Racist, But You Make Racism Possible

For more about the adoption of my son, see: The Most Important Action for Pro-Life Christians: Foster and Adopt

Don’t miss the comment section below. There are some great remarks that give some different perspective. After more than 300 comments, I’ve now closed commenting on this post. While much of the dialogue was constructive, some of the comments near the end were the result of trolling and name-calling. Those have been removed. Those that cannot dialogue civilly have every right under the Constitution to say hateful and uncivil things. But they do not have a right to do so on my blog, which I hope to be a mark of civility.

I recommend Willie Jenning’s recent book The Christian Imagination: Theology and the Origins of Race for an account of how Christians are implicated in racial prejudice and how Christian thought provides a way forward.

Related Posts: Double Standards, Women, and the Church – Part 2
Griselda Was Raped At 13 Years Old & Her Story Is Not Unusual: #LocustEffect

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  1. WAKE UP AFRIKCANS says

    Box Mobile
    Are Black Americans Stupid?
    Posted on April 17, 2014 by maxillio in Inspiration

    I have been out of America for years, now. I can honestly say that when you leave American society, your mind and emotions began to heal. Your actions and thoughts begin to correct themselves. When you don’t watch the bs on TV, eat fast food, or listen to brain dead music on the radio, slowly, your “negro” programming wears off. Your taste buds change. Even the smell of your skin.

    I met a rasta a few years ago at a bar. We sat for a while, had a few drinks, and in the middle of the conversation, he told me that I had the mind of a white man.

    What the hell!?

    I’m the most militant, pro-black person I know. How could he say that? I was offended. Years later, I understand what he meant. Before I get into that, let’s talk about MOST black people in America.

    Niggas love being niggas, So much so, that they strive to be REAL niggas. They take pride in saying,”I am a real nigga”. Really? That was your goal in life? To be a real nigga?

    Well, it was mine. In fact it, I took pride in knowing my friends considered me a real nigga. Ok, before some “real niggas” go into an explanation of what they think the term means for them in 2014, think about what you are saying.

    You are calling yourself a nigga. You are proud of it, and making excuses for doing so. Also, before some other smart nigga tells me it means Negus, please. Stop. I know all about that, and that is not how it is used by people, today. Let’s not make excuses. There is no excuse for calling yourself a nigga. Speaking of excuses, I will explain the need for black Americans to constantly make excuses for stupidity, in a minute.

    If you have no problem with referring to yourself a nigga, then you have no problem referring to your woman as a bitch. Now, before some real bitches go into an explanation of what they think the term bitch means for them in 2014, think about what you are saying. You are classifying yourself as a bitch, a female dog, and you are proud of it. Slave masters called black women bitches, because we were bred like dogs and animals. Think about what you are calling yourself. There is no excuse for that.

    Why are black Americans proud to be referred to with derogatory terms? That’s stupid.

    I have a woman that I see from time to time that is Haitian. She works hard and lives modestly. The money she makes goes to her children and family. I doubt that the most expensive thing she wears cost more than $50. She takes care of herself and her appearance is always immaculate. Her salary is 10 times more than the average Haitian, yet her purse, shoes, and clothes look like they came from a thrift shop. But when we go out to dinner and she pulls out all the money she has in that ugly cheap ass purse, it’s beautiful.

    .

    I have found that most non Americanized black women are more concerned with character than money and appearance.

    Most black American women will live in the projects, but wear the most expensive clothes they can buy. Hair done. Nails did…as they say. Eye brows arched.Why? You live in the damn projects. Your priority should be saving your money to move OUT of the damn projects, not looking fresh in the club to impress some other broke people…who live in the projects. Thats stupid.

    I met this woman at a club in DC. In the club she was beautiful. A week later I invited her out to dinner. When I walked into her house, I rebuked it in the name of Jesus. It was filthy! Yet, her clothes were expensive. Think about those priorities.

    And by the way, weaves stink. Most men will not tell you that, but that shit smells horrible.

    Black men will brag about having sex with a lot of women. I used to do that. I thought it was a symbol of manhood. I was stupid. There is nothing cool about that. It is a mentally that has been carried over from the slavery days. A young black buck was praised for how many women he could impregnate for massa. We are still impregnating our women for massa.

    When you get a black woman pregnant, and leave her to raise the child alone, you are doing exactly what they want you to do. That child will grow up to feed the private prison system, the pharmaceutical companies by issuing him drugs to control his behavior, or he will join the army, and fight and die in wars that have nothing to do with him or his liberation.

    I use social media as little as possible. One reason is, I can’t deal with stupid people. If you subscribe to the Kaperville Twitter account you will see that it has cobwebs on it. I am lucky to have someone else handle our Facebook page, but from time to time, I go on there and I see the dumb shit black Americans post.

    Listen, you do realise that those pictures are stored forever, right? You do realise that when you post your bare ass, or send pictures of your dick hanging out they can track it right back to you, right? Of course you dont. If you do, and you still do it, then you are stupid, and that’s the point I’m trying to make. Thanks.

    Black Americans love posting their fat stankin asses, and their ashy dicks online for the world to see, and have no shame about it. They crave attention, and will jump on you, and call YOU stupid for pointing it out. See how stupid that is?

    Why do black people make excuses for their lack of action? This is to the so-called conscience black community. I was reading a conversation Ms. Kaperville was having, and the person kept mentioning that the problem with the “black community” was that we were not coming together “as a people”. Ms Kaperville told the person to not worry what the black community was doing, and to just do the right thing for himself.

    The person came back with excuse after excuse for not taking action. I don’t think black people really want to do anything. I think they enjoy TALKING about doing something, but when it comes down to action, they seem to always be waiting for someone else to lead them, or go first.

    Black Americans like to “one up” each other. You know where that comes from? The crab mentality. No one accomplishes anything, because everyone is trying to one up each other. That’s stupid.

    The cycle of ignorance. You hear me mention that all the time. Black Americans seem to be locked in a self-sustaining cycle of stupidity. Women post pictures of their flabby asses online, because dumb thirsty men will give them attention, and dumb thirsty men give them attention because they are posting their stankin’ asses online. See how that works? It’s like a renewable energy source of ignorance.

    Black Americans love talking. Thats all they do. Talk. Oh! And march. Do you see how those white people in Nevada came together and stopped the government from taking that rancher’s cattle? Yeah. That was some real organisation. That was real action. If it had been a black person, Al Sharpton would have showed up and black Americans would have been marching around the desert singing “We Shall Overcome”. Black Americans settle. They love the illusion of action. They love to say they are a part of “something”. That “something” does not actually have to be accomplishing anything, just as long as it has a logo and a slogan, they are fine.

    Look at the Trayvon Martin murder. Zimmerman is free. Walking around and signing autographs. No one is marching for Trayvon, anymore. You wanna know why? Because Black Americans didn’t care in the first place. It was just some shit to do, and black men only kill each other. They will kill you for stepping on their shoes, but Zimmerman is still walking around.They should have burned that courthouse to the ground, dragged Zimmerman to the nearest tree, and…nah. That would have actually been doing something. That would have been making a real statement. Marching and wearing hoodies is much easier.

    The fact that Black Americans got the chance to march was good enough for them. Not for those people in Nevada. They wanted justice and they were not leaving until they got it. Black Americans don’t have that kind of resolve, and the government knows it. We settle. We make deals. We hold conferences, and rallies, and at the end of the day, all we ask for is to be equal. Give me a break.

    How can you ask for equality from a system that has shown you time and time again it does not give a damn about you? That’s stupid.

    Are black Americans stupid? Only a stupid person would let his enslaver teach their children. Only a stupid person would join the military of the same people that enslaved them. Only a stupid person would follow the religion of a people that used that same religion to justify enslaving them. Only a stupid person prays to a God that looks like the people that enslaved them.

    Only a stupid person would beg to be considered equal to a people who has shown they have no compassion for human life, the poor, children, prisoners, drug addicts, other cultures, women, sovereign nations, the environment, and so on. Why would I want to be considered equal to them? If anything, I would fight to NOT be considered equal to them. But not black Americans. They fight and march to take on his values, go to his schools, eat at his restaurants, beg to be apart of his sytem, fight for his causes, and promote his agendas like Planned Parenthood, even to their own detriment.

    Are black Americans stupid? We glorify killing each other in our music, and it sells millions of copies. How stupid does a people have to be to love music that glorifies death and violence? How STUPID do you have to be to enjoy songs about people selling drugs? Do you see how stupid that is?

    Are black Americans stupid? We know pork, fried food, fast food, and soft drinks are bad for us, but eff it. We’ll eat it anyway…AND WE KNOW IT’S KILLING US!

    Are niggas stupid? I can say niggas now because, niggas don’t read. I can say anything I want, and don’t have to worry about offending them. Niggas scrolled through, and looked at the pictures. I could have put the cure for cancer in this article, and niggas would never know it.

    But seriously. Niggas don’t read. Unless it is about sports, religion, or celebrities.

    I did not write this to offend you, but to make you think. I have to say that because black Americans are emotional, and have a need to refute, debunk, debate, and counter everything you say.

    Well, refute this.

    Black Americans complain about living in a police state and injustice, but what are they doing about it, besides marching, praying, holding rallies, and joining groups that have never done a damn thing for them?

    Hold on. That was way too complicated. Black Americans will start making excuses about us coming together “as a people” before anything can change.

    Let me try it this way.

    YOU complain about living in a police state and injustice, What are YOU doing about it besides talking, marching, praying, etcetera? What are YOU doing to make sure your children get a real education? What are YOU doing to make sure your family eats real food and not this GMO garbage? What are YOU doing about crime in your neighborhoods, besides waiting on the police thugs to come in and do something about it?

    Here is something you can do, right now.

    DID YOU KNOW, IF YOU BOYCOTTED APPLE YOU WOULD BE SAVING THE LIVES OF THOUSANDS OF ENSLAVED AFRICAN PEOPLE IN THE CONGO? THEY WORK LIKE SLAVES TO MINE COLTAN USED TO MAKE YOUR iPHONE. ARE YOU REALLY DOWN FOR THE REVOLUTION, OR ARE YOU JUST IN THE WAY? CAN YOU PUT DOWN YOUR PHONE TO HELP THESE PEOPLE GAIN FREEDOM?

    Black people make excuses because that is the easiest way to justify not doing anything. Until we run out of excuses, nothing will happen.

    If YOU aren’t going to do anything, then stop complaining. Only stupid people do that.

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    • Mickalyn says

      Wow! I could not have said this better! It’s like you read my mind and put it down in the way I intended it to be perceived. I have been asking the why questions and listening to the excuses. I have heard the “pro-white” side and the “pro-black” sides (who do nothing but blame each other) and very rarely have I heard a voice of true reason. Even though some or most would argue there are biases in your response, I say there week be biases in any response, it’s the message that matters and your message was clear. We black Americans need to wake up.

      • says

        G day i am a white Australian and i can see relevance in what you say in life for native indigenous native blacks here
        Content to be uneducated as education is the key to advancement in a white mans country Going overseas to Europe was a big eye opener to how far behind our countries both are in reality.
        We dont have the problem with black acceptance etc that you just so eloquently explained but can see your right how its all high maintenance to pull another poor projects person i tried to step up but was scmmed and taken for my retirement money so hows that for trying to strive for better sometimes better isnt what it seems

        • Jacquelyne whyms says

          Wow!!! Talk about racist! Look people, we have a racist amongst us! SEE HOW THAT WORKS! Racism doesn’t always come from another race, it can come from within our own race.
          At first I thought that this person was intelligent, but as I read on, I see that I was being fooled.
          I however do agree with many of this persons comments about the word nigga and how corrupt our actions are when it comes to us as a race of people. But let me say this for all who are unaware, ALL black American people do not act, talk, or think the same. We dont eat the same things either! And I’m sorry, last I knew, my butt wasn’t “stinkin” and my husbands penis wasn’t ashey!
          I know for a fact that not only black American woman post their bodies on FB or other media sites on the Internet.
          Now, what this person should of said was how subliminal messages has our race beat! Black america believe what they see on tv and videos. advertisements and commercials definitely gave subliminal messages in them. They will show a total complete white family and then show just one black parent with a child. Videos always show women of other races are being loved by black men but darker woman are left the part of shaking the butts in the camera, never being the object of anyones beauty. Black men like this one here degrade their own race because they themselves are unhappy with themselves and their race. It’s what we call self hate.
          Instead of making his point he puts down not only his race but his self also.
          (I’m typing on my phone so please excuse any misspelled words.)
          I do agree as I said with the points he was trying to make except for one thing, all black America’s are not the same. But this guy here is a perfect example of subliminal messaging. I don’t hate my race, I do believe they have a lot of adjusting to do. This person here is a very good example of the”Mr. Jim Crows” offspring! You know, the negro that didn’t want to run for freedom, but instead stayed behind so he could tell “Masa” that the others were exscaping. There are plenty of intelligent, self respecting black Americans all over this world. But there are a lot of self loathing ones like this guy too.
          Yes it’s embarrassing to see one of your own acting in a uncivilized way, but by no means will I degrade my own race!!! I will admit our short comings.
          My father is from the Bahamas and My husband and daughter Inlaw are Jamaican. It’s true that they all are hard worker and have very high morals. But so do i and my family. its sexy to see a white woman post pic of her ass but not sexy when shes black? My husband and daughter inlaw laugh at black Americans when they shame theirselves because they don’t understand why some black Americans have no pride in their race or in their selves. Black America has to stop proving every negative stereotype about being black, TRUE.
          I for one am sick of always defending my race for acting ignorant at times. But I must say if you don’t know any better, then how can you do better?! And for the man that wrote this, I won’t be reading or replying to any of your posts. You were just self hating, we as a race don’t need anymore hate from no one!!! Especially ourselves!!!

      • says

        I feel you on much of what you have expressed but at the end of the day you’re just a critic. You & I have a lot of the same strong feelings about how we respond to one situation & react to another situation. If you & I can do better then why don’t we begin with some real significant examples of change. Racism takes a mental toll on the receiving end & people gotta eat. White people have staying power perhaps not just because they’re white but because they have someone else supporting them while they’re on the mission-bringing them food & tending to their obligations while they’re away fighting for their collective cause. I have a bright idea, why don’t you, me and the many others like us show our support by bringing the folks out marching food, water, blankets or switch places with them so they can continue to take care of their families. Let’s form an organization right now that will offer the additional drive that brings our efforts all the way to the finish line. It’s 4am my thinking cap is not on straight but you know how those little white kids go over to the poor countries to help starving little Africans, something like that but better. Let’s do this for ourselves & keep the fire lit under those who actually make a move. 773-620-5991

        • DANIEL says

          At the end of the day assumption and perception of races cause racist opinion and stigma. Each person is different and cannot be a reflection of an entire race. A person that believes otherwise is no different than anyone else that is part of the racist issues that we have in the world.

      • says

        not much of late i was badly disabled from being hit by a 4wd on my motor bike of course i was in right. very annoying to lose the full use of hand but im alive and can walk just cant type anymore with any semblance of accuracy Sue

    • concerns parent says

      First let me start off by saying hello to everyone who post on here about racism, I was born in the Caribbean and grew up in their as well as here in the US, but I must say that when I was a younger man in the Islands growing up, racism was not an issue for me as all race of people like together, and had no idea that I was called a Nigga, unfortunately until I came to United States, learning about black people in this country, was the hardest lesson I’ve ever had, not only was I call a Nigga by whites but by my own people, and other ethnic groups as well, I try to teach my children about where they come from and answer the questions when asks will not it be hard for them to make it in this society, and pain me to so it may be hard for you but you’ll have to decide how you Will approach what ever situation you come across, but be mindful of other people feelings, to try your best to be fair in your thinking, they see me when I’ve lost my job for standing up for myself and what it does to me, and I trying not to bash the ones who have done me wrong, but it’s hard to hide my emotions sometimes, I would love my children to have a safe passage to adult hood without all the sick people and their thoughts, but it’s j other up to me, hating people because of the colour of their skin is a sickness and we all need to stop, for our children’s sake, I try to love all mankind but even me get tired at times, all I can do is teach them to be the best human beings they can be.

    • RndmBlackDude says

      I’ll tell you who is stupid…..everyone who agrees with that initial post. I feel stupider for reading it all the way through. Asking African Americans to let go of Nigga is as stupid as telling a Jew to forget the holocaust. Nigga/Nigger is the African American never forget. Who cares if it makes whites and blacks uncomfortable. No matter how much we want to pretend racism is over or that the Black holocaust never occurred, or that the cause of social and economic disparity rest entirely on the shoulders of the black folks; Nigga/Nigger is a constant reminder of what set the groundwork for the conditions that plague our lower income communities. Calling for people to accept responsibility for their circumstances is perfectly acceptable, but Disregarding relevant factors by labeling them as excuses is nothing more than willful ignorance, making those who take part in that behavior part of the problem.

    • says

      Wow, most of this comment was pure ignorance trying to pass itself off as constructive criticism. There’s no way (and really no reason) to address every point WAKEUP was trying to make, but it needs to be said that this parroting of white supremacist hate-speech is just as ignorant when it comes from black folks as it is when it pours out from mainstream culture.

      The big picture. Trotting out all these racial stereotypes is the argument made by those who think assimilation and conformity is the best way to appeal to the bigotry of society. “Look right, Act Right” is the motto and while on its surface it appeals to people, it hides a truly negative message; “Black Culture” in general is something to be avoided if you want to be acceptable because black culture is inferior. “Don’t be a Nigga” is really saying “Do your best not to offend the majority culture, run away from anything that might suggest you are different.” Blend in, even though you can never blend in. Really great for the self-esteem.

      WAKEUP, it is strange as well that you criticize minority movements for “talking, marching, praying, etcetera” (sic) and then call for them to boycott Apple. Isn’t that calling for the same activism you say no one cares about? You say that no one cared about Trayvon’s death, despite the fact it was actually black American outcry, protest and activism that brought the case into the spotlight in first place, kept it in the media for over a year, and made it a teachable moment where most ignorant Americans learned to question their stereotypes of young black men.

      I can already here your complaints, though; “WHAT DID IT CHANGE??!! JEFF IS STILL HANGIN ON THE CORNER!!”” So Jeff went home and returned to hanging out on the block after the protests were over, but really, where else was he to go? There are long term geographical, societal, and structural obstacles that need to be corrected: one protest, one success story, one Black President isn’t going to change that over night in some magical way. People have to earn a living, deal with their daily struggles, keep their lives together AND change the world? It’s a tall order for anyone, and we shouldn’t fault people who don’t have the levers to pull or the time to pull them to make the changes you want happen.

      You want to know who understands this?
      Republicans.
      Why do you think they push closing polling places on weekends or early, voter ID laws, and other obstacles to voting? They understand that people who are poor and disadvantaged have significant obstacles blocking their participation in society, and they try to capitalize on and strengthen those obstacles for political gain. Indeed, as to life in general, I’ve seen a study that showed that the poor can usually overcome one or two obstacles (poverty, poor family life, geographical distance from employment or long hours, etc) but when you start stacking these obstacles, it becomes nearly insurmountable for an individual to overcome. Only through luck of circumstance or external help can these people achieve any semblance of success, it is impossible for them to “pull themselves up by their bootstraps” and resolve the problem themselves when buried under not one, but several obstacles to improving their lot in life.

      The real problem with this thinking though, and really with the whole line of thought you are advocating, is it falls into the trope that minorities should be better than any average person. Let’s forget about “how” they should pull this off for a second and ask the more important question.. Why? Why should minorities prove themselves to be more human than human and then fault them when they fail to live up to this ideal? This is the truly vile and subversive strategy of racism, it says minorities need to lift themselves up rather than realize the majority needs to be taken off the pedestal and examined as being as flawed and broken as the people they criticize. It is a ploy to elevate yourself by lowering the ground your fellow man stands on. Based on this and looking back at your comment now, can you say which side you are on?

      • says

        That is really better than what I was going to say. I can’t say it though, because I’m white. But this rant annoyed me to no end. And you explained why it annoyed not only me, but African Americans. Anyone who can logically think knows why this post is post of self hatred. It rather sickened me.

      • Roger Johnson says

        I’m a white guy who grew up in Texas in the eighties. This is significant in several ways seeing it is the south and a little behind the times they were busing kids to and from neighborhoods as to desegregate the varying schools so in fourth grade I went to a school close to my home but they bused in kids from other neighborhoods. I did not understand racism until I found out that some of them hated me because I was white. I have never hated anyone on appearance alone. I was not taught to feel superior to anyone yet I was judged just for being born to white parents. I was later bused to a neighborhood where I was the minority and I kind of understood why some of the kids treated me the way they did they were scared just like I was at first. Fear and Hate are symptoms of racism and it all stems from an ignorant belief that one man is better than another. Now I and most of the kids I grew up with learned that we are not all that different from one another. I will not claim to know what it is to be a black man in American society; but I do know how it feels to have someone judge you simply because you are different. There were times growing up when I felt the need to hide my whiteness, those cultural things that just scream I am white. I guess in a very small way I learned what it was like and I did not like it so I try very hard not to jump to conclusions when I see someone new. We as a society would be so much better off we we all lived by that one rule ” treat others the way you want to be treated.” This is what I have taught my kids. No one should be ashamed of who they are or where they came from we are all the same in most ways. I for one will not give in to hate or ignorance I will never judge an entire sect of people by what a few fools do.(Fools are in every walk of life and race) I for one do not want to live in a White America, nor do I want to live in a Black America I want to live in the America I thought existed. Where all men are created and treated equally where a man is judged by his actions not the color of his skin. We as a society have started along this path I pray we continue to see improvement. Keep your eyes open along with your mind and accept that which is different embrace the difference in yourself along with others and we may just overcome.

      • Justa Thawght says

        Brilliant, thoughtful and resolute!!!! I wish I had more to add, but enough said!!!

      • Ruth Bedeian says

        You make many important points about the insidious nature of racism. I was reading an article yesterday about a Europen soccer player who had a banana thrown at him during a match in Spain. He tried to play it off with good humor but was still deeply hurt. This astounds me because you simply don’t want to believe that people still behave this way. It’s one thing to hold onto the hateful things you’ve been taught and think them privately but to publicly demonstrate your learned ignorance is so vile. And to to try to humiliate one who is striving to reach a personal or professional goal most cannot, is just reprehensible. Not even to mention that this person has done absolutely nothing to you and is possibly even on the team you came to see.
        An article in the Washington post pointed out that when other European players who experience similar behavior and negativity bring it up they are met with the same attitudes we find in here, They are accused of playing the “race card” and told they should simply look past it. They are the bad guy for mentioning their their poor treatment . This so convenient for the racist. It is constantly used on president Obama. They dare him to mention their racism while constantly racializing every policy he puts forth ensuring a negative reception. This of course parallels the media and many politicians in America who say all manner of racist things about blacks, then claim they are misquoted, spoke awkwardly, had not ill intent etc. etc. But they promote a victim is the problem ideology. ” If only they wanted to work,” they say, or “If they would just get an education”, while they cut Pell grants, and try to discourage universities frrom striving for racial diversity.
        Now that the kinds of jobs that were available to a large portion of the black population who may not have had college degrees have all been shipped overseas i.e. manufacturing jobs, they insiist that people are lazy and should just be satisfied with the low minimum wage (and please stop trying to raise it.) They erect every imaginable barrier from birth to death practically and condem those who don’t have the legacy of tools to overcome them. They simply cannot imagine a world when every aspect of their life, each and everyday involves somone judging them based on whatever belief system they have been taught. A trip to the grocery store, the bank, the mall, a restaurant, you name it. There are endless stories of highly accomplished African Americans in high end surroundings being followed searched, refused service or products, think Oprah being told by the clerk at the shop in Switzerland she could not afford the bag she asked to see. But when your encounters with racial profiling begin from birth there is so much to teach your children about how to hold your head high and let no one tell you that they are more than you are and that you have a right to dream.

      • Wally says

        Iangun
        “You want to know who understands this?
        Republicans.
        Why do you think they push closing polling places on weekends or early, voter ID laws, and other obstacles to voting? They understand that people who are poor and disadvantaged have significant obstacles blocking their participation in society, and they try to capitalize on and strengthen those obstacles for political gain.”

        This is racism Iangun at it best, you really believe the Republican party tries to close polls early or on weekends, where did you find this tidbit of information? Perhaps on some liberal blog somewhere? And as to the voter ID well you cannot even check out a library book without some form of identification so give me a break. In order to do anything anymore you have to have identification and this is liberal talk to get the less informed to vote Democrat. This is all liberal propaganda put out there for all those who do not do their research and come up with the true facts.
        The biggest obstacle to any able bodied person of any color making a better life for themselves is just laziness, most have listened to their forefathers tell them because they had a hard time they feel they cannot do any better but this is simply not true and all this talk about white privilege and supremacy is just excuse’s period. There are many who have pulled themselves up by their bootstraps of all nationalities and made a decent life for themselves and then there are thos who have been an existence by the government and the Democrats to get them dependent and keep them enslaved. We are talking all colors and nationalities not just the BLACKS, it is just the blacks have been involved with and encouraged more with all these government programs longer than most of the other nationalities.
        I do not care what color you are if you believe someone else owes you a living then you will never make anything more of yourself and so it will continue on through your family tree as it has done in previous times.
        If the first settlers who came to this country did not make a living for themselves and their families then they perished they, did depend on each other but had no government to put food in their mouths or a roof over their head but far too many now think it is their right to such assistance and this is one of those huge excuses that have been so talked about here.
        Affirmative Action while like Unions once served a purpose to help lift many up is now being abused to insert many who are not qualified in front of many who are regardless of their color.
        I read so much here about even though they say they do expect anything they go on to say BUT a good education and a job reflecting that education. It all goes back to somebody owes you something you did not work for and earn. I know plenty of people of all colors who would rather sit at home and with all the government assistance available these days have a pretty good life and these are usually the one who complain the most about racism.

    • Lottye Garrett says

      Hey, man, I think WHAT Mickalyn meant to say is “there will be weak biases”.

      I also appreciate the fact that you punctuated your typing. Most people show their true intelligence in what and how they write.

      But anyway, also as you stated, this stuff has been bubbling in me for years, but I never knew how to put it into words, like you have, to express myself or to even understand why I had negative feelings about the way the lives of the black people were being lived. We are definitely on the wrong road. But at the same time, we have a belief in our religious system and tries to live according to that religion. We don’t have faith in each other so we have to put our faith in something that is very real in our lives and is working for us. This is what the white man taught us.

      You have to admit that you, yourself, are guilty of the same thing that most black people are guilty of. We are not literate enough to know what is going on in our lives. We live our lives according to how others live. We know that changes have to be made but we also know that there are limitations on how far white America will let us go before they start killing us all. We let them kick Obama around. He’s won, now it is up to him to handle this whole slop pot alone. We left the man hanging! We have become way too passive and have laid down the gauntlet because everything seems to be working for each and every one of us, individually. We don’t care that it is not working for you. If we did, would any of us take the advice of another? No! We don’t believe in each other and that’s why we can’t come together except at church and then we are arguing about this and that. We got ours! Now you get yours.

      What you have stated is 100% true but there is nothing that is going to come from your writing it except that you have gotten something off your chest and insulted a few others. Most of us will just read what you said, make a comment, and forget about it. In other words, we will walk away and say, “This Nigga’s crazy!” What can I say? That’s us. The few that are out there truly working against all these indiscrepancies are alone.

      The real problem, as I told my brother a few weeks ago as he was trying to set up something for family and friends, and that was that “Nobody cares any more”. All too painful, he found out. And that’s it, NOBODY CARES ANYMORE. THEY GOT THEIRS!

    • says

      You are addressing a sub-culture that most Americans of African descent HAVE LEFT behind or never embraced. I am on in millions of educated Americans who address racism when needed but never ever use the terms referred to in you post.

    • Black Lady says

      I’ve read the previous post and I agree with most of what was written. My question to you Mr. maxillio and others. What would you suggest be done inside of the “Black Community”? Do you take time to educate the children hanging out in the streets when you cross their paths? Do you volunteer with unprivileged children who do not have access to someone who can teach them how to become self respecting, productive members of this society that has exceptions of their failure? Do you encourage your male friends and family members to marry their women and not just make them another “baby mama”? It is true we all have a certain level of responsibility to educate and uplift if we know better. Are you doing your part? Or are you just writing post that your fellow “Black Americans” will never read because it’s not relating to religion, entertainment, reality TV, or degrading music. It’s easy to debate what’s wrong with Black America but it will take heart, courage, financial resource, education, and time to heal OUR community. We all have an obligation to do our part not just write about it.

    • Dallas says

      Guaranteed this comment was written by a white person pretending to be black so they can get away with controversial comments.

    • Ms. L. Wright says

      Here’s 2 things (and only 2 because I did not finish reading your mostly ridiculous rant after I got to these items.
      Thing 1. Why is this Haitian woman pulling out ALL HER MONEY when yall go out to dinner. Are you too cheap to pay for her meal. That part of your posting was thing one that put me on alert.
      Thing 2, If you are dating women and their weave smell, then that’s on you because IN 2014, weaves do not smell if/when they are taken care of and WASHED like you do your own hair.

      Educate or shall I say, reEDUCATE yourself on your people bruh! You’re way off on more than a few points.

  2. Constance says

    Yes, race, unfortunately, still matters. If it didn’t, they wouldn’t require you to put your preference of race of the child on the form. A child is a child is a child. Hopefully, one day there won’t be a need for that question.

    • Sharon says

      Must Shonda Rhimes do it alone. I appreciate the fact that we get to see mixed-race families, same gender familes, strong multi-cultural professionals living life with all of its problems not what color everyone is. Life is hard enough! The more we see anything thing that seem strange the more we accept, “OH, I have seen that before”.

      • Chris says

        Television isn’t reality. The fact that many people take it so seriously is a real problem.

    • Olivia says

      @Constance you are so RIGHT”,and I agree with you,and even on Job applications it asks your race,I cant remember what facility this one was,but I filled out the application,and when I got to the part where it ask my race,I was so sick of seeing that I refuse to answer,and on this application,it gave me a choice,it stated you don’t have to answer,But when I did’nt,it stated that the application could not be submitted,and I could not move on to the next area of my application until I checked in the box what race I was,I think it’s just all WRONG’,and I BELIEVE that RACE of a person should not matter,and I also BELIEVE the application ask your race,so they won’t hire us,…that’s just how I feel.

      • privleged wight guy says

        They ask for your race on the application so they know who the blacks are so they can give them the extra points they get just for being black. AFFIRMATIVE ACTION.. so be happy you get extra points just for being black so you get the job over the more qualified white priveledged guy cuz your black. Makes sense to do that if all you want is to be treated fairly not have whites todat that had NOTHING to do with slavery repay YOU for that slavery that YOU HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH. Get it blacks get

        • Paul says

          There are no extra points. But I see your point. Why should whites today, who are “more qualified” based on the privileges they’ve enjoyed for centuries (better schools, more income, stability, lack of violence in their daily lives), enjoy less of a privileged life than their forebears? After all, it was whites who made this country.

          Well, unfortunately, “white” isn’t the same as it was before. For example, if you were Irish, you weren’t white. If you were Italian, Polish, Jewish, Eastern European, Persian, Greek, South American and various other religious minorities, you weren’t white.

          what I think we should go back to is the “original whites” only. You know, limit white to being “good white” English, French, Nordic, maybe the Scots. That’s it. Then, let’s see how many of these lesser whites now trumpeting their line of “there is no racism for non-whites” feel and act.

        • Chris says

          Do you assume the White job candidate is more qualified than the Black candidate because of the existence of Affirmative Action? That is the paradox of why affirmative action exists. It’s to counter the discrimination against Black people (and women) by people who assume that they are not qualified for the job.

        • PenGreaterThanSword says

          Excellent point Paul & Chris!
          Wow…I would have to state for the record it’s no different then your being able to advance in society from the money your great, great, great, grandparents defrauded from black slaves. And however miniscule the amount it always trump *ZERO*. Whites for the most part are automatically trusted/entrusted and extended credit, expected to negotiate price on homes, cars and appliances ect… While black majority is stuck paying for unspoken privileges whites grant to other whites.
          When blacks approach the same situations then all the rules apply.

          For example a product already mark 1000% above the original asking price salesperson will give a black 25% discount an imply the black person is getting a deal! And what I say is… LEARN the POWER of CASH is KING and walk away from that incident and all others that smell like it. Whites do this because of a lack of RESPECT. When a race of people realize that they can disrespect you in your own community and you still come and spend your money with them. You open the flood gate for a plethora of ills. Understanding how to take the power of our dollar and use it as a weapon to speak to the oppressor is key. We continuously give away our POWER. The oppressor will not let the oppressed go free until the oppressed demand their freedom!

          The only ENGLISH a white man understands is when you impede his *GREEN* river. Fight back by taking our power of the almighty dollar and spending it where people respect appreciate and realize I don’t have to spend my dollar here because your the only option I CHOOSE to spend my dollar here because there is an equal exchange for appreciation of mutual respect of community, and humanity
          We know that our system is broken it is obvious that *white privilege* is an unspoken that most whites attempt to act as if it is nonexistent to make blacks believe that they are misguided, paranoid or less intellectually capacity to think abstractly about the situation or condition. To acknowledge white privilege exist somehow forces the man to look in the mirror and realize that he’s not that great, but rather like every other man whether, black, red, yellow or brown wanting to provide for his family. Take a family and money in the bank for those unexpected circumstances that arise. But most whites fear acknowledging that unspoken also fear losing the benefits and ground gained by these unspoken. Let’s take our power back with our dollar and demand that we as a people are respected for what we bring to society! There would be no AMERICA without us!

      • privleged wight guy says

        Treated differently today for some real bad shit that happened last century that they have nothing to do with. And can we stop calling blacks african americans MOST blacks have never set foot in africa lets be honest most black kids today couldnt point to africa on a map. Pull up your pants put down your pipe stop trying to tell the world you celebrate kwanza and need to speak ebonics and maybe you wouldnt need the extra points on the test.

        • Paul says

          “Treated differently today for some real bad shit that happened last century that they have nothing to do with…”

          So, in your mind, living in the projects TODAY has nothing to do with not being able to vote 40 years ago?

          The affects of racism, of slavery, of white privilege are based on the past and passed on by those people from the past to those in the present.

          The affects can be diluted or they can be strengthened as the attitudes are either diluted or strengthened.

          The fact that you can so easily and forcefully ignore the past shows how little you actually know about it and how much of a slave you are to it.

        • Chris says

          What’s wrong with Kwanzaa? I can agree with the sagging pants and the pipe which I have to mention most Black people detest. But what’s wrong with Kwanzaa? Would you tell an Irishman not to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day?

        • says

          I don’t know how dark your melanin is, but this has got to be one of the most racist bunch of comments on this forum. Really? You can’t do any better than reducing the black community to kids who are following a stupid trend (and black kids are not the ONLY ones who do this) and drug abuse? Uh…. where the hell have you been for the last 40 years? SMDH. You are a disgrace. I’m white. I don’t categorize people like this. if you had any integrity, you would apologize.

        • Shaquana says

          I am a black woman and I saw more underwear, butt cheeks and cracks than a little bit at a series of rock concerts. It’s more than a skin issue, it’s culture period! I saw more breasts than a lil bit this past weekend too. Most of the women were white flashing their breasts. There may have been one black woman that they actually showed on the large screen. People wonder why other cultures dislike the US. We have to change the culture. It starts at home. Lessons of morality and decency are those that can be taught or learned. My sister and I talked about it and were saying these same women will be trying to sue later on in life after becoming mothers because of an idiotic decision they made at a concert. I can say it here, I’m far from perfect and I hope my good deeds outweigh the bad when God arrived

  3. illegitimateAngel says

    I have to say that as a light-complected (perceived as white about as often as I’m perceived as mixed or Hispanic) person who grew up in a multiracial family, I find that white folks overwhelmingly don’t “get it”. They think that privilege means that everything is handed to them. Which is not true. I recognize privilege because I couldn’t not see it unless I was blind. My sister, who was raised with the same parents, is just as smart as me, and more socially gregarious than me has always been treated different because of the one difference between us: she is clearly black while I am not.

    • Norris says

      I can relate to this article, as African American parents we also decided to do foster care and one of our first child was a little white girl whom we fell in love with. After that first night I knew she would be with us. A year later we adopted her. Every time we go out I’m thinking who will say something ignorant to get me out my comfort zone..We didn’t choose this path God chooses us for this path.We as Americans needs to look beyond the color of skin and look at our hearts..

      • Gail Carter says

        Wow, Norris you and your family are a God sent. True love knows no color. I never heard of a black family adopting a white child, that’s a wonderful thing. God is so good.

        • Lottye Garrett says

          Thank you for telling them that, Gail. The rest of us went to never-yonder world and lost the point. We used them as our venting post, and that’s wrong. It’s not about us.

        • C.J. says

          I agree. Most of the rants are irrelevant to the post.
          You hit the nail on the head and thank you.
          SN: It kills me to see posts from people of color, from outside of the US, putting down Blacks in America. It really hurts. I’m tired of it.

      • ddman1000 says

        I think the reason for that Gail Carter is that it would be far worst if a black couple adopting a white child where racism is concern, black flocks already have to worry about themselves from racist so adopting a white child will be even more problems, i remember a instance where a white girl was left in the care of a black couple for some weeks because their white friends went away and left them to care for their child and they were arrested and brought down in the station for kidnapping the girl although the girl told the police she was in their care…..

      • says

        @Gail Carter – my family is not white and my parents adopted several white children who became my brothers and sisters. [It's wonderful having such a diverse family!] Perhaps it is not publicized and idealized in the media as much as all of the celebrities running off to adopt brown babies, African children, and people from other countries, but in the US, I know several families who have adopted US children of another race (black-white, white-black, latino-black, black-latino), including my own family.

  4. says

    I hate the words “Racism” and “Race”. I will give you my explanation below after I give you a little detail of myself. I have many ethnicities which are French Spaniard, Jewish, England, Scandinavian, Moor, Egyptian, Roman, Peru, Italian, Greek, Mexican, Indian and whatever else. I have researched my ancestry and my DNA is out there. My Origin is Colorado right here in America. I now laugh at these so called Census when they ask for your Race! Race Labeling started in the 1700′s when they decided to keep track of the Slaves. When Emancipation started it was keeping track where the slaves decided to live. The it became Race Negro and White. Then all the other labels fell into place. The government had to find a way to categorize humans in a file cabinet to know where everyone live where and when; here and there. Then it became 4 labels. White, Black, Red, and Yellow. The Government decided who went under what category of colors. AND IN this present day. it is now. White, Black, Red, Yellow, Brown, and Bronze. Nobody has told anybody about the additional two color coding labels. Every human body who enters the United States or other country if they have this same guideline is known as a “Color Label”. There is something wrong with this picture. People keep saying if this country was founded by Christians ways and the “Ten Commandments” has been instituted in our laws. This labeling goes against everything Christian in the ninth commandment “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour”. God didn’t mean a person that lived next door to you but people who are all around you! God mirrored us in his image and he surely didn’t engrave color labels on any of us. MAN did this not God! Satan is truly busy! So when, I introduce myself and they ask me what my race is… I say God! If they ask me what my ethnicities are I will say the above mentioned, if they ask me my origin I will say where I was born. If they ask where ancestors were born, I will ask them “What era or generation and what side Maternal or Paternal and their Maternal or Paternal side?” Be specific!

    • Andre says

      I agree with your response, I don’t like the labels either. I like to be considered apart of the “human race”.

      • Glenda says

        I agree with you when asked what race I am;I reply “Human” it always throws them off. And as far as Black America I’m just American no label;and leave at that.

    • says

      Exactly, just because you leave out your governments labels of black, brown, red, yellow, white, bronze doesn’t mean that you are not proud of who you are. Be proud of what your many ethnicities are and know your family history. Be grateful that you sleep at night and wake up in the morning each day until it is time for you to transition. Know your worth and value to this world that is why you have a brain!

    • Chris J says

      All of the things said are true, except the privileged white guys statement. Has anyone noticed the that you never here of “Black Frenchmen”, or “African Italians”, etc. When we know that most Countries near Northern Africa, were invade by Hannibal, an African. Nobody keeps track of ethnic background like America, where “all men are created equal”, unless we prove you to be only 3/5 human, then you need not apply for any human rights, other humans enjoy.

    • Jeff says

      The race and ethnicity boxes used to bother me until I worked as a researcher and realized that in cases where they don’t collect this kind of data, the prejudices still exist, but there is no data to quantify it and try and figure out how to best deal with it. My friend a fellow anthropologists works in Rwanda on a Fullbright fellowship and it is illegal to say the name of any ethnic group. There is no data collected on ethnic groups. She is there to study the smallest and most oppressed group but officially they don’t exist. As much as filling out this data makes us uncomfortable, it serves a purpose. I’m supposed to write white even though I have a million bits and pieces but I know that if somebody else were to look at me they would think I am white. If I had a son with an African woman, people would call him black.

  5. Corliss says

    Yes racism is alive and healthy in America, and yes history is important. Someone posted that we should have history month, to let students know how the Indians were repaid. Good idea they should have being this was their land. The difference between Indians and Black people, is that as a people we have not been given reparation as the Indians have. In order for us to receive that we have to PROVE our ancestors were shipped here and enslaved, and most times when that is done reparation is not given.

    I am not saying that U.S. owes me anything but respect, an equitable education, employment that meets the standards of said education, and a chance to live my life free of fear for my children.

    Racism continues to be more prevalent against African America Blacks than against any other race. Not only from white America but also from immigrants from other countries, because of the way blacks are portrayed in the media. Every person who migrates here has a misconception about African Americans even our brothers and sisters from Africa.

      • umonhon says

        The American indian had not recieved any kind of reparation my dear.
        How would I know?
        I am a direct descandent and Native people have been living in poverty just as long as their Afican/Black brother.
        How would I know, because I am both.

    • Really? says

      African slaves were imprisoned and enslaved long before coming to America by their fellow Africans. It was an accepted practice at the time. That does not make it okay, but it explains it in a historical context. Slavery had existed for over a thousand years. Whites are not the only ones to have ever had slaves.

      • asabea says

        In the african context, slaves were not treated inhumanely like it was done by the white slave masters. Check your history notes/books.

    • Wally says

      Corliss
      “Racism continues to be more prevalent against African America Blacks than against any other race. Not only from white America but also from immigrants from other countries, because of the way blacks are portrayed in the media. Every person who migrates here has a misconception about African Americans even our brothers and sisters from Africa.”

      Why do you think this attitude exists? As you say it even comes from your brothers and sisters from Africa, what are the African Americans who in truth for the most part are just plain Americans by birth but hang onto that African label like a teddy bear not doing that other blacks are?
      Why do so many others give so many of the American blacks such a hard time? The blacks have used slavery as an excuse (in this country) for so long they believe they cannot move on to a better life.
      It seems the other blacks of the world are working hard and making a better life so why cannot the American blacks do the same?
      Perhaps it is our government constantly trying to help that is what is holding the American blacks back or maybe the liberal politicians have found the more you depend on them the more you vote for them.

  6. Shylite says

    I found this interesting because I had a conversation some years ago with a white Israeli man who said he wanted to adopt a Ethiopian child. I told him that he needed to really consider because I did not believe that White people would do as well raising a Black child as a white one. Reading this has shown me that What I said was not incorrect. I’m not saying they won’t love the child or do their best but understanding of the experience of Black people is something that A white parent cannot pass on to their Black child. Having said that, I applaud people that will adopt children of ANY race because no parent is perfect and so many children need loving homes and loving parents. We really just have to work with what we have and try to do the best that we can.

    • Tip says

      I’m confused by your response…A “white Isreali” is a minority totally different from a caucasian “inherited white-american.” Isreal is a “black” nation…

    • Wally says

      Shylite
      ” I’m not saying they won’t love the child or do their best but understanding of the experience of Black people is something that A white parent cannot pass on to their Black child.”

      Perhaps with your attitude the white parent would do better in that the child of color would be treated as an equal from early on and not taught that he/she is handicapped because of his/her skin color.
      Perhaps if so many of the American black community would quit teaching their children that they are inferior because they are black then things would change for the better.

  7. says

    As an African American male, this commentary or story truly warmed my heart. My family, primarily my uncles, have all married lighter skin or white women. Often times in biracial couples men of color will denounce racism as a means to embrace their new status as “moving on up”. As though a person who is white as a spouse counters the stigma of the darkness of ones skin. Our biracial cousins, often afforded educational opportunities and social acceptance many of us black cousins did not, we’re raised in predominately white neighborhoods and school districts and don’t truly identify with their darker halves. That is not to say they are not kind or adhere to willful ignorance, just a mere observation. As mentioned in your story, I have been a huge proponent against white couple adopting black or brown children. Because of my negative experiences as a civilian and military, I am fearful that these adopted children are being robbed of a rich history and connection to Americanized Blackness. Some opposers even call it “legalized slavery”, an institution of impoverishment utilized to further dilute the American Black identity. I am glad, elated to know I was wrong. Science says if a theory be proven unsound only once, it is no longer viably sound. And you sir, have proven me wrong. You’ve managed to identify stressor and more so, acknowledge the existence of racism in America. Also, have first hand knowledge and experience in the difficulties raising a black child amidst such distastefully subvert and imbedded racism can be in America. Please continue to write, share your story, and act as a bridge between our peoples.

    Much love and respect,
    Ché Berry

    • AC says

      As a SWF who adopted a black son I not only appreciate this article, but so much your comment. I am now married to a black male and we have a mixed daughter as well. The experience of race in this country is so unique and I love to see parents and communities come together and at least begin to recognize the existing issues. It’s just another step closer to building bridges.

  8. Lauren Or the white bitch says

    I think this whole article is bullcrap. I know you’re thinking, “of course she does, she’s a stuck up white girl.” Well you’re wrong. I’m tired of whites being blamed for racism!! What about the other races? I’ve walked into Hispanic clubs or a grocery market where mostly black people are and you should hear the remarks that I’ve heard. I get racist criticism all the time and I’m married to a Hispanic. Oh and I’ll have you know that white people DO NOT get everything handed to them. All of my friends and I have WORKED OUR ASS off to get whERE we are,,stop using race as an excuse. If you are a hardworking individual then you will succeed no matter what background. I am a white person and this pisses me off. I see POSTS all the time that degrade my race. Racism comes from,all other races and you idiots commenting on this about whites are worse than those white people you nasty hypocrites. You all need help stop focusing on race and focus on making yourself the best person parent or friend you can be.

    • Reuben Bowie says

      None so blind as those who will not see. I guess you were never exposed to blacks and hispanics who “worked their a_ _es off” and could not succeed. I don’t perceive the article as criticizing or blaming any race. It is interesting that the racial divide seems greater in the US than in any other country. History gives the economic basis for this divide and if we don’t learn from our past, you and I will become victims of classism. (Them that’s got…).

    • rhill22 says

      You are an idiot and delusional…..Its apparent that you do not get it by your comment.

    • Chancero says

      I think you have missed the point of the article, and are, in your response, giving validity to some of his claims. Just because you don’t see it, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. The experiences of people all around this country testify to the existence of racism, both on a personal level and an institutional level. White privilege doesn’t mean everything is handed to you, but it does mean that whites are afforded things that other people of color arenot. Your comment of “If you are a hardworking individual then you will succeed no matter what background,” shows just how naive you are on this subject. As the writer of this article has stated, search out other people, people of different backgrounds, listen to their experiences. This isn’t something we are making up.

      Also, in regards to racism from people of color, you are right, it is just as wrong, and also has no place in our society. But there is a huge difference between the two. People of color in this country hold little to no power. A major component of racism is the oppression of peole with no power by those who have the power, and in this country, that would be the oppression of people of color by whites.

      I sincerely hope you use this as a starting pont to learn and see things outside of just your corner of the world.

      • Wally says

        Chancero
        “White privilege doesn’t mean everything is handed to you, but it does mean that whites are afforded things that other people of color arenot. Your comment of “If you are a hardworking individual then you will succeed no matter what background,” shows just how naive you are on this subject.”
        I fear you are the one showing ignorance as you too believe that blacks are handicapped by their skin color even though they are as intelligent as any other. Many of all colors use some excuse to validate their failure to succeed or succeed to a level they believe is better than what they now have. Success is an attitude more than a big home and a lot of money but always believing someone who has white skin is afforded things that other people of color are not is nothing but an excuse plain and simple, there are plenty of poor white people as well and some of them also use similar excuses for their lack of success but they do not usually blame it on the color of someone else’s skin.
        Racism is an ignorant mindset used by many people of many colors and mostly because they are jealous of others advantage or ignorance of their cultures or both.

    • AHP says

      “Oh and I’ll have you know that white people DO NOT get everything handed to them. All of my friends and I have WORKED OUR ASS off to get whERE we are,,stop using race as an excuse.”

      Your statement exemplifies the blissful ignorance of white privilege to a ‘T.’

      There’s no question that you and your people worked hard to get where you are, but you don’t realize that privilege allows you to start “the race” with more connections and resources, run half as hard and still get twice as far, and have a vastly decreased chance of being discriminated against. In your case, there’s gender discrimination, but you’re still white. Imagine what black/latina women have to go through. In fact, white women are the primary beneficiaries of affirmative action, which was created to benefit non-white minorities. This is another example of the white privilege you say doesn’t really exist.

      You don’t have to worry about apartments not being rented to you despite having a perfect credit score; not anywhere in the country. Blacks, latinos, and other minorities do. You have to worry about the gender-income gap because of your gender, but you don’t have to worry about sudden and prolonged unemployment on the same scale (statistically), as black or latino men.

      The people who degrade your race are ignorant and dumb, no doubt, but they don’t have any way to harm you except with words. Chances are you’re never going to find yourself in a position of having your job depend on a black man’s negative opinion of white women and there’s no systems specifically designed to keep any white male or female beneath the ceiling. That is the upside of privilege.

      No one is ever going to say “I don’t want white women at my basketball game,” and no employer is ever going to say “I’d like to hire her but I’ve got concerns about her ‘background’ and how they’d fit into the ‘company culture.’” That is privilege.

      In other words, you may be oblivious to the subtle nature of white privilege, but don’t say it doesn’t exist. Just say you don’t get it, because you don’t.

      • dakota storm says

        Lauren do you not realize how ill logical your statement is? Here’s the think my mom is black raised two girls on her own living in a condo in an all white area working 40 hours in a factory just so she didn’t have to rely on the system. 35 years later she has numerous health issues because she didn’t want to fall in that category. Today she is married to a white male who also raised two kids on his own his son trying to be black when he clearly isn’t. As far as blacks and proper English not entirely true I’m black and I speak perfectly. Why? Because of how I was raised not by my color, my sisters are black none of them living in poverty again why? How we were raised. My younger sister is living on an air force base proudly serving her country because she wants too. Me? I graduated from one of the top automotive trade schools in the country catching a lot of grief not just from the white guys but the blacks as well because I’m a woman in an all male profession. Does it bother me? No does it bother me that I’ve been told that I can’t work on someone’s vehicle because I’m female? When I was younger yes it did I’m 31 years old master tech at a local dealership and still catching grief my color has NOTHING to do with it. So as I stated before your statement is really ill logical.

        • Wally says

          Dakota Storm
          Finally someone who gets it, it is not about the color of your skin unless you allow it to be and of course how your parents raise you to be. If you parents play the race card all your life then you will grow up believing you are inferior but if they have realized that they can make a difference then you will as well. Racism is an ignorant state of mind only and people who refuse to believe in themselves fall prey to it.

    • Jerry says

      you are quite misguided about what racism is. briefly defined. it is POWER plus Money plus prejudice.

    • Leonard says

      I’m sorry to say you just proved what said in the article about what was said about white people setting the per a meters for what is considered racism.my lived inGermany for many years and has 2, biracial children they did not ever have identify race until they moved to America, because when they live in Germany they did not had to identify by race be over there all Germans are just Germans not white or black. I am A black man but I understand A white persons fear and hatred of me because genetically speaking white people can be breed out of existence, If you do A. D.N.A test on anyone in the world it will show that part anyone’s ancestry is subsaharan African because that’s all human life started,I don’t care if your eyes are blue and your hair is blond that’s all just Amputation becaue as people move out of Africa into colder climates and had to start wearing clothes or animal skins our skin became to motabilze the sun light for vitamin D . We are all the same all this unnecessay hatred over stupid mutation that happened millions of years ago ! Also cannot understand racial pride because nobody has any control over who their parents are you are who you by no choice of your own l have human pride, I if you are good person and you are cool with me I’m cool with you.Yes I have been discriminated many times in my life and no matter how many times try to explain it to some else they will never understand like A man trying to understand Arape victim ,also I hate that people do not know the difference between racism and bigotry ,bigotry is a person personal beliefs racism is an institution like Jim Crow and segregated schools and such bigotry is persons personal beliefs. I hope we can.just learn to Louvre everyone because we all have the samehope ,dreams,loves sad frears God bBess everyone !

    • says

      be who you want to be that is not racism. it is hate!, not working your pretty little white ass off because I work my black brown yellow or what ever color it falls under but as a black person racism is offered most days. Most of the time we don’t get credit for working you whites think we don’t at all . stop your pouting who give a shit what you don’t want to believe—stupid

    • Sherry Perales says

      The economic crisis is the fault of the idiotgreedy white men. I feel they sshould’ve been arrested not given bonuses. But it just goes to show what an idiot Barrack Obama really is.

  9. says

    I’m African American and i would like to say thank you guys for taking in and taking care of that baby,I thank God for giving you guys Him to raise.

  10. color_me_bad says

    I personally thought this article was racially biased.. Or culturally biased may be better wording. I have many issues with the article but I’ll try to keep this short. For starters, I found it a little offensive that because the author adopted a black baby, he thinks he understands racism now. Then, I realized that offensive shouldnt be the way I felt as much as sorry that the author has led such a sheltered life up until this point.

    Reading the article and comments made me feel that the author and the comments I’ve read have a preconceived notion that only white people are racist.. I noted that the author referred to explaining racism to his “white friends”.. I’ve got a easier way to explain, tell your white friend to drive into an all black part of town and see how he or she is treated. Based on experience, it’s eerily similar to the scenarios described by the author. I am a white man from southern Louisiana, so understand that I have seen my share of “traditional racism” (and it didnt take me adopting a black baby to open my eyes). I have also been in an all black establishment and have felt racism. Of course, most people like the author, would lead you to believe that racism is only a color people problem. Is it socially acceptable for black people to be racist based on our countries history?? Events like the L.A. Riots in 1996 lead me to believe Yes it is..

    I think the part that bothers me the most about the article is that people are quick to jump to color as the reasoning behind the feeling of discrimination and not the real reason which is people have trouble accepting things that are different, Color just happens to be the most obvious or convienent.. If I dont like a black person, I’m considered a racist but if I dont like a gay person I’m being discriminate and even though in this conversation both words may weigh the same it has been proven just in this past week that Racism carries a far worse connotation than discrimination… Let me explain

    Donald Sterling, Owner of an NBA team, is in huge trouble because he made a comment about black people. He’s being stripped of his team, banned from the nba, fined $2.5 million not to mention being socially out cast by most of the world. I mean people were outraged. I thought it was going to be another L.A. Riot

    4 days after the NBA decided to ban Sterling for his remarks about black people, Shaquelle Oneal, Also a NBA Team owner, as well as a TV Commentator, and to most non sports fans, a well known sports figure, publicly mocked a handicapped man from Michigan, because of the way he looked. Nothing was ever said by the nba, the owners, the players and other celebrities.. As a matter of fact, some celebrities joined in on the public humility. No sanctions, or fines, or bans. And for the most part, the story went unnoticed by most. Maybe it wasnt covered by the media because it wasnt racially charged or maybe we as people are far more sensitive to race issues more than handicap isuues, or gay rights issues or even women’s rights issues.

    Point is, I really dont think the author understands at all what racism or discrimination is. And it’s articles like these that continue to pull the proverbial wool over eyes over what the core problems that we as people need to stop being blind to. P.S. Sorry for not keeping it short.

    • Georgia Peach says

      To color_me_bad.. well said! I couldn’t agree with you more. I call it ignorance for the simple fact that I grew up believing to treat that person exactly how they treat you no matter who they are. It’s sad but true that racism still exists from both white people and black people. It’s almost inevitable in certain circumstances/areas. But we have to pray for better days, because I think we can all agree that the situation as a whole has become “better.”

    • Latoya says

      I think the author was using white as the point of context as he is white and cannot speak to the racial experience from any other eyes. As a black woman. -double negative in some circles- I got his point that we all not just whites but we all must look at race and it’s impact from all our perspectives and all work to help eradicate it. Some of the attackers to this article are simply defending a position without hearing and understanding what was said. I agree that once he adopted that black child it gave him a different perspective. Years ago I dated a white guy and I was so uncomfortable going out with him in public only because whites thought he was wealthy and I was his whore and blacks thought it was a status symbol for me. Needless to say because of this discomfort I gave up a good man. I was young then but now I know that it’s the quality of a person and not what others say that matters. So all in all stop attacking the author and see his you contribute to racism regardless of your skin colour!

    • bean420 says

      Your experiences having to deal with discrimination based on race are not the same thing as racism, in the sense the author is describing, which is the institutional racism most black people, and others throughout varying regional areas. When the entire system is rigged to keep you from succeeding, that doesn’t change overnight, simply because the law says you can’t do that anymore. There are things that are ingrained into the psyche of a people that needs to be questioned and addressed. I love my bf, but he thinks that the discrimination he dealt with in Hawaii, as a white person, was real racism, and, while it’s absolutely terrifying and does in fact pose risks of real harm, it’s in no way related to the type of racism/privilege scenario that the author is describing now. The Hawaiian people are still misplaced because of the white person, and their backlash isn’t the kind of racism that they still have to deal with every time they see someone demeaning their culture or raping their land.

      In regards to those who think that “mixing” shouldn’t be going on, you obviously have no idea what you’re talking about. Segregation has never been the answer to helping people understand differences between them and others. In regards to Native American babies not being adopted out to white families: 1. the numbers and culture of the African American heritage is not in threat of being wiped out, it’s still plenty prevalent, 2. as long as we encourage the author’s way of thinking, and promote great resolutions then we actually kill two birds with one stone; we preserve the rich heritage of a people who have struggled for a voice throughout history and work towards restoring the world to a race blind way of life, which it actually did live in, at one point. Subjugation has always been about class, before race. Once we fix the younger, I think we can have more success with the older. One day.

      To the author, thank you for your thoughts. I look forward to reading more of your blogs.

      • Color_me_bad says

        Why is it not racism.. Because I’m white?? Isn’t that a racist point of view? Segregating the feeling of racism because I’m not black?? Being a white man growing up in a black area don’t you think I’ve experienced some of the same discriminations that if I were a black man you would consider racism? As a matter of fact, I’ll take it one step further and tell you that I’ve endured more racism because of the same entitlement that you speak of from black people that felt that because of the history they had a right to treat me different.. Refusal of service. Denyal of employment. Threatened while walking. Getting harassed by cops.. In a black man’s eyes in my situation, I was the kkk even though I was just a man trying to live… Is that not the same type of priviledge situation the author was discussing?? I’ve also experienced a different kind of priviledge. The priviledges given to black people in the workplace because their white employer was afraid of the backlash it would cause to fire them for doing inadequate work because of their race.. Is that not a form of reverse racism??. Should I feel like I personally owe every black person I meet reparations or priviledge Just because they are black?? Am I as a white person expected to keep quiet and go with the flow for the fear that I might be called a racist?? Isn’t that the same mentality slaves told other slaves in order not to upset the slave master?? You honestly can’t tell me that I haven’t experienced real racism just because I’m white.

        And as far as this particular article and the author. in my opinion, the initial thoughts that sparked this “path to discovery” he was feeling when he brought his son to the gas station, he would have had very similar thoughts in many other situations as a protective parent and he is only associating them with race because his son happens to be black.. Isn’t that in itself a form of racism?? Had his son been white but born with a deformity of some kind, he would have similar thoughts of protection when he brought his son to the park to play with other kids. it wouldn’t be about racism then… Had his son been gay, he would have similar thoughts of protection in certain situations and it wouldn’t be about racism then.. My problem with this article and our current society is that we automatically go to race as the issue.. Because this guy had insecurities because his son was different, he now has a new view on racism.. I think his thoughts are misplaced and even though it’s not his fault that he has been trained by society to automatically go to color as the issue, it also is a big part in why racism continues to exist. I do want to apologize to those of you who feel that I’m being insensitive to the guy trying to better himself but I don’t think he has even come close to understanding the real issue of racism.

        • Wally says

          Color_Me_Bad
          I believe you have come as close to hitting the nail on the head as anyone on this whole page. Even though there are a few other who have been close you have really brought forth the real situation regarding Racism. It truly is a ignorant state of mind that afflicts people of all colors and some like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson have made a rich life perpetrating it but not many in the black community will ever admit this.

    • Leonard says

      Its pretty obvious that you fail to understand the dynamics of the culture we live in I do not believe that blacks are taught racism it is A defensive position ingrained from the society that black live in the civil rights bill is only 50yrs.old how do you think that adds up to the years of slavery ,lynching ,Jim crow laws and the discrimination that still exist today there are good and bad in all races ,your post just show how far you are from understanding your fellow man I wish you well my brother ,please when you have the time go on YouTube and look A man named Tim Wise I hope will give him A listen ,god bless .

      • Wally says

        Leonard
        You as so many others are still living in the past, all those things i.e. slavery, lynching, Jim Crow laws are the past but as long as you allow them to direct and influence your future then you will never ever be able to see beyond all that and move on. Many other cultures who enslaved have managed to move on why is the American black the only one who insists on dwelling in the past and continue to let it guide his future?

    • really says

      Color me bad you make great points the author now knows how it feels to be the victim of racism black white or yellow because he perceived what his reaction might be in a town he heard was racist because his son is black. Why didnt he jump to the conclusion when he heard the town had a history of racism that the racism might be towards him being white. Is it because the town has more whites than blacks or because it is racist it must be racist against blacks because thats the only racism there is. As one reply says reverse racism is not as offensive really? Racism is racism and thats the problem priveledged whites are the only racists.

      • Wally says

        Really Says
        “Racism is racism and thats the problem priveledged whites are the only racists.”

        Wow what a mouthful, if that is not the most racist thing I have read on this page it surely would be the second. So are Jesse and Al who have made a fortune pushing racism also in that privileged class you mention or are they overlooked because they are black?

  11. Sherry Harvey says

    Racism profitable! It’s the only reason it still exists It’s no longer JUST fueled by ignorance -as if that weren’t enough- but greed is an overwhelming benefactor.Every industry that exists will continue to grow and prosper because of it. It will always be America’s most valued and natural resource.

  12. David says

    Whites will never know what it means to be judged by the color of your skin to be put in a group. And if they ever think they do that’s not real racism that is a feeling known as reverse racism a much less offence. Even the name serves as a reminder to suck it up it’s not the same because you owe for the mistakes of people hundreds of years before your time on earth. Penalties and public reaction is not equil on matters of race and that is a real injustice and don’t say I played the reverse racism card because I will be offended but not as much as if it was a traditional race card

    • really says

      So its not real racism if a black man calls me a white trash honkey cracker because im white? Really?

  13. says

    My aunt used to tell us in Jamaica that in life its not the beginning of something its the ending. It may seem like a noble and the right thing for a white family to adapt a black child but in the end it is more beneficial for the ego of the white family and totally detrimental to the Afrikan child. We afrikans living in America and the Motherland should advocate for the same legal protections that Native Americans have to prevent whites from adapting their children. Image Germans being allowed to to adapt Jewish children from Israel or New York. They might have good intensions but with the history of genocide, how can they possibly raise that child mentally intact in Germany who is still fighting remnants of Nazism.Holy Imaniwell I Dja Rastafari

  14. says

    It is a worthless never-ending conversation. Race will always exist, and then too, so will racism. This cannot be fixed Universally, for it is human nature and that cannot be changed without becoming something else. It is natural, for the rabbit to fear the eagle, and the cat to revile the dog. This endless diatribe about race only serves to perpetuate racism.

  15. says

    Thank you So much for sharing this – It is an inspiration and a blessing.
    This is the very first time I have heard anyone discuss this issue with an insight that acknowledges the issue as more than an academic conversation we should have. Even when that conversation is based on christian values or moral underpinnings, the understanding is most often missed. Living it gives an insight that can be best appreciated by those that must everyday.
    I have grown and learned from your life’s example.
    Thank you for your bravery, your courage, your compassion, and your love.
    Peace and Blessings,
    Clarence

  16. almirah norgrove says

    Well racism will always be here this cray world u just have 2 learn how 2 deal with idoits on a daily basic

  17. ModerateThinker says

    In response to those who have intimated that racism doesn’t really exist or is an excuse used by minorities I must say that this is view is direct result of the privilege that comes with being “white”.
    While I am happy to say that I’ve never experienced the level of blatant racism that my parents and grandparents have, I can say from my own experience that stereotypes and bias still abound in today’s society. Careerwise, I have been constantly forced to prove myself worthy of my position and have passed over for promotion in favor of less experienced, less productive and less educated counterparts (one of whom was my white male friend who confided in me that a. He believed that I should have gotten it, not him; and b.
    He’ was pretty sure that being a female if color is what was holding me back). Having to work twice as hard for half of the progress is a function of the negative perceptions associated with persons of color and/or women.
    This does not stop me from working hard, networking, and perfecting my craft but please don’t discount the effect that these behaviors still can ( and do) have.

    Finally, look at the number of cases of brutality against young men of color versus the rate of the same against non-minorities. There is something wrong when otherwise innocent Af. Am boys can be victimized/killed with little outrage or justice.

    • Liz says

      Because most of the violence against blacks is by other blacks. Not one black activist stepped forward when black kids murdered a white college baseball player in Duncan, OK because they wanted to know what it felt like.

  18. Denise says

    Thank you for getting it.
    One wonders if we should even go in there. If we are welcome. If we should say hello. One gas up before you pass through certain areas/towns/cities. You wonder if you needed help if someone would help. You pray you don’t have a breakdown on a lonely predominately white traveled street, highway. You pray the cops are fair and just. You go into the store because you become the one to keep close watch one. Or you walk into a store, they don’t speak to you but to every other white person that comes in the door. I pray my son who is so kind and protective of anyone and I mean anyone, who can pick out a hurting person a mile away and ask them if they are ok. Who comes home and empty his closet because his white coworkers from another country don’t have winter jackets, will get stopped in his neighborhood and asked what is he doing there only because he’s black. You train your kids and nephews who are law abiding college students/graduates/soldier, to turn or their voice recorder if they are pulled over by the cops.
    My husband who spent twenty hard years in the military gets pulled over because he’s driving a “luxury” car. Or I finish preaching a sermon and a Caucasian pastor comes up to me in the middle of a congregation and say you speak so well??? What??? I’ve never known anything else…. The list goes on, and on. Sad indeed! But I always thank the Lord for His children who does not act or treat God’s children poorly. He made all of us and I’m thankful for people like you and your wife. Bless you!

    • really says

      Wow all that happens because your black. Really? Maybe i should worry about being carjacked or robbed or murdered because im the only white person in a black neighborhood? Or i get pulled over because im white and driving a piece of shit car and the officer MIGHT want to tell me how unfair it is that the black guy he just profiled and pulled over has a nicer car then me pretty absurd huh BLACKS ARENT THE ONLY VICTIMS OF RACISM and perpetuating these stereotypes doesnt help anyone..

  19. Don Ogoke says

    You folks shoudnt take this fucking Racism too serious cos we blacks are quilty too. Mine is if u discriminate against me, i simply place embago against you too. You wont get my Crude oil,gold,uranium,etc what of d strong men to fuk ur white dames?

  20. says

    My sons have talked about sensing racism. It breaks my heart. They are such good,kind,sweet,smart boys with hearts as big as the moon. They are successful good boys with great reputations at school. One asked a girl for a simple movie date. Only to have her openly tell him her parents said no because he is black. I am so hurt. What’s with people? I don’t understand this. They get good grades,have never been in trouble,are busy in sports and captains of their teams. I want to protect them from this awfulness but I cant. I just keep telling them to be the bigger person. But I will admit I have straightened a few folks out……

  21. says

    Been through the same. Foster parents for eight years and adopted 4 girls, two black and two Latina Caucasian mix, we are Caucasian. We just wanted to parent and help in the community, but have definitely experienced everything listed in the article. Just had to stay away from the naysayers and glean information from helpful and positive people. We have always been honest with our children (age appropriate level), so they could speak with us about things and decide what they wanted to do or say in situations that arose. They understand the choices that people make, and how each person is responsible for their own actions and belief systems, no matter what they were taught.

    • Mark bausch says

      Larue … You and the author are true ground breakers and pioneers in the frontier of true equality of all people. You are facing on a regular basis the the prejudices of this culture and little by little making headway toward reducing it in this culture. You have a dream of better tomorrow while facing head on in your personal lives the the reality of a not so perfect today. Good for you! I applaud you and support you 100%

  22. says

    Oh, and yes, I have to laugh at the idiots that tell one daughter she sounds or speaks “white”…she says back “what, because I speak English” ? Lol.

  23. really says

    Really pastor you undetstand racism because you PERCEIVE what your black son might be asking himself on a racist neighborhood. Im a white man living in a majority black town. Should i be thinking about what if this and that because im surrounded by blacks because i assume im differrnt. Pastor did any of those.”racist whites” ever actually say anything to or about you or your son that was racist? You say you EXPERIENCED racism because of the POSSIBILITY of it with your new son. Really? Should I have these fears and anxieties because I live in a majority black town and they MIGHT be racists.Because reading your article makes one believe racism is only towards blacks.Maybe on the application i filled out for a government job asked what race i am because the test i took along with the application gave black applicants 10 points just for being black..so i got a 93 and the black
    applicant got a 94 and outperformed me and got the job.RACISM? NO AFFIRMATIVE ACTION. just as bad in my mind you should be graded equally in a fair society not get extra points for being black or white. So pastor you never experienced racism only what. might be because your son is black.Really? Perceived racism now gives you insight of what it IS to be black or the victim of actual racism. Lets get to the point as a person that has been the victim of real racism i can say SOMEBLACKS ARE THE VICTIMS OF RACISM BY WHAT YOU ONLPERCEIVE.

  24. Iris says

    I am glad that the author “gets it”….finally! Now, since this family has the “inside” experience, they will share their racist experiences with those white people who doesn’t think it exists. All there is needs to be, is one white person who will push the author’s perspective, and change will began….which has begun. Thank you for rescuing this African American child from a life of abandonment, and “listening to your guiding spirit.” He will certainly bring “change” because of you.

  25. josie0 says

    Are Black Americans Stupid?

    No, they have been brainwashed and much of the self-worth has been damaged. However I do agree with a great majority of the things you have mentioned, I am African American. I come from great stock. My father and mother, aunts and uncles are all still married and raised decent families. Although a small percentage there are many African Americans who are aware of the “system”. The difference between you and I is that your words are without action.

  26. Nina Stinstrom says

    I guess I am just wondering what actually happened in that drugstore on the way to the birthday party. Did any of those scenarios come to fruition? Were you forced to take action?

    Then there’s the theory that there is only one race:the human race, possibly two races. No skin color difference, though, that’s too silly. No, the difference between these races ies one has wet ear wax, one has dry.

    Insurmountable, huh?

  27. Shaquana says

    I think everyone needs to get a real history book and read what events took place. If you don’t read watch the movies ‘Mississippi Burning’, ‘Rosewood’, ‘Amistad’, as well as a few other because clearly in a lot of those that blacks were making excuses for fear of their lives as well as their families. But in all honesty that’s the risk real leaders take to bring about change. Dr. King, Medgar Everson, as well as others lost their lives for equality but for what? These darn folks shaking their asses and acting a damn fool on tv. In Amistad you viewed Africans selling their own people for the wealth and riches that the Spanish and Europeans had. It wasn’t them it was greed that helped motivate slavery. I hate my race but there are aspects of it that make us unique. But until we realize our potential we’ll never prevail as a dominant race.

  28. Shannon says

    I’m curious. What should we, the privileged white people, do with this information? Should we feel guilty for a complete accident of birth that caused us to be born to white parents? Or should we make the most of our lives? Likewise, what should our black friends do? Feel anger, resentment, or even hate towards white people because *some* judge them based not on their character but on their skin color?

    Articles like this infuriate me because they do nothing to promote racial harmony. They only perpuate the “hate whitey” attitude that is so pervasive within the black community. They only tell black people that yes, you’re not getting a fair deal, and instead of doing something productive about it, you should just use it as a crutch.

    I came from a poor, “white trash” family. I was judged by things I had no responsibility for. I was teased at school because my clothes were old, torn, or just plain ugly. A lot of people assumed I would end up just like my mother: teenage pregnancy, single-mother, drug user, and all-around loser. Their judgment only motivated me to prove them wrong.

    I work with a black woman, whom I’ll call Mary. Like me, she grew up very poor. Most people assumed that she’d also end up like her mother, who bore a striking resemblance to my own. Like me, she worked hard, excelled in school, and went on to get her Bachelor’s and then Master’s degrees. She earns more than her white coworkers, and she’ll tell you NOT to call her African American. “I’m just American,” she says. Mary and I have become great friends. I admire her grit and determination. The other thing she says is a mantra we both share:

    Living well is the best revenge!

    • Rakita says

      No, No, No! To not want to know is ignorant, because when you know you can educate others that loom like you! No one needs your white guilt, what is need is what the author stated the idea of acknowledging someone else’s reality when you vote for legislation, when you are in a grocery store, when you hire! It’s called becoming conscious! Additionally, there will never be “harmony” because people would rather remain ignorant, and live the best lives they can within their bubble and pretend there are no other realities being lived and that their reality is not at the expense of someone else pain! P.S. One story or experience with one Black person you know does not speak to a whole community because we are not homogeneous, open your ears, your eyes and mind and re read what is really being said because it ain’t about you, and you just made your whole response about you again #whiteguiltnotneeded

      • Shannon says

        You are part of the problem. Isn’t #whiteguilt what this entire piece is about? I’m supposed to feel bad about things I had no say in. Frankly, I had a hard time even interpreting your meaning because your bitterness was so overpowering.

        You write about voting on legislation, but legislation is rarely so cut and dried. You write about the grocery store, but give no idea about what one should do. You write about who we should hire, but you make no reference to qualifications. You’ve presented a bunch of “problems” with no solutions in sight.

        I asked a question in my original post. I wrote about my own experiences with prejudice. I explained why. I wrote about what I see and experience every day. And I shared a single story about a person I admire. It shouldn’t matter that she’s black; it should only matter that she’s succeeded.

        You want to keep blaming others for the choices you make? Fine. Just remember that your negative attitude will not help your cause. It only makes me question your true intentions.

    • says

      Shannon, loved your comment. I’m a white woman acquainted with a black man thru church. He is so consumed with his :”blackness” that it seems everything he sees, hears, and does is influenced by it. He’s like a crouching tiger, ready to attack because of his own problems with race. He judges me continually from that standpoint. Each person is an individual, we are all different. I look at him and cannot ignore the fact that he is black and a man. Does this make me any more racist than him seeing me as a white woman.

  29. Rakita says

    This is a very thoughtful peace! Yes, I believe all babies should be wanted no matter what but I also believe that love does not conquer all. If you get a beautiful Black baby or any baby of color and are NOT willing or able to truly SEE and step out of your privilege and make the hard decisions that will bring more comfort, understanding and wholeness to that child’s identity and what that baby will experience in society, then NO you should not have that baby of color! Identity is a very powerful concept, and one must love self and be honest with self before they can love anyone else! P.S. We do still need sit ins a boycotts!

  30. Norvell says

    Rev. Gibbs:

    Thank you for your in-site on this subject . . . . thank you you are a person that i could one day call a friend. Not for what you have experienced but just from your approach to the whole matter . . .

  31. says

    wow a lot of words here . I do not really know much about racism I am from Vermont and came south for work only later to discover I really came for the weather and would never go back North. I knew nothing about skin color making a person who they are. I did not even know that I was white all I knew was that I was me and if you where my friend than you where my friend very simply to me . Well the people around me began to educate me on skin color. I quit a job because the people where racist and I liked me and I would not change and turn like them. I became a foster parent for 17 years and the color of a child’s skin had no bearing on if I became their foster parent. I love children period. I ended up adopting two siblings and I have heard a lot of remarks but I was walking through a parking lot one day holding my son’s hand and a couple in a car stopped and said to us that this is beautiful to see. I did not know what to say so I just smiled. But that comment makes up for all the bad stuff said and I know I did what God expected us to do take care of each other , be nice and love one another. I love my children

    • says

      The uniqueness of your fingerprint is testament to the facet of the diamond of God’s creation YOU represent. Stay focused on that and leave the dumb stuff to Satan and those that listen and follow him. Cause he is already defeated at the cross. Dig-It?

  32. eserfeliz says

    I’m a black atheist who found this article via a friend on Facebook. I just wanted to say what a fantastic article this was, and I wish you continued success in the life of your adopted son and with people of color around you.

    Thank you, Rev.

  33. Annie H. says

    I think about how both racism and xenophobia have played a huge role in the survival of the human species. We are quick to forget that vaccines and antibiotics have only been in existence for a short time. Our fears towards others who are different from us, be it culturally, physically or through religion is part of what has helped the human race persist throughout the centuries. Today we have so much more understanding about bacterias, viruses and the role hygiene plays in our health. We have so many more resources available that allow us to travel around the world and meet other people from other lands. Our world population is the most educated ever in the history of mankind. Unfortunately our mindset has not changed as quickly. This thread has been mostly about black and white, but there are so many other types of prejudices out there in the wide, wide, world. Try not to think of yourself as black, white or any other skin color. Think of yourself as a human being instead.

    Thank you Rev. Gibbs for loving a child who needed to be loved.

  34. Dallas says

    Not sure I follow…you understand racism better because you had an experience where you thought racism might happen but you weren’t sure how to respond to it? But it didn’t end up happening, so you’re still not sure how you would respond, and because it sounds as though you still haven’t experienced it a year later, you’re still not sure. Not quite sure how that indicates that racism is still alive.

    I have three adopted black nieces and nephews, and in the several years we’ve had them in our family and have all been with them in public, hugging/kissing/etc., not ONCE has there been an incident of racism or even dirty looks. Kansas, Illinois, Colorado, Minnesota have been the primary locations…not even a hint of it. And the only negative comments that have ever even been implied have come from black people.

    I love your blog and I love your adoptive perspective (we’re also adoptive parents), but it seems to me we should avoid looking under rocks and around corners for problems.

    • says

      Dallas,
      I intentionally didn’t mention cases when it did happen because the point of the article is to say that the fear of something being said and done is a big part of the effect of institutional racism. No one should live in fear constantly.

      But the truth is that in the last 3 years, we’ve had about 10-12 times that something awful has been said to my wife. No one has ever said anything when I’m there. I’m a 260 lbs US Marine. They prefer to confront her.

      Interestingly, all of that happened when we live in a small town (65,000) people in southern Indiana. We’ve had no occurrences in Indianapolis where races are doing life together on a daily basis.

  35. Tom T says

    It happens the other way too. I’m white and live in a predominately black part of an American city. Most of my neighbors don’t seem to care or notice that I’m white but I’ve heard a fair amount of heckling/taunting and even was assaulted once just a few blocks from my building walking home (wasn’t robbed or anything, more of a ‘let’s get the white kid’ type of incident). I can’t help but feel less welcome in this community as a result of those experiences, even though I know the perpetrators represent a tiny minority of my neighbors.

    Not disagreeing with anything in the post, just pointing out that anyone can be the perpetrator or victim of racism.

  36. says

    I find it so amusing that how many ppl got mad at the first post..Goes to show how far the ignorance goes..It was statement made by a black person talking about other black ppl that are bringing the race down and making black folks look like clowns an many got offended. Well ya know what they say if the shoe fit then wear it!! I agree with every word he said cuz its ALL facts..An he didnt mention the white race because he wasnt talking about them he was speaking on Black Americans..This is the problem ppl dont like to be told the truth ,they like to walk around oblivious to the BS going on.Just look at the ignorance an how proud they are of it by just looking at WorldStar.com…I applause his comment, finally someone said what needed to be said, no instead of feeling in there must be a chance EVERYBODY get ALL defensive. Clean up ur acts and make positive changes!!

  37. Shaquana says

    I am beginning to volunteer at a children’s group home and ‘half-way’ house. It doesn’t matter to most children what skin color you are, they are happy to see a new face happy to help. These children have been through neglect, abuse, hunger and the last thing they need is discrimination. I don’t think they allow single parent adoptions but if they did, I’d be obliged because I can do all those things parents failed to do (they either did them by choice or force). I would like to know the Rev.’s opinion on a same sex adoption. Would you rather the child be in a loving home with Homosexual parents or with parents that abuse and neglect the child?

  38. dd says

    Lauren, it is so nice to read something from a lady who wears a sheet on a daily basis who obviously doesn’t know she is the epitome of racism.

  39. says

    Moron. Interesting word.

    Republicans ARE pushing vote suppression legislation in many states where, after failing to adopt policies that would swing poor and working minorities to their party, they hope to keep these traditionally Democratic voters from participating in electoral politics and as a result law making. Voter ID and limiting the number, hours of operation, and location of polling places are clear and documented positions Republicans have taken up as policy and legislative goals. Fairly indisputable. http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/politics/2014/03/republican_voter_suppression_rationales_why_voter_integrity_is_nonsense.html

    Additionally, EVERYONE in this country not only receives handouts, but benefits from them as well. We all share in the work and prosperity from our fellow citizens, it is only the poor who are expected to “help themselves.” Did you grow your own food, make you own clothes, drive in a car you built, on a road you paved to a job you invented, funded by a bank you founded on money you printed, protected by a legal system you created, enforced by a justice system you police? My, you must be busy. How in the world do you do it? (Hint: you don’t.)

    The dirty secret is that the more money you make in this nation, the more you depend on your fellow citizens for your livelihood, that is an irrefutable fact. There is no such thing as a self-made man. Simple as that.

    These are the hidden bigotries that people deny exist that add weight to some peoples’ lives while allowing others to sail on unencumbered.

    Like I said, interesting choice of words.

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  1. […] then you may not be paying attention. Maybe you need your eyes opened like Rev. Gibbs and his family, who had adopted a black son. Suddenly this university chaplain was confronted with the dreaded what-if […]