Monday, April 2, 2012

I Think I Might Be Racist...

by Tobias Hustleman orig. posted 1/12/09

Since everyone is kicking off the new year Cero-Nueve with an article I thought I would do some soul searching and found out I was racist.

Or am I?

CNN posted an article under the line “You May Be More Racist Than You Think, Study Says,” by Elizabeth Landau, and she reports on a study where, essentially, people say they are not racist but do not react when they witness a racist gesture. Once you read the story you’ll catch the gist of where I am going to go.

It got me to thinking…”Am I racist?” My first thought was, “No, I can’t be. I am surrounded by people of all races, religions, sexual preferences and creeds. I am not racist or prejudiced.” As I go deeper, there are some other thoughts recalled which lead me to believe I may be no better than Shay Whitey.

Recollection #1

While pushing my shopping cart full of Honey Nut Cheerios, bananas, Totinos Pizzas, a diminutive Asian females gets into her new 2009 Yukon and proceeds to motor by. An immediate chill runs down my spine at the thought of seeing her speed down the road in a vehicle that was clearly not meant for people who were under 5″5″, female, and Asian. I live in California so I was close to grouping Pacific Islanders, Indians, and probably Northern Africans into that comment. Now, it seems I am not only racist but apparently chauvinist. In my defense though, the aforementioned Asian lady did almost clip your boy, but it had nothing to do with her race or stature. She appeared to be a bit preoccupied with her phone call. Hey, get a bluetooth and I won’t need to get racist.

Recollection #2

I am cruising on the I-15 north and an ashy blue Ford Escort violating the smog code is applying serious pressure in the rear view (nullus). Well, as I am trying to get out of the way, I have to pull my best “Dukes of Hazzard” manuever to avoid an accident. As the driver moves past me, I don’t even get an “I’m Sorry” gesture. The Baja California tags tell the story. Not only did I almost get taken out but the guy wouldn’t have had insurance anyway.

Damn…I am racist. In scenario one, this isn’t something I’ve known all my life. My parents didn’t raise me to fear the Asian Danica Patricks of the world. Sometimes, it’s a thought someone puts in your head and one day without even thinking about it, you’ve lumped an entire group of people into one bad stereotype. One would think that as a Black person in America (a Shay Lighty too but that is another story) that I’d be a little more tolerant and understanding. Nope…my knees tremble at the sight of the Korean lady in the Excursion. It could be that this is not racism…but it’s still not right. It’s slightly ignorant.

In scenario two, someone told me to watch out for Baja tags when I got to San Diego because an accident with those meant your insurance had to be in order. There could be a DMV study that has tracked the number of uninsured Mexicans involved in accidents but I don’t think I can stereotype Mexicans that way.

These are two really goofy scenarios, but if I am doing it on this level, how do I know I am not doing it to other groups of people in inappropriate settings like say on the job? If they were to do it to me, I know I’d be ready to mic check someoene.

If you do read the article, it provides a link to the “Implicit Association Test“. I took the “Race IAT” hoping to find out that I wasn’t racist at least towards white people. Hey, I need to start somewhere, I guess. Just a hint before you take the test, do it when you are alert. I did the test just before typing my article (at almost 2 AM). I thought the test would reveal that my self-perceived favoritism towards Black people is just an outpouring of racial pride. I posted my results below:

Your Result
Your data suggest little to no automatic preference between European American and African American.

I don’t even know how to take that. Either I am not biased when it comes to black and white people, or I am not as partial to Black people as I thought I was. Of course……it is late……..I am probably just delirious.

Hopefully, someone gets to take the test and let’s me know how they did. It’s a pretty crazy test.


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