In an age in which our very own POTUS is suspected of having not so closeted racial views, it just may be time to have a serious (-ly sarcastic) conversation on the topic of racism. To be clear, for the purpose of beginning on common ground, racism is defined as any act or behavior intended to contribute to the systemic oppression of another race. Furthermore, on the whole, the subject of racism is considered more taboo than discussing the vast array of negative results of racist ideology. For instance, we can discuss the death of Trayvon Martin until the cows come home (and some of us certainly will) but to discuss the system that essentially put a teen on trial for their own murder and subsequently freed the man who killed him in cold blood? Well, that would be taking it a bit too far…
Either way, you’d have to literally be living under a rock to truly deny that racism is a huge issue in our society. In addition to matters such as the use of excessive force on young Black males, we could also argue that one of the most beloved presidents of our nation (Barrack Obama) was constantly berated by other politicians for his supposed “lack of experience”, yet, a man who literally had no political experience (Trump) managed to run and win an entire campaign while having this blatant fact hardly mentioned at all. At any rate, racial tensions in this country seem to be at their boiling point. Are you a part of the problem? The following is an overview of 8 signs you’re a closet racist as well as 7 that you may truly be colorblind.
8. Racist: You “Have Black Friends”
OK, so let’s get this one out of the way. To be clear, it is not the fact that you have Black friends that makes you racist, it’s the fact that when you do or say something that others interpret as racist, you lean on your affiliations with Black people to undermine your racial issues. In other words, people don’t typically go around just calling other people racist for no reason. Typically, you have done or said something that makes others raise their eyebrows with regards to your stance on race. Furthermore, rather than owning up to that fact, you simply sweep it under the rug by asserting that talking to or hanging out with Black people is a noble enough deed to counteract your racist rhetoric. It isn’t. Largely due to the fact that we’ve heard these same words uttered over and over by people who were clearly racist. And uttering those words will put you on the racist radar of every Black and/or Brown person within earshot. You’ve been warned…
7. Racist: You Failed The Implicit Association Test (IAT)
In addition to that, the Implicit Association Test is a test that was formulated by Harvard in order to gauge one’s biases towards race, gender, skin tone, and much more. Although every test undoubtedly leaves a margin for error, failing the racial section of the IAT is a pretty good indication that you likely have racist tendencies. A test that literally tracks whether you assert your own race over others or have innately negative feelings towards others based on race, failing the IAT should not be swept under the rug, and should honestly be your first step to racist recovery. Nevertheless, the implications of the results of the test have shown that the average person, regardless of race, holds some sort of racial bias towards non-Whites, non-heterosexuals, and women, amongst other groups. Oddly, it seems that many have internalized stereotypical, racist rhetoric in that, for instance, some Indian test takers were determined to hold a bias against Asians. Either way, if you have failed this test, you likely have some deep-seated racial issues that need to be worked on.
6. Racist: You Deny Systemic Racism Despite The Blatant History
Another excellent indication of closet racism is the denial of racism in general. For instance, if you tend to assume that other communities are unable to find suitable employment due to the lack of skill or that, say, slavery was actually a godsend for African-Americans, then odds are, you’re racist. The biggest reason why these racist ideologies persist is because people refuse to stop entertaining them. To undermine a brutal chapter of an entire people’s history; a chapter which is arguably still playing out to this day, is not just callous, it’s racist. Given that we have evolved to a place in which people readily protect places such as Sea World and even the average zoo, why is it so far-fetched to expect at least a small bit of compassion for a people who were kidnapped and forced into slavery for almost 250 years. Especially since many of the businesses and families who profited maintain their ill-gotten fortunes to this very day. Either way, the narrative is infuriating if put properly into context. If you found yourself sympathizing with the Na’vi tribe, but also find yourself telling Black people who complain about racism to “go back to Africa”, you are definitely racist.
5. Racist: You Add A “the” When Referring To Other Races (i.e. “The Blacks”)
In addition to that, another top way to tell you might be racist is that you feel the need to add in a “the” when referring to other races. For instance, Donald Trump ran an entire campaign in which he did this. “The Blacks. The Mexicans” and even “The Whites” were phrases commonly used by our newly inaugurated POTUS. How is this significant? It basically asserts that you think of people by race, above all else. Furthermore, it also shows that you are comfortable grouping and judging people based on the race or ethnicity they belong to. To bring it back to Trump, the rhetoric is typically more along the lines of making sweeping generalizations of others while asserting that your race is somehow different or superior. For instance, we all remember the terrible things Trump said about “The Mexicans”, however, when mentioning “The Whites”, his comments are more along the lines of the fact that, “The Whites don’t get any nominations for the BET Awards”. Yes, he really said this…
4. Racist: You Have Racist Friends
Moreover, another tell-tale sign that you’re a closet racist is that all (or most) of your close friends are racist. Sure, we can all argue that we are not responsible for the actions or beliefs of those around us. However, we very rarely land in a group of people who possess a common trait that does not resonate with who we are as people. In other words, if you’re married and hang out with a bunch of cheaters, this is likely because you have cheated or plan to cheat in the future. Similarly, if you hang out with a group of feminists who do nothing but talk about the oppression of women, at least part of you is a feminist. Therefore, if you hang out with people who drop the “N-bomb” frequently, think all Mexicans are illegal, that Muslims are terrorists, etc. part of you believes this stuff too. This is not to say there are no exceptions, but if this is happening around you and you don’t even bat an eyelash, it’s because you are OK with it. When you know better, you do better. If you hang out with people who constantly do and say racist things and it never bothers you, relax. It’s only because you’re racist.
3. Racist: You’re A Trump Supporter
Now hold on, people. Before you jump down my throat, I am not saying that everyone who voted for Donald Trump is a racist. However, in the words of well-known comedian, Charlie Murphy, “Not all Trump supporters are racist… but all racists are Trump supporters”. One of the most divisive presidents to ever win an election, one of the main attractions of Trump’s campaign was his blatantly racist rhetoric. Although there may be some who did not delight in his constant berating of other races, it can still be argued that these people felt a little racism was a small price to pay in exchange for the many benefits of hopping on the Trump train. However, if you are OK with turning a blind eye to building a massive wall to keep an entire race of people out of this country or are perfectly OK with the possibility of all Muslims being deported as long as you see growth within the financial sector, you are the very definition of a racist.
2. Racist: You Cried Over Harambe, But Not Trayvon
Now, can we please talk about the whole Harambe thing? As a lover of all living things, I certainly agree that what happened to Harambe was very sad and tragic. However, what was the alternative? Although the beast did not intend to hurt the child, he was flinging that little boy all over his habitat like a rag-doll. If that were my child, or anyone’s child for that matter, I would want to see the child make it home safely at all costs. So, why is it that so many people and even parents actually seemed upset that the boy lived and the monkey died? Is it because he was Black? I know, we’re not supposed to ask these types of questions, but that’s exactly what I’m doing. Think about it, if the boy was White, or another race, would you have insinuated that the boy should’ve been left to fend for himself? If not, and you were very vocal about the fact that you believe Harambe should still be alive, then you are certainly on the more racist side of the fence. Luckily, that’s also typically the Harambe-free zone. Moreover, if you also took the stance that “being too threatening” is the reason for Trayvon’s demise, then you can clearly see where this line of thinking falls into the realm of hypocritical… or can you?
1. Racist: You Secretly Pray Your Grandkids Are Not Biracial
Lastly, there’s nothing wrong with wanting your grandkids to look more like your side of the family. However, if you’re fixated on what race/complexion they will be, you just might be racist. Yes, it is true that many do not promote interracial dating due to the fact that we live in a world that can be difficult under such circumstances. Nevertheless, if your sole concern is that your grandchildren aren’t mixed, you are likely a racist. People tend to fixate on the things that are most internally conflicting. Rather than worrying about the mental health of parent of your grandchild or that they are loving and kind, taking the time to assert that your grandkids must be 100% say, Asian or Caucasian, is a good indication that you’re just a racist. This line of thinking essentially insinuates that being mixed with another race is worse than being genetically prone to schizophrenia…
7. Colorblind: You Voted For Barrack Because You Believed n Change
On the flip side, let’s look at the notion of being colorblind. Although I don’t mean it literally, I am referring to those who truly don’t use race as the determining factor for their decision making. For instance, if you voted for Barrack, not because he was Black, but because you believed in change, you just might be colorblind. To be clear, this is not to say those who voted for a Black POTUS as a means of changing the status quo are racist. Rather, it shows that those who may have rationalized that “the Blacks deserve a shot” and believe that this somehow means they have moved beyond their racism, are disillusion at best. In short, if you are not Black (or Brown) and had no trouble looking past Barrack’s skin color to hear his message and opted to vote for him based on these facts alone, you just might be colorblind.
6. Colorblind: You Acknowledge That Systemic Racism Is An Issue
Moreover, another great indication that you might be colorblind is that you acknowledge systemic racism as an issue affecting not only the communities of minorities, but the world at large. For instance, as opposed to asking for the specifics of the Trayvon Martin case before deciding whether he was deserving of tragic fate, you likely just expressed your sympathy that a family lost a child and acknowledged that this would likely not have happened in the same manner, had the child been White. Although many do not seem to get the power in taking such a stance, those who do not feel the need to try and vilify Black and Brown children as a means of justifying their treatment in society certainly fall under the category of “colorblind”.
5. Colorblind: You Don’t Use Racial Terms To Describe Others
Well, we have already discussed the racist origins of the use of such jargon as “The Blacks”. Now, let’s look at the psyche of the person who never says such things. On the whole, you will find that it is extremely rare for a racist person to not immediately bring up the race of others. For instance, there is no way for a racist to mention the Obama family without also segueing into some racist rant about “The Blacks”. On the flip side, a colorblind person will typically not mention race unless it is relevant. For example, you may have several friends or associates of other races whom your inner circle just assumes are the same race as you because you never brought it up. This would be because your inner circle is always thinking in terms of race, whereas you are not fixated on such things to the point where you don’t even think to mention someone’s race unless asked specifically, and even then, you may be a bit taken aback by the fact that someone even took the time to ask such a question.
4. Colorblind: You’re Disgusted With Where The US Is Headed
In addition to that, if you are uncomfortable with the heightened level of public racist rants and other displays, you may be colorblind. Unfortunately, a fool can see that the rhetoric being used during things such as campaign speeches leaves profound and lasting effects on supporters. Therefore, it is no coincidence that just as the nation decided to elect Trump, there is also an influx of those who are bold enough to step into public arenas with words and messages that are blatantly racist. No matter if you have experienced this firsthand or not, this should concern us all. If America is to ever truly live up to being the “melting pot” it is portrayed to be, people have to be able to coexist, regardless of race. If you are more concerned with America coming together than you are at trying to assert the dominance of one race over another, you just might be colorblind.
3. Colorblind: You Have Actual Black Friends
No quotations needed for this one, your quote unquote Black friends are actually real! You hang out with them, laugh and cry with them, bond with them, grow with them, and never feel the need to use them as an excuse to undermine others or be racist in any way. You never let your friends or family make racist remarks and in fact, you have likely gotten into arguments and confrontations for letting others know that you do not tolerate such things. You also never make your friends of other races feel bad or awkward for discussing racial issues, and instead, allow them to speak freely about how they feel and how they are being affected. Moreover, you don’t treat your friends any differently depending on what race they are. You may not go to every single gathering you’re invited to, but you are just as comfortable at an all-Black event as you are at an all-White one.
2. Colorblind: You Have A Unified, Multi-Racial, Integrated Family
Being a part of an interracial family is a step in the right direction. But, to be clear, even slave-masters had Black people in their families, so, that fact in and of itself does not mean you aren’t a racist. However, if you are a part of a unified, interracial family, then this is a great sign. For instance, in a unified interracial family, diversity is not only accepted, but it’s celebrated. This means, rather than trying to base everything on the commonalities amongst you, you are more focused on embracing, and even promoting the differences. You may have a family member that is much lighter or darker than you, but this is never the focus of your interactions. In a unified interracial family, racial issues are still discussed, but they are discussed in the context of being forward-thinking and figuring out the best way not to let this over-judgmental, racist society negatively affect your family.
1. Colorblind: You Aren’t Afraid Of A “Black (Or Brown) America”
Lastly, you don’t see the empowerment message in “Birth of a Nation” as a threat. Although it is hardly ever discussed, many racist people fear that the tables will turn and what they did to others, will one day be done to them. Especially in the case in which they have taken an active role in this racist regime (i.e. employers who discriminate based on race, those who participate in the orchestration of scandals such as the Flint water crisis, etc.), there is often quite a bit of motivation to help maintain the status quo. This is the reason why they are so callous in regards to Black and Brown people; it is simply that they believe that if the roles were reversed, the same would be done to them. However, those who are colorblind do not think in this manner. They fully realize that things need to change in society and that those who are clinging to antiquated racist ideologies are slowly being phased out of society. Although revolution is messy, a colorblind person does not feel innately threatened by the notion of others receiving equal opportunities and treatment as them.