Saturday, April 28, 2012

I Know That All White People Aren't Racist - Far Too Many Just Think They Aren't Though

Follow up from yesterday.

It never ceases to amaze me that when I say "white people do so and so" that someone, particuarly white people but not always, admonishes me not to generalize.

But what I know and that they don't is that I can count on both hands and have fingers left over the number of white people that my "generalizations" don't apply to. Even so, that makes them technically right. It's not all white people who act like this. But as I told my friend yesterday, there are too many Rush's and not enough Jennifer's. Too many Hannity's, not enough Tom's. Too many Coulter's, not enough Lirie's or Jason's or Mickey's or Nina's or Sue's or .....funny how out of all the truly non-racist white people I know, two of them are named Jennifer and two of them are named Tom and one of the Tom's is dead. Oh and Mickey is dead too. Damn.

Just as I knew he would, my co-worker was not be able to resist asking me "why" I was upset as if he really needed to ask. But it's not enough for him, or any of the white people I've ever dealt with in situations like this to know that they've done something that offends, cuts, slights, hurts, offends.

No. It's not enough to say, "I see that I hurt you and I'm sorry."

No. They must drag me through the indignity of explaining exactly what they did and why it hurt and how it hurt. Then they must inevitably tell my what they did was justified. And then and only then, if I'm lucky, will I get an apology. Usually insincere, sometimes not, but usually some backhanded sort of thing like, "I'm sorry if you were offended," as though my being offended is the issue, not their ignorance and evil.

So the first time he asked me I just laughed and walked away. He was just so determined to make me do the work for him and that I refused to do.

"Is something the matter? What's wrong".

Mind you, the fact that I was upset was obvious. The fact that he turned down the radio meant he already KNEW what was wrong, but yet, he had to play the game. He had to make me explain it.

I laughed ruefully and walked away shaking my head. I simply do not have the time or patience for bullshit like this.

Besides, I knew he would ask again. Because it is never enough for white people to just simply fix the mistake and never do it again. No. They must ask. I must prove my hurt and expose it and justify.

I must do the work for them. Usually for no gain.

And he did ask again. "What's the matter? You're not acting the same as usual? Is it something to do with me?"


My response: "I really don't want to discuss this. I've had a long week and I'd rather just let it lie."

His response: "That's not fair."

Fair? Did he really just use the word "fair"? Is he fucking serious?

"I have work to do." And I turned back to my work and he walked away.

But later as I was leaving, he tried one last time. He really just couldn't leave this the hell alone. Now at this point, I know what you're thinking. This guy is doing everything he can and taking every opportunity to make this up to me. To discuss this openly and honestly.

And I'm telling you. No he's not.

What he's doing is asking for my approval. He wants me to give him the official black person seal of approval that he's "Not A Racist". It's not enough to prove that I was offened. It's not enough that I have to explain it to him. But he needs me to say, "It's ok. You're still a good guy."

Which is a level of trust and exhonoration I'm just not willing to give. He can get it elsewhere. He can figure it out for himself. But I not going to be, simply refuse to be the "One Black Person Who Said He's Not a Racist."

And so he stops me on my way out the door and he's insistent on my telling him "what's wrong?"

So I sigh a sigh that's the the tired sigh of black people explaining shit like this through millenia and let him have it.

"OK. Since you really want to make me go through this, since you really can't just let it go, I'll tell you: It's bad enough that they listen to this racist ass bullshit in another part of the building all day long. But I don't have to work there. I do have to work here and I don't appreciate it, I do find it offensive and what's worse, I find it offensive that I should even have to explain this to you."

"I just listen to it for the politics."

"You don't have to explain yourself to me. And I shouldn't have to explain myself to you. I shouldn't have to explain any of this. I shouldn't have to tell you this. You knew I was upset and you knew why, but that wasn't good enough. You figured you could just turn the volume down. Well turning the volume down on racist bullshit isn't good enough."

"I didn't mean to offend you. I like you and I would never do anything that I thought would hurt you. I apologize."

"Good. Let's consider it dropped." And I left.

I have to admit, the apology was a good start and he did it well when he finally got around to it. No whining, no explanation, no more trying to justify, just an apology.


But the making me explain it when he already knew what was wrong was childish.

If you've stepped on my foot, I don't have to tell you that you did. Just say you're sorry and move on.

And when you step on someone's heart and soul with racism, as you inevitably will, just say you're sorry and move on.

Good lord I'm tired of shit like this.

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