Being too black

Knowledge is power only if it used. One of the biggest problems I have with formal education is that, it is almost set up to make you pass tests rather than to actually learn something. After reading blink, I saw an additional purpose for gathering information and it is that if it is part of your true knowledge your unconscious can tap into it. I have seen this while practicing martial arts, eventually after repetition things become reflexes and you do not even consciously realize that you are doing them. However I believe that this can also be applied in different areas, and one of them is racism. What if we could literally steer history in a different way by refusing to accept the negative imagery that is presented to us in a regular basis?

Being exposed to ideas that are antiquated can lead us to steer our brain in the wrong direction unconsciously. Just yesterday the amount of negative comments that where given in TKC’s little satire blog made me see how race is the first thing someone will go to while creating an attack specially if they are anonymous. While most of us could try to consider ourselves not racist, a movie like crash show us that it is actually a lot more complex of a problem than just saying you have a black friend.

I will recount one of the saddest moments in my life when it came to race, and it did not even happen to me directly. You would think I would think the worse race moment in my life was when a white woman in a store grabbed her purse a lot tighter because one of my black friends and I walked in. Before I read blink I thought of it as just a race moment, never as a reflex. But we won’t get into that, the moment I want to talk about was actually when one of my good black friends told me that she did not apply for a job because the black receptionist at the company she was about to interview told her that she was too dark skinned to get a position at that place. I first told her that it was illegal for her to say that, but if you would have seen the shame in the face of my friend when she was thinking of this moment you would have almost been brought to tears. Not only are you being discriminated against for being black, you are also discriminated by how black your skin is by someone from your own race. That made me feel so sick to my stomach I almost puked.

In only an instance someone can crush someone else’s dreams simply because of the snap judgment made by looking at the way someone looked instead of giving them an opportunity to prove if they were a value to the company or not. Actually, she did not even get the chance to interview because someone that was supposed to be on her “side” stop her dead on her tracks. Sad part is that even if my friend had ignored that person and gotten the job, it would have been a burden for her work with a person that thought less of her because she was darker.

I recently was told that South Americans were conceited and cliquey. Just like people talk about American’s sometimes with their blanket statements. While most of it can be attributed to ignorance and lack of vocabulary to express whatever frustration they have, it is also due to the things we allow our brain to consume. Just like junk food, negative imagery and ideas corrupt our capability to look beyond these superficial things and see what it is really inside.

It also happens in the dating scene quite a bit. While I totally believe that physical attraction has a lot to do with chemicals, I believe our environment plays a huge role. Even if we have someone that we totally click with in many levels, the pressure of our peers can sometimes make it impossible for us to date someone that does not meet a certain standard. I refuse to agree with this way of thinking, but I do see it happen all the time. I remember losing a friend because I was too fat, and I thought wow it most have been pretty horrible for him to hang out with me for so long and actually feel that uncomfortable being around me.

I have a different attitude towards people that are superficial enough not to give others even a chance. I actually feel bad for someone that put themselves above others by measuring things like color or country of origin. I feel that they are missing out on actually having a fuller life by closing the door to the opportunity to be around people that might enrich their experience on this earth. I truly feel it is their loss and not mine.

7 Responses to Being too black

  1. Before you read Blink, eh?

  2. Try applying for a job as a white male and getting the EOE letter in the mail for you to fill out. The first thing that always goes thru my mind is that I don’t qualify because I am too white and it would screw up their percentages. I know that you don’t legally have to answer those, but I also wonder how that affects decision hiring?

  3. Honestly, I think that being white only affects your chances on getting jobs that are saturated by other minorities. For example, if you tried to work for a hotel cleaning crew or the kitchen in a restaurant that will hurt you… everywhere else I think is almost unreasonable to think that you being white affects your prospects in any way.
    Burro,
    get over it… most of this post was going to be part of my blink post, but I separated it… read the book and see that it is not a cult manifesto as you try to make it out to be.

  4. Wow. What a great post.

  5. Nicely stated, without all the hoopla that usually goes along with such a topic at TKC. I find the concept that a lot of the racism we still see to be a cultural reflex rather than a conscious decision to be interesting.

    On the other hand, I do not want to let people of the hook that easy. People can alter their mental reflexes, and many have.

    As for the sizeism you brought up near the end, I can relate to that in a way that I cannot to the racism portion. But the only friends (or girlfriends) I have lost from being fat have all been because of my low self esteem. But like I posted the other day I am trying to change those reflexes as well (thanks for the offer of help!)

  6. I’m curious logtar, what are your thoughts on statistical discrimination? Some of what you call racism can be more properly classified under statistical discrimination.

  7. This is an interesting post. You should submit it at yearblook.com/submit. Yearblook is a competition to find each day’s best blog posts. At the end of the year, the 365 best posts (1 from each day) will be published in a book (a real, printed book, you will find it on Amzon).

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