Monday, January 18, 2010


Sometimes I wonder if I'm racist. But most of the time I'm pretty sure I am. I just don't think that I can help but treat people different depending on their race or religion. Hopefully someday I'll be able to treat everyone the same, independent of race. But is that the point? We always hear that we aren't supposed to ignore race, just not to discriminate because of it. I think I'm a very respectful person, and am fairly courteous to everyone I meet. But is that enough. Whenever I read books like Malcolm X or Orientalism I realize that not being racist means fighting back against racism, being proactive. It also means being aware that there is racism to be proactive against.

Of course I know that blacks face racism and I've seen plenty of racism against Latinos. But because of my area of study, I've become acutely aware of the racism against Arabs. The example that always sticks out in my mind was during the last presidential campaign when John Mccain responded to someone in the crowd at one of his rallies who accused Barrack Obama of being a Muslim by saying, "No, he's a good American and a good family man," or something close to that. Since when did those these become incompatible with being a Muslim? I do realize of course, that not all Arabs are Muslims, but enough are that when you stereotype Muslims you stereotype the entire middle east. I also realize that John Mccain is not an exceptionally racist person. But the fact that such a comment could come up in a presidential campaign and no one in the media really said anything about it shows how accepted this racism is.

So I've committed to myself to look out for ways in which I can combat racism (like blogging about it) and look to eliminate any traces of racism in my own life. What do you all think are good ways of doing this?


  1. Maybe you (or Caitlin) have already seen this, but there was a good post today at Feminist Mormon Housewives that has the simple idea of making race a less stigmatized topic and making sure to clearly teach children what race is and is not.

  2. Wish I could figure it out. As the super-white but Hispanic daughter of a Lebanese man I am frequently a witness of racial slurs and so far all I can do is chant inside my head.... focus on the calm.... when I get over my temper I might be able to dispel some misconceptions.

  3. Thank you dearly for bringing this up. It takes a lot of courage to publicly say that even though wetryto be equal to all, race myths and inequality are present still.