The comments on your article! Just wow. It is crazy how when white people speak honestly (and openly) about race, OTHER white people absolutely LOSE IT.
Yes, your father is racist. Yes almost all Americans are racist. There is nothing particularly ground breaking (or offensive) in anything that you have written here. No this piece isn’t some great betrayal of your father…it is an accurate and honest depiction of a typical racist white American man, and his slightly less racist son’s observations about it.
No one should be particularly shocked by anything revealed here. It’s all very typical stuff.
But the white readers who are commenting seem to hold so much shame and conflicted emotions. They hold shame about this man., and the writer of the article. There is also a deep identification with “white privilege” that causes them to want to justify the father’s actions and label them “not racist” because the label “racist” apparently causes extreme psychological discomfort.
Why is this?
The man is quite racist. And this is quite typical. He is a product of his environment, as his son pointed out. His son provides a really accurate depiction of the man and his racism. The man is not particularly good or bad, he’s pretty typical — and yet, the white commenters harbor so much shame, probably because they are equally racist, and are threatened by honest discussions about racism.
But if you have to lie about and hide from who you think you are, isn’t that a red flag that something is terribly wrong?
No one who has experienced racism is fooled, when a racist individual insists they are not racist because they want to avoid the stigma of the label, but don’t want to be any less racist. Something has to give. If your racism shames you, stop being so racist! Stop doing these metal gymnastics where you try to call very racist behavior not racist. You are lying, mainly to yourselves. It is not healthy.
Why such a desire to silence and shame the writer of the article? The writer of the article should be applauded for attempting to have a real conversations about race…which is something that absolutely terrifies most white people in America, as well as most blacks. Why so much fear and just abject terror around real conversations about race?
The responses to this article prove that point.