A lot of people (95%?) are coming out, and rightly so, against LA Clippers (now banned for lifetime) owner Donald Sterling and his private (now made public) comments to his mistress about her not hanging out with and then posting images of her with black people on Instagram.
He says that his other rich friends don’t approve of that and in an effort to keep up with his peers he prefers her not post it on Instagram and make him look bad in front of his rich old white friends. (all of that is my interpretation)
That is ridiculous, yes, but is it worth the outrage we are seeing? I mean let’s reflect a moment. Blacks are racist, whites are racist, Asians, Latinos, euros, we all are racist, to an extent. Maybe not to the 1960s eras of burning people who don’t look like me, or Hitler or apartheid, but we are still racists, just a “civil” form of racism where we won’t say stuff in front of others of that race, but will make sly jokes or do other things.
Since I’m white, let me give you 10 little insights into “civil” white racism.
1) We drive out of our way to avoid certain “black” neighborhoods- and we blame it on crime.
2) We take our kids and put them in private schools so they don’t have to be around poor black kids with jacked up family situations
3) We tell jokes about other races, laugh it off as if it’s no big deal
4) We don’t want to vote for a candidate who is black
5) We donate to organizations but never will get our hands dirty by going to help them
6) We eventually decide to go to run down neighborhoods and spend a couple hours cleaning it up so we can feel good about ourselves and that we aren’t like them, then post it on FB and let everyone see how we are not racist because we went and did these things
7) We move into areas that have more people who look like us
8) We try really hard to keep our home values up as not to attract “those people”
9) When too many people who don’t look like us start moving in we eventually give up and put our house up for sale so we can get out
10) We have the audacity to use our children not having a good upbringing if we stay there, as the reason for our racism, thus propelling the racism from generation to generation
That’s only 10 ways (of many more) that I personally have seen whites be racist. And let me add this too, I am guilty. I participate in those 10 ways at times. I am a recovering “civil” racist.
Odd are, you are too. And while this is awful, we can (must?) coexist. We can recognize our desire to hang with our same race and do things together. Why? Because we live in a world where wrong will always be the chosen & preferred thing. However, we also can recognize our need for spending time with other ethnicities.
Being a follower of Jesus, I recognize my bad heart and propensity for racism and look to the only good one, Jesus, to change me. It’s a process that I believe won’t be fully realized until I leave this body of flesh on earth and enter a glorified & perfected (free of racism) body with Christ.
What Donald Sterling said is wrong. It’s awful. But let’s not use it as our crutch to “shame racism” when I could spend a week with you and see hidden racism in your own life.
What Donald Sterling & his wife did in 2003, to keep black families from owning homes close to his white rich neighborhood is much more damning than what he said to his mistress behind closed doors.
Bomani Jones said it better than I could here, you should listen. It’s 11 minutes. Then once you’ve listened, reflect on your own life & call out the racism. Deal with it. Let’s get honest with each other. I have a lot of friends of other ethnicities, I love them. But I also have racist tendencies because I am human. It’s not right. I’m not perfect and I don’t expect to be and I don’t expect you to be either. That’s the beauty of grace- being given something you don’t deserve. We are flawed individuals, living with each other on this vast planet called Earth.
Racism still exists. It will never be eradicated. Learning to love people and embrace their differences, though, will go a long way in addressing this perpetual generational “civil” racism.