Serious Skirts: Racism

Comments (8)

I just finished watching Crash, which left me with quiet tears streaming down my face. For whatever reason, racism has always been a really hard thing for me to deal with. It's so hurtful and pointless; it always feels like we should be past this point by now. In fact, how did we even get to this point in the first place?

I became friends with a girl my first year at college who had been raised in a small town in Texas. There were very few black people in her town, and they all lived together in what was almost a separate community from the whites. The wall still stood in the forest outside the city limits from which blacks had been hung during the Civil War period. I still somehow assumed that she had, like everyone I had met thus far in life, not been affected by this history.

She was very conservative and had never really approved of all the time I spent with my Clubber boys on their dorm floor. But it wasn't until I started hanging out with a black guy that she really became vocal about her feelings. She quoted to me a passage from Scripture one night:

Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?
2 Corinthians 6:14

She paraphrased, though, and told me that it wasn't right to be "unequally yoked" with a person of a different race.

I blinked.

It was very hard for me to keep from yelling at her in that moment, but I'm very glad I didn't. We eventually came to an agreement that the verse was not in support of racism. Sadly, that did very little to lessen her concern for me.

Eventually, I could no longer stand to be mature about the issue, so I came crying to her one day. I told her that I was pregnant and that my black friend was the father. I confirmed every single one of her fears before telling her I was lying. I walked out of the room and effectively walked out on the friendship. I will never forget the look on her face.

Before that experience, however, I had never encountered racism to that degree. My friends and I would exchange jokes about our various races, but they were never harmful or serious. In fact, it became tradition for me to "white-ify" the sayings of my best friend, Silky, all throughout high school. He came to school one morning telling everyone, "Slow yo' roll." I walked into school the following morning and told him, "Decelerate your biscuit." (Shut up. It took me a whole twenty-four hours to think that one up.)

But when faced with the harsh reality of how cruel people can be, I just don't know what to do other than cry. How are we not past this, world? Let's try being nice to one another, for a change.

Jenn

Jenn

Crash was a phenomenal movie.

Thursday's Child

Thursday's Child

Racism is a millenniums old tradition. We likely won't ever really be over it, sadly.

Tez

Tez

Plenty of decent people are already "past" racism, but I agree with Thursday's Child, it ain't ever going away. It's like there's something in our genes that make us afraid of things that are different. I grew up in a community much like your friend's (all white, not racist, though I'd bet many people in the town were) and I had a hard time moving to the city and adjusting to all the different kinds of people. It was simply the fact that I had spent 95% of my life with zero exposure to other races and I wasn't used to it, and I get angry any time I see anybody of any race (white people included) personifying a stereotype, because it really doesn't help things.

I'd say a good 75% of the black people I have met/known have fit the stereotype perfectly- ballin' "gangsters" with ridiculously poor grammar that listen to rap music about popping caps and slapping hoes. Considering the area I came from, this makes it so difficult to adjust, even though I know many many black people are not like this and have known some.

The whole thing just irritates me, really. As you can see.

Crash came off as too preachy to me. Great message, but I felt like the filmmaker didn't need to rub it in the audience's face as much. Though I suppose for really stupid, racist people, they need it pounded through their skulls, so I don't hold it against the movie.

seven

seven

Wow... I can't believe that chick thought that's what the verse was about. It's crazy how far we can come, and yet still be so backward.

Nat

Nat

Ha ha ha, "Decelerate your biscuit.". That is pure gold!! That was worth 24 hours of thinking. I still wouldn't come up with that.

Eric

Eric

When confronted with that sort of illogic I just shake my head until my cheeks do the Lewis Black thing.

Larissa

Larissa

I am in a cross-racial marriage (white dude + Chinese gal), and have thankfully never come across that sort of thinking (yet).

golfwidow

golfwidow

We can never have peace on earth, because, speaking for myself, I don't like about 25% of the people I come in contact with on a daily basis. Just in general, that is. I don't base my dislike on skin tone or belief systems when I can hate people based on their bad driving skills or poor delivery of customer service.