Do I Think that I am Racist?

Yes.

I grew up in a majority-white part of Indiana. Which is to say: I didn’t grow up in Gary. My best friend growing up was black, actually, and it never occurred to me that “black people” — as I’d sometimes hear people say — was a group that included him in any way. He wasn’t “like them.”

He was, and he is; but we were… I don’t know. 6?

I don’t know if youth is a defense. I was six years old, and racist.

Here is an incomplete history of my prejudices:

  • I told a girl that she was stupid because I didn’t agree with her.
  • I found out that someone I knew was gay. I stopped talking to him.
  • I argued that the glass ceiling doesn’t exist.
  • I told an atheist she was going to hell.
  • I argued for racial profiling in airport screening.
  • I said that transexuality is disgusting.

A few times, I told someone not to be offended by something I said. Perhaps I really believed that if I told them to “stop feeling offended,” I would hurt their feelings less.

I am unsure what I hope to accomplish in writing this. It doesn’t paint a flattering image, does it?

Yet I cannot shake the feeling that this is important. This is something not enough people are saying. This is something I must admit.

I am prejudiced.

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