Do I Think that I am Racist?
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.