For some reason I kept thinking back to a conversation I had with my mother long time ago as I read this article. The topic was racism, an usually mutually taboo and whether we did it intentionally or not, we always steer away from really discussing our true opinion on the issue. This was not only the attitude we had at home, it was also the same with our family friends and as far as I could tell, the same in their house as well. Sure, we’ll condemn the offender in some racially charged incident or curse the inhumane butcher in some ethnic cleansing massacre, but at heart I think we were only hiding our own racist thought.
Then came that time we were joking about who my little sister would marry when she grows up, and my mom half jokingly told us “Anyone’s fine as long as you don’t bring back a black person”. For a second afterward, the awkward silence prevailed; the ugly can of worms has been accidentally opened. My little sister, who was less than 9 years old back then, inevitably followed up with a “why not?” even as mother tried to steer the conversation away. She tried to explain to my sister for a moment but caught herself as she was halfway through because she was sounding racist. Still, my sister wanted to know why. In the end, after a short silence and a sigh, mother retreated with a “…because it’s just, just, you know, strange. You know what I mean”.
And the thing is, I DID. Even now, I still understand stand what she meant. Even though some of my friends are of other ethnicity and I’ve read plenty of anti-racism stories since then, it’s still the instinctual response before I process it in my head. I don’t know, I try consciously to be an equalist, if that’s even a thing. But still find my unconscious thoughts at odd with my conscious ones whenever inequality is in question. But hey, this is just my two cents, and though I’m not sure why I’m writing this response, it’s a relief to get these thoughts I’ve had for years out of my chest.