An Introduction to Racism: Mine, Not Yours

Question: What’s the answer to our racism?

I have been no stranger to racism throughout my life. I’m a lower-middle class white guy who grew up in the upper-lower class of suburban New Orleans. What does that mean? That means that from day one I have been surrounded by people of all creeds, colors, sizes, languages, and persuasions. I have also lived in Little Rock, AR (which is a much more ghetto place than people imagine), Carrollton, TX (a northern suburb of Dallas, majority white and fairly well-to-do), Austin, TX (where I live now and is quite a mixture of races), and Memphis, TN (much like New Orleans). I’ve lived in what I would nearly call a ghetto, I’ve lived in White Suburbia, I’ve lived in the country, I’ve lived downtown, and now I live in a small town. No matter where I have lived, racism was always there. Whether it was being projected into my environment from outside or whether it was being projected from my environment into another, it was always present. Whether it was coming from Black people, White people, Hispanic people, Asian people, Coon-asses, Rednecks, soccer moms, big fancy Suits, Christians, Catholics, Muslims, whatever — it was always there.

You want to know what I think is the problem?

Me. The problem for everyone is Me. Not me, myself; but everyone’s Me. The problem is that everyone is looking somewhere external for the problem. Everyone wants so intently to find the Why but we are all so oblivious to the answer being the person asking the question. If we were to look to ourselves for the problem, and forget about looking for who else might be the problem, we would get a lot more done.

Answer: Fix you.

Work on you. Better yourself. Focus on ways you can be a better person. Be nicer. Give grace. Give forgiveness. Accept apologies. Let go of your hate, your prejudice, your anger. If we think about it, there is no shortage of times that each one of us has totally pissed someone else off, even intentionally, or sent hatred out to some other person, group of people, or lifestyle. So, then, who the hell are we to point fingers? Who are we to blame, to condemn, to judge? In order to fix our problem, I need to look at myself and change what I can in me. Because ultimately I can’t control you, or him, or her, or them. No one can. So let’s control what we can control, me.