When is a deep-seated problem in society not a deep-seated problem in society?

Is racism inherent to humanity? A societal construct? A belief we are taught? Is it possible to be untaught? Are some people genuinely completely devoid of racism, or are we all complicit in the racism that is a part of our society whether we own that belief ourselves or not?

Needless to say, I know exactly what I think the answers to the above are.

I rarely rise to the bait.

Especially on issues as emotive as racism, debated as publicly as online, at someone’s blog.

But I posted somewhere about the fact that I don’t see colour, and someone responded by linking me to a blog post about how so-called “colour-blindness” can be detrimental to the progress of racial equality.

With great interest, and a very open mind on this matter, I followed this link to a blog entitled Uppity Brown Woman, and read the article. I didn’t think too hard about the title of the blog.

I read it, and I agreed with its central tenet: that perhaps “colour-blindness” is not the process by which equality can be realised, but rather the end-point.

Thought I: “A little arbitrary, perhaps a little dogmatic, but I guess it’s important to get these things perfectly straight if we can, after all, we are talking about ideals and progress”. Clearly if I had been subjected to racism in some form, I may be far less flippant with this last sentiment, and so I didn’t write this thought out. But I would still hope to think it deep down. Let’s take the example of white-on-white crime; for the sake of argument I’ve been beaten up and mugged, I would be very upset but I wouldn’t necessarily become too worried about the chicken-egg argument of whether it was a problem with parenting in society or a problem with humanity itself. I’d tell myself “beating up is immoral, it’s wrong, and nobody should be subjected to it”, and I’d leave it at that.

The first blog response I read, however, I found difficult. So I posted a response. Bad idea.

It was the wee, wee hours:

Someone on the internet is wrong

Nota bene, there wasn’t actually anyone shouting “are you coming to bed” from another room; that would sound spookily like there was someone in my life who actually did that kind of thing.

I don’t know what else to say here really. Please take a quick look at the comments on that blog. If you are without time, skip the blog entry itself and go straight to the first comment, as I have summarised the bit I’m talking about above.

I’m the enigmatically titled “Mr Smith”.

After a little more reading of the blog, I discovered there are, in my opinion, a few chips on a few shoulders – and it was this I was railing against. Now I kind of regret going there.

Can someone tell me I am not being completely unreasonable here?

I get really angry when people tell me “everyone is a rittle bit lacist”. (Ref: Avenue Q.)

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