Many people say racism is about how people are treated. If that is the case then I think I am alright as I don’t think I really treat people all that differently based upon their race (at least not in ways that matter much). What worries me, however, is the idea that racism is more in how we think. Unfortunately, I still think about people of color differently; here’s what I mean:
If I meet a black person, I always have a thought in my mind that I don’t want them to construe anything I do or say as being prejudicial. In my mind then, I am constantly aware that that person is black (at least until I know them well enough to forget that). I don’t like that nagging awareness. I don’t want it to matter and I don’t want my actions to be altered based upon those thoughts. This being the case, I tend to do things like smile at black people on the street more than I do to white people, or make a greater attempt to converse with people of color than I do with their white counterparts.
I don’t like these things about me. I feel tremendous guilt about being this way, but I don’t know how to combat these thoughts. This is not to say that I think I am abnormal in some way, because I feel that most “non-racist” people tend to have similar thoughts, although that could just be me projecting on the rest of the population.
I can at least feel good knowing that I care and I try, which is far more than I can say for the many ignorant hate mongers out there. One interesting thing about the link in the previous sentence is that it is the actual site of real short-wave radio show that is broadcast in over 50 countries. Their tagline “Bringing American-Style talk radio to 50 countries around the world!” could, perhaps, be modified slightly to be more accurate: “Bringing American-Style ignorance, insensitivity, and hate to 50 countries around the world!”