So let’s get this out of the way – right now. Am I a racist? If you mean that, I think one race is brighter, smarter or any “er” than another, then the answer is a resounding no. If you mean, by a racist, that race does sometimes “color” (pardon the pun) my thinking, well that is an altogether different animal.
For example, it would feel good to vote for Obama, – as if I were taking a personal stand on the topic of race. But in all honesty, though I think he is great speechmaker, and that he has a lot of potential, I think he just isn’t there yet. So does voting for him make me a racist feeling the way I do? Or does not voting for him make me a racist? Or does just asking the question make me a racist?
So, why is it that I am not publishing my “Thacker Chronicles” on the News-Messenger’s blog? I could give you some very concrete reasons – like I think the topic rates it’s own blog, that it would only have limited appeal to readers, that I can have the freedom to add pictures and posts in a way that I can’t with the News- Messenger gig. And they would all be true, but they are not the main reason, that I have stuck this blog in a small out of the way corner of the Internet.
The truth is that after the initial surprise at finding that I have a bi-racial limb on the family tree, I’m actually excited by the prospect. The perfect scenario for me – that I find I have, along with my European roots, both African American and Native American roots. If I find that one of those racial roots do not exist in my family history, I will be sad in the same way, you feel that momentary pang when the doctor says “You have a boy (or girl)” and you have to say goodbye to the imagined daughter or son you will now never know.
But I share that bi-racial twig with others on the family tree. Do I have the right to decide that they all should be as excited as I am about my find? Some of the immediate members of my family have greeted the news with a “how cool” attitude – others are merely blasé. Still others didn’t want to hear what I had to say on the matter, but I think they are coming around.
But do I really want to break the news to cousins I never talk to by putting it on a newspaper blog – a blog that the editor often puts portions of in print? I don’t think so.
So am I a racist – well I don’t know, maybe. But I think if you want to call me anything, the word coward might be appropriate. I prefer the term sensitive – sensitive to other people feeling differently than I do.
What do YOU think?