In my last post, some anonymous person subtlety called me racist.
While I assume that this person was some random reader who clicked through and read the post, threw out a comment and left...the comment sat with me.
I have been with a man not of my own racial background for the past 17 years. In order to make our relationship work, we have had to discuss and be playful about the issues of race in America. While the normal investigations of likes and dislikes was part of our courting....we also had to explicitly discuss race and the implications of a mixed racial relationship. Moving beyond casual dating meant that we had to be aware of and ready to face the thing that no body wants to really talk about. What it means to be Black and what it means to be White in America.
To have pretended that no one noticed the racial difference between us in New Hampshire would have been ludicrous. In a state that is 97% white, I could be invisible while one could not help BUT to notice Terrance.
This has also meant that we have had to develop a sense of humor about race. Yes, I said it. We make JOKES about race in our family. I am often called a "trifling white woman" by my husband. We both tell our daughter to put lotion on her "ashy ass before her butt checks start a fire". I have even used the "n" word...in private, when teasing my husband. These are conversations and jokes which would make many of my white friends and family extremely uncomfortable.
Does that make me racist? Does that make him racist?
Does noticing that there are "typical" Hollywood devices which reflect stereotypes about race in America make us racist?
Hell to the nizz-o.
The conversation about race is a continuing dialog in our house. I haven't stopped thinking about race for 17 years. Now, seeing as I am 37 years old that in and of itself is a shameful reflection on the ability of White American culture to subjugate and/or dismiss honest conversations about race. I got to spend my first 20 years fairly unaware of my position within a dominant culture.
So it is in that light that I take the "racist" comment. It is much easier to yell "racist" or "unpatriotic" and STOP the conversation than to carry it further. It is much easier to use race to block the honest discussion that Americans desperately need to be having. A sort of "We are all friends here" or "I am so progressive that I don't even SEE race" mentality is intentionally deciding to absolve the individual of the responsibility of looking at the implications of race in America.
Being called racist won't stop my conversations about race with my husband, child and family. Being called racist won't stop me from writing about the conversations that I have within my family. Being called racist won't stop me from seeing the humor in situations where there is humor to be had, nor will I stop joking with my friends in family about race.
Humor is part of the conversation, maybe some of the most important parts of the conversation. Without the ability to negotiate these conversations with playfulness, humor and open mindedness Terrance and I would have never gotten this far.
So, Anon commenter: I don't think White people are stupid....just incredibly uptight, defensive and humorless when it comes to the way they benefit from Dominating American culture and society. May I suggest that you remove the Politically correct stick out of your small, flat white ass and relax a little.