Racism like Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder

I have struggled to try and understand this elusive and temperamental word called “racism” for quite some time and just when I thought I had a handle on it, something else would happen to destroy just about every point I used to connect with that understanding.  Every point except one which is why I strongly believe now that racism is not a condition, disease, result or reasoning.  I now believe that racism is an excuse, convenient for some while inconvenient for others, but an excuse none the less.  An excuse to dismiss or define actions or non-actions of others so that the person doing the defining can wrap their minds around the conversation and move on to yet another subject, issue or matter.  I finally reached this conclusion from the below mentioned article just discovered.

The article I refer to is titled “Texas Teacher Says She’s ‘Sick’ of Black People ‘Causing Trouble,’ Called for State-Sponsored Segregation” written by Goldie Taylor for Blue Nation Review.  The article details and reports that “in the immortal words of that great philosopher Bomani Jones, “When it starts with ‘the black.’ something fireable is probably right around the corner. It’s science.”  The gregarious ESPN host was referring to a Texas elementary school teacher, who posted racially charged remarks on Facebook. Karen Fitzgibbons, a fourth grade teacher in Wolfforth, blamed African Americans for “racial tensions” and openly called for the return of legalized, state-sponsored segregation. She said she was “sick of them causing trouble.”  “I’m almost to the point of wanting them all segregated on one side of town so they can hurt each other and leave the innocent people alone,” Fitzgibbons said. “Maybe the 50s and 60s were really on to something.”  “I’m going to just go ahead and say it … the blacks are the ones causing the problems and this ‘racial tension,’” she wrote. “I guess that’s what happens when you flunk out of school and have no education. I’m sure their parents are just as guilty for not knowing what their kids were doing; or knew it and didn’t care.”  In the now deleted post, she insisted that she is “not racist” and said, “let the bashing of my true and honest opinion begin.”

Now the reason I say racism is in the eye of the beholder, image if that had been an African-American saying exactly the same thing.  Would it then be titled racist or just speaking truth to power?  Think about it, Bill Cosby, Barrack Obama and others made speeches in which they challenged the African-American community to take charge of not only their kids but their neighborhoods and community.  Some words in those speeches were much harsher than the words used here but I do not recall anyone calling it racist.  Could it be that we see racism not is what is really being said but instead of who or what skin tone the person saying it is clothed in?   What would be the major differences in the words used by this Texas teacher who is white and if they had been and are being said by an African-American?  Would these same words be dismissed by the black community if said by an African-American as simply that person being a “sell-out” or an “Uncle Tom”?

Either way people we must first define racism as a solid and not a liquid or gas because unless we do, it will always remain elusive and hard to get a handle on.  If it remains hard to handle, it will never be erased from this or any society.  African-Americans use the “n” word like it is a common adjective and no one says anything but let anyone else use that word that is not clothed in brown skin and considered black (even those of mixed race) and the public goes wild.  Some feel as though the Americans of a lighter pigmentation are privileged but would that not also apply to a section of society who appears to be able to use certain words while others within that same society cannot?   Just a thought, I could be wrong, but you know I’m not.


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