24 July 2009

Confessions of a racist bastard

Posted by Dirk under: been drinking; musings .

Recently on the public jakedog.org forums we have been discussing the recent arrest of Professor Gates of Harvard University.  A longtime regular of the jakedog.org forums, even before it was jakedog.org, by the name of Bloom, accused me of being a racist, because I would not agree with his assertion that the arrest of Prof Gates was racially motivated.  Also, more recently, I met my longtime friends Zilla and Arc at the Sierra Nevada Brewery.  In fact, I just got back from this meeting.  The Sierra Nevada Brewery is basically across the street from me so I walked there and when I arrived I ate nothing and just drank beer.  About 6 big glasses of Kellerweis, on tap.  Yum.  The point of all this, I haven’t drank so much in quite some time and it all went to my head.  (poor Arc lives further away and had to drive so he couldn’t indulge as Zilla and I did.  Zilla rode his bike so he could also drink a bit)

All this is just to explain this post.  I’m a bit drunk and I’m a bit annoyed at Bloom, so I respond here.  Total revelation of facts, I did tell Bloom to fuck off before he copycatted me.

Anyways, this post is to proclaim my racist tendencies and to beg the forgiveness of all that read it.  My defense is, I’m a product of my environment.

So, I was born in Germany in 1965 and pretty much lived there till I was 5 or so.  For those of you not familair with West Germany in 1965, let me tell you, it was a pretty white place.  Few people of color for a young lad to interact with.  When my dad finished his duties in Southeast Asia, we lived in many other places, always on Army bases so there were always PoC around, but as a kid with pretty protective parents, I didn’t actually come into contact with them often.  I mostly hung out with my books, my sister and my dog.   Still not much contact with People of Color.  In 1978 my dad retired from the U.S. Army and moved to the lily white town of Warsaw, Ind.   The current population of Warsaw is 13K people. I’m assuming there were fewer in 1978 to 1983, when I moved away. African Americans currently make up .39% of the population of Warsaw.  That’s probably higher than when I lived there.  I remember two black dudes in my high school.  Both of them were nearly my friends.  I didn’t really have friends in high schools, so the fact that both black guys were on the list of guys that I sometimes hung out with should count for something, right?

And eventually I moved to Chico, a rainbow metropolis where 1.30% of the population is African American.  And most of them are probably students at Chico State.

My point is, I have fairly limited experience with African Americans.  And let me just say now, from this point on I am dropping that appellation and just saying Black, because that’s easier to type and what I’ve always and usually still say.  If you find it offensive, sorry, just mark it down to my being a racist bastard.

Anyways, pretty much all my experiences with black people is fictional, namely interactions lived vicariously through television and movies.  And if you are any sort  of watcher of television and American cinema, then you know that black people are scary and usually criminals.

So, the honest truth.  When I was  bus driver,  I often had to drive the late night shuttle.  Mostly I drove around the college campus with an empty bus.   One time though, a group of about 8 black dudes got on the shuttle to go down town.  Them and I were the only ones on the bus.  And they caused no trouble on my bus. They were just typical college guys on a weekend night.  Just like every other group of white dudes I had picked up in the past.  But we got downtown and they rang the bell for me to stop and there was no bus stop nearby.  They asked me to stop at a corner that was not a bus stop.  Had they been white frat boys I would have basically told them to fuck off, but the 8 large black guys frightened my subconscious and I pulled over and let them off.

I don’t know why I throw that out there.  I guess my point is, while my logical and thoughtful portion of my brain is non-racist and all that, the subconscious part of my brain that has been trained by 43 years of popular culture to see black men as “scary” still has some control over my actions.

So, I’m blaming society for my racist tendencies.  I try to be a good guy.  But the lizard part of my brain has been programmed for pretty much my entire life to see black guys as the villains.

Anyways, I do try to “Do the Right Thing”.  And I honestly don’t think that my subconscious racialist tendencies are coloring my opinions on this Gates things, but I might be wrong.

So, I’ll just keep puttering along, trying to be a good guy, and if that isn’t enough, well….fuck you.  What do you want from me?

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