We’re Sick of Racism

On November 6th, I published a post encouraging readers to suggest topics for my blog. Through this and other mediums, the most common request I received was for more posts about cultural differences, race-relations, and my experiences as a West Indian in America.

So, when I came across the trending topic “We’re So Sick of Racism” on Twitter, and the racist filth that sprang from it, I knew there was a post in the making. Here’s what happened — and why it’s important to consider what it means, and what we can do about it.

The Liberal Cause

On November 12th, “We’re sick of racism” made it to my trending topics feed. Apparently, liberals first started the topic to discuss the whirlwind of racism storming through America, which has successfully attacked one ethnicity after another.

From “terrorists versus the mentally ill” in the news, to building walls, to police brutality, to imprisonment, to the war on drugs — race plays a large role in American life, especially for minorities.

With this in mind, one liberal tweeted:

Another pointed out:

And yet another recently re-shared:

What I noted while reading through most of the comments from liberals is that they were focused on the topic of race-relations. Very few, if any, called out conservatives or referred in any way to a political party.

It wasn’t even a hashtag. It was the phrase that had begun to trend, which implies it began purely by coincidence.

But it would not last.

Conservative Propaganda

Once the conservatives got on-board, the conversation completely changed. It was no longer about discussing racial tensions in America. The conversation focused on:

  • Pointing fingers at political members of the democratic party
  • Calling Obama racist, and blaming him for racism in America
  • Belittling liberals
  • Reminding African-Americans that the republicans freed the slaves and granted civil rights
  • Discrediting that any racism exists in America; labelling it a liberal agenda
  • Putting forward that Whites are the ones facing racism every day, pushing the hashtag: #ItsOkayToBeWhite



By the time they were done — even if you check the trending topic now — there were hardly any liberals tweeting about racism, but plenty of conservatives spreading their own political agenda. In short, they turned a trending topic about racial tensions into republican propaganda.

Who Freed the Slaves?

Of everything they said, I found the bit about freeing the slaves the most intriguing. Is it not an obvious regret of the republican party? I have never seen a liberal waving a confederate flag. Have you?

To boot, the Confederate South, who fought to keep slavery, now votes overwhelmingly republican. Meanwhile, The Union in the north and west of the United States, who fought to end slavery, now votes overwhelmingly Democrat.

When rational people vote, they don’t vote for a name. They vote for ideology. There was a time when the liberals identified with the republican party, and the conservatives voted democrat.

Those days are long gone.

Conservatives claiming credit for what liberals originally accomplished under the republican name is like giving Columbus credit for discovering the Americas. The Natives, the Muslim Africans, and then the Vikingswere here hundreds of years before he was even born.

Race? Where??

Back on Twitter, what I found most interesting (and worrying) was how very low race and race relations fell on the conservative list of priorities, in a country that is very obviously racially segregated.

For some, I suppose it’s easier to forget, or sweep under the rug, that racial segregation mandated by law, was alive and well in the U.S. all the way until 1964. It’s not some distant horror, the way it’s often painted. To better put that into perspective, anyone over the age of 53 today, was alive during Jim Crow Laws.

So are there really Americans who believe that one generation later, racism is magically cured? That a political system set up from the very beginning to subjugate non-Whites — from stealing land from the Native Americans, to putting Japanese in internment camps, to enslaving Blacks — just automatically rights itself?

Drawing Parallels

Does a country that has cured racism have what is steadily becoming regular Neo-Nazi marches, with no repercussions?

The Nazi could never show its face in 2017 Germany and live to tell the tale. But in America, Neo-Nazis are very fine people. And since they’re exercising their constitutional right, mayors can only look into their legal options from the safety of Twitter.

After the racist marches that rocked Charlottesville, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, did not fail to draw her line in the sand and pick a side; namely, the left. “It is racist, far-right violence, and clear, forceful action must be taken against it, regardless of where in the world it happens,” she said.

Political writer, Sarah Wildman, further commented on the incidents, noting a parallel in how Germans deal with an ideology that originated in their country, and how Americans deal with its offspring:

She might have added that such a thing wouldn’t have happened in today’s Germany — because it’s illegal.

While America protects the right of neo-Nazis, white supremacists, the Ku Klux Klan, and other hate groups… Germany has strict laws banning Nazi symbols and what’s called Volksverhetzung — incitement of the people, or hate speech. Like more than a dozen European countries, Germany also has a law criminalizing Holocaust denial.

And while Confederate statues can be found in many American cities south of the Mason-Dixon Line, there are no statues of Adolf Hitler or Joseph Goebbels gracing public squares in Berlin, let alone Nazi flags or other Nazi art. 

How’s that for perspective?

The Danger of Group-think

The more I thought about those tweets, the news, the marches… the more I realised that these were all great reminders of what happens when a culture treats race, religion, and politics as taboo and impolite topics. This tends to create a situation where people are only comfortable discussing real issues with those they are sure will agree with them.

If more people stepped outside their bubble, and truly tried to understand other narratives and perspectives from varying backgrounds, inside and outside of the United States, we would make leaps and bounds towards the cure of the “us versus them mentality” that runs rampant in the States.

Instead, people smile and talk about the weather. Never deserting the superficial words, until they can whip out their smartphones to air their demons online, march through Charlottesville, or just casually mow down a few people with cars.

Group-thinking is a dangerous habit to develop, and shying away from conversations about real issues affecting everyone (for better, or worse!) is an excellent way to get it.

Liberals are not immune to this either. I’ve had a few run-ins with racially and culturally ignorant liberals living in Luminescent-White-Bubbles, though they are usually well-meaning.

Disagree Peacefully

What gives me a sense of hope, however, is the community I like to think I share with my readers, on my blog. This has been one of those safe havens, where people have been free to ask questions, no matter how sensitive, and receive honest answers in response.

What gives me even more hope is that of all the people who clamoured for more cultural and racial posts on my blog, almost every last one was White. It’s a good reminder that many people do want to better understand. All they need are the right opportunities to do so.

That said, the fact that so many more people are not asking the right questions, or asking any questions at all, still remains. And November 12th on Twitter was a perfect example of that.

The fact that a trending topic entitled “We’re Sick of Racism” became overrun with conservatives making light of racism and fun of liberals, says a lot about their priorities, and what side of the fence they stand on.

If you’re a conservative, and reading this and nodding, and thinking, “But I’m not like that. I actually agree with you,” the fact remains that you hold ranks with a group that gives a pass to racism, even when it does not condone it, by not taking a stand.

As my grandmother often told me as a child, growing up in Jamaica:

Show me your friends, and I’ll tell you who you are.

And in the famous words of Martin Luther King Jr.

The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy. 

In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.

Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.

What are your thoughts on the trending topic, and the turn it took? Is racism another liberal myth in America? Or is it an issue that requires all parties to acknowledge and resolve, in order to move forward? I look forward to hearing your perspectives via the comments below.

Alexis Chateau Black Cat.png

Find Me On:

57 thoughts on “We’re Sick of Racism

  1. I think the biggest issue is that people feel that racism is the whole issue. I think is a large portion of it but I don’t think it is all of it. I think it comes down to the point neither side tries to understand the other. There is not enough enpathy. I think whites need to get it out of their heads that they are owed something. They need to understand nothing is owed anyone.

    I also believe that as the world comes closer together, those that are racist will be pushed out. I think there are more that are not racist then there are. Maybe it sounds wishful but I do believe the world is changing and I believe it will change for the better. We just have to keep fighting and not let anyone get away with the old ways.

  2. Racism no matter how it is defined is bad for everyone. What most white people that say racism does not exist, do not realize how much anguish it causes everyone around. I am white but being a different nationality you get pushed to the outside of the “white ideal”. And when they find out what nationality you are then you get label things that don’t even pertain to you. I have always felt I never belong anywhere just because of that.

    From what I see, racism is on both sides, albeit a lot more on white side then on black side but it does exist. We as a people have to understand and accept differences then find a common ground. I know I cannot understand a lot that black people go through but likewise as an Iranian-American it’s equally difficult to be understood. We all have our amazing qualities. We if as a nation, as a people are to survive, we all have to accept no two people are exactly alike. We have to get rid of stereotypes of both sides and look past all the negatives. We have to accept that just because someone is white does not make them racist and just because someone is black does not make them a criminal. I am so tired of finger pointing and blaming. I am tired of the I’m better then you or I’m worse off then you because I was not given the opportunity. If you want to be better that is in your grasp…you have to want it. If you want the opportunity…you have to make it. Racism I think starts with the idea that, one is always better then the other…intelligence, money, position, etc. It comes down to the point that racists believe they are superior. That is so far from the truth it is almost laughable it is so stupid. But because we are human, we cannot help but believe that because someone has more, does better…etc there must be something wrong. The stereotypes I have heard for both: “She had more opportunities” or “They have an expensive car, they must be drug dealer” or ” he had a rich daddy to pay for that for them” or ” She must be on drugs because she is on welfare” or “We need to watch them because they might steal something”….I could go on and on. I have heard these and more. It breaks my heart when I see some one who has done well then some ignorant fool makes a comment that belittles everything that person is trying to do. It is on both sides. I know this scratches the surface. I could go on and on. I am not perfect nor do I claim to be. I have my hangups, ideas, and stereotypes. Everyone on here does. We as a people have to look past the stereotypes. If we can get past that centuries’ long hangups and stereotypes….if we just raise our children not to judge based on skin, nationality, religion, or even sexual orientation….we can turn the tide for the better. But until we do nothing will change.

    1. I’m glad you took the time to read and leave a comment.

      It’s interesting that you mention how you are treated as a White woman because you’re from a different nationality. My friend is British and White, and complains about the same thing.

      In fact, I would say I’m even more discriminated against as an immigrant and a woman, than being Black. My accent usually places me as a California native, and it’s amazing the difference in how I’m treated, than when I finally correct them and tell them I’m from Jamaica. I do it all the time, just to see that change, and marvel at how much xenophobia exists, and how immigrants are not supposed to say certain things because apparently we don’t have the right. Not anymore anyway.

      There is racism on both sides, but I think on the White Racist side it’s a tendency to feel superior and to hate others. And on the Black Racist’s side, it’s frustration with how they’ve been treated and tendency towards suspicion. I do call out my Black friends on racism, when it occurs. You can’t fight fire with fire.

      I don’t agree, however, that equal opportunity is there for everyone and they can just size it. My White friends will have less qualifications than my Black friends and still do infinitely better, even in Atlanta, nicknamed Chocolate City.

      My Dad has an MBA, years of management experience, and has yet to find his golden job. He has no criminal record, doesn’t do drugs, speaks well etc etc. But he’s been turned away from jobs because he’s Black. This is not speculation. He would usually hear it from someone else who works there, after management disclosed their reason thinking no one would repeat it.

      That’s the world we live in today, or at the very least, the country we’ve chosen to call home. We have many issues in Jamaica, but this isn’t one of them.

    1. I was shocked at the treatment of the peaceful protest of the footballers. What are people allowed to do to combat injustice?
      We can never understand another’s perspective, until we have walked a mile in their shoes. That is the trouble in my view too many people unwilling or unable to see things from another’s point of view. Too many people convinced theirs is the right and the only way. Growth is unfortunately not linear. Progress is often a slow and frequently painful process. Two steps forward and one back.

      1. Agreed. I was just talking about that with someone yesterday. They were discussing the rebelliousness of Americans, and how protest is a part of the culture, and a respected part of it. I mentioned that this was true only for White protesters. Minorities tend to be policed as to whether or not it was appropriate, and then dragged through the mud.

        Just yesterday I saw a video (made by a Black woman, no less) about how Kaepernick was no hero or activist, just a petulant child. She said he made no sacrifices to do what he’s done anyway. I guess losing one’s multi-million dollar career is no sacrifice..

  3. I’m not so sure racism gets resolved in this country and not because I don’t want it to. It’s just that blacks and whites live in two different Americas with two very distinct histories. The hypocrisy of America’s white, slave-owning, founding fathers who espoused freedom and democracy, had the power to end slavery but chose not to is a centuries-old pill that’s still extremely hard to swallow because the racist system of governance that they created is in effect to this day. I mean, we can talk about progress all we want until we realize that slavery–the constitutionally legalized dehumanization of black men and black women–set the bar pretty low. Unfortunately, racism is adaptable, conceived during slavery, raised up in the Reconstruction, and came into full power with Jim Crow. Now it’s able to “stand its ground”, shoot unarmed blacks if it feels threatened, and send disproportionate amounts of African Americans to prison behind a bogus “War On Drugs”.

    1. Hi Benjamin! I don’t believe I’ve seen you on here before, so let me first thank you for reading and commenting. Welcome to our discussion!

      You are quite right when you say racism is adaptable. And with that said, it didn’t start with the Blacks. It started with the Native Americans and then evolved and expanded to include slavery. And like you rightly pointed out, it’s still evolving today.

      I want to think there is some hope though. Jamaica has mostly recovered and even Britain and Germany is well on their way in spite of slavery, Nazism and war. America just has to find the will power, and strong governance to push it in the right direction. Will that ever happen? Who knows? Until then, you and I and so many others can start to push things in the right direction through our own actions, living by example.

      Take faith in the fact that this post was written because of Whites right here on this blog who continually ask for more posts about these topics. That’s a good sign that racism hasn’t poisoned everyone, and that there are still people trying to better understand what’s going on from out point of view.

      Thanks again for dropping by. I truly hope you join the discussions on similar posts that follow.

  4. I’ve never thought of it before, but I think you’re right about the dangers of making the truly important topics taboo. We’re not “supposed” to talk about difficult topics in most circles in the US, such as race. Well, unless you’re openly spewing hate speech: that’s perfectly acceptable. Saying, “Mexicans are rapists and blacks are lazy” gets one elected president, apparently.

    As for my thoughts on the trending topic, racism is obviously real in the US: maybe even the norm. I hate to be a downer, but I have some unpopular opinions on this topic. I believe that if people don’t acknowledge racism is a problem in 2017, then they probably never will. I used to think that compassion and understanding would be able to “convert” the haters, but I no longer feel that those are appropriate responses. It’s not time to coddle bigots and try to understand their hate intellectually, but to say NO and make it clear that we won’t tolerate their hate-speech.

    1. I love when you join in on these, Josh. You are one of the many voices of reason, however few we remain in comparison to the rest.

      You are right that hate speech has become acceptable as just free speech. Meanwhile, there are no acceptable ways for minorities to air their discontent, or protest. If they sit, it’s disrespectful. If they kneel, it’s disrespectful. If they march with Black Lives Matter, they are racists. And if they open carry to prove the point that they can not do so with the same rights as Whites, then they are thugs. It’s crazy.

      I also do agree that racists can’t be coddled, and NO must be said. One of the big problems I’ve noticed with men in America on both sides of the political fence is that they never heard the word no often enough growing up. I believe this is why they have so much trouble wrapping their minds around the idea of consent in 2017!

      In any case, after no, must come the explanation. If we only shout the no without leaving the floor open for discourse, it will just be a shouting match between both sides.

      Thanks again for taking the time to read and comment.

      1. There are so many contradictions involved in what white people and people of color are allowed to do: the Malheur Wildlife Refugre takeover was a clear example of that. Armed white people took over a federal building, and the authorities did all they could to resolve the situation peacefully. Then the militants were found not guilty of federal charges. I guarantee you that if those “patriotic Americans” had been people of color, they’d have been labeled terrorists and probably killed.

        Good point on male privilege too. The prevalence of sexual assault in the US is absolutely horrendous, and what’s worse is how many men don’t see anything wrong with it. I can see how being raised with extra privilege can lead white men to believe they can do whatever they want, since we can get away with actions that most people would be more strictly punished for. I feel like I was raised in a way that made it clear that rape is rape, and that it’s bad. But as I’ve traveled around the US more and met more people from my demographic (white, male, millennial), I’ve started to get the feeling that I was raised differently than many of my peers.

      2. Are you talking about that standoff in Oregon after the father set the forest on fire, or something? That’s the incident that immediately comes to mind. I don’t remember their names. At the time, that was the same parallels that were drawn ie what would happen if they had been people of colour.

        The funny thing is, Josh, a lot of guys will say the same thing. Rape is wrong. Sexual harassment and assault is wrong, and then not realise what they are doing is sexual harassment.

        I had one American boyfriend who had to have that lesson reinforced the hard way by yours truly. We were in bed after he had said some pretty disgusting things to me prior, which ultimately led to the end of our relationship. That night was our last together. I was minding my own business, reading a book, and he decided he wanted sex. I told him no, and I guess his idea of seducing me was knocking the book out of my hand and trying to hold me down and tear off my clothes. My hand went straight for his throat, and that lovely Adam’s apple. I told him he might want to think twice about continuing, or anything that happened to him thereafter, I was not responsible for. He backtracked so fast, it was almost hilarious. I picked up my book, put my clothes back on, and resumed my reading. That was the end of that relationship.

        His mom never told him no either, and openly admitted to that. So whenever I said no it would go in one ear and out the other. She spoiled him. It was sickening.

        Since then, I’ve taken the issue of consent more seriously than ever. I won’t even shake a man’s hand whose flirting with me, if I don’t feel like it. I didn’t ask him to come over here to chat me up. I don’t owe him a touch of my body in any form to soothe his ego. It is what it is.

  5. This is a great post and an issue many are very tired of dealing with but as the saying goes… If you do not learn from your mistakes you are doomed to repeat them. Racism is the big gorilla in the room that everyone sees and doesn’t see. It’s so much easier to claim you don’t see color when in fact we all do. Ask that same person to describe someone and see if suddenly color becomes one of their adjectives. As I was explaining to someone the other day who said she couldn’t understand why one minority would hate on another, it is human nature for us to want to be like those we admire, envy, look up to, etc. And sometimes that becomes taking on their words and traits even if they are bad. The old “I may be poor (or any other descriptor) but at least I’m not a (fill in the blank)”

    It’s sad that in order to make one feel bigger or important (and/or it’s just ignorance and fear) that it comes down to berating another human being.

    1. I love that so many of you are speaking up about the ridiculousness of the colour blind theory. It is a lazy and ineffective way of handling racial differences. Pretty sure I might work on a post about that soon. It’s not seeing colour that’s the problem. Seeing colour is natural. It’s how you treat the person thereafter.

      I also find it interesting, the quote you shared about being poor but not being a (fill in the blank). There are a lot of people who think that way. They haven’t finished school, landed a proper job, don’t live in a solid home, or own a proper car, and the only claim they have to self respect is being White. It’s a sad life to live. Sometimes I pity them.

  6. Racism is alive and well in America. It is actually beginning to thrive again. The more black and brown bodies I see added to the list of people killed by the freaking cops, the sicker I become. This is not the America I was taught to believe was great. The more hateful rhetoric spewed, the more willing I become to deal with the discomfort of talking about racism. It must be done, because people who don’t look like me are suffering and dying, and that is NOT okay.

    I’ve had to learn that I’m not color blind. There isn’t a damn thing wrong with my eyes that a pair of reading glasses won’t fix. I see that your skin is darker than mine, that your hair has a different texture. For me, your skin color doesn’t define you or make you different from me. What defines you, what makes you different from me, are your personal experiences and your cultural background (i.e. Jamaica, travels, etc). I’ve always been interested in learning about new things (be it Home improvement, fashion, or what life is like for people in other parts of the world). Talking to people who are different from me is how I do that.

    I am not color blind, I see that my husband’s skin is darker than mine (he is a Chickasaw Nation citizen). I’ve been slowly learning about their culture and history, and it just reinforces my shame over what is going on in this country today. I started really becoming ashamed when I worked at the Grand historical theatre in Shreveport Louisiana, and learned that the separate exit door with a stairway to the upper balcony was once the entrance that black people were forced to use. Every time I started at that door or stairway, I felt sick inside. America as we know it was built through theft, genocide, slavery, racism, and subjugation; that’s not “great” in my opinion.

    It is only through difficult conversations (like this one) that we can find a way to move forward, to become the great nation we COULD be.

    Thank you for sharing this post. I would like to reblog it, as it says it much better than I ever could. So, may I have permission to reblog?

    1. You have my permission to reblog anything on my site, feel free! I’m glad you want to share. The conversation must be had.

      I’m also glad you called out this ridiculous excuse of colour blind. I HATE IT. There is nothing wrong with seeing colour. The problem depends on how you react thereafter. A colour blind approach to race is lazy and ineffective. It tells me that the most appropriate way to deal with race is to pretend it doesn’t exist. Garbage. All of it. -_-

      Thanks so much for adding to the discussion!

Chat to me nuh!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.