I am not a Racist. How could I be?!
I have a lot of reasons for comfort with diversity, and I believe I welcome it.
My mother, although white (I prefer “Caucasian” based on our region of origin), was a war refugee. She dealt with many different people, some difficult. I witnessed that.
Growing up, we were poor, we moved repeatedly, and among other classes and lifestyles I sometimes felt inferior.
I worked and paid for my college education, and I joined several groups including the international students’ union.
I worked for two years in rural India and experienced being a minority and culturally somewhat ignorant.
As part of my work I travelled in many foreign countries, where I learned the importance of respecting sensitivities, accepting different ways of doing things, and following policies and practices strange to me.
I certainly don’t think or feel other people are inferior.
And yet … I drive safely in the nearby mixed-race neighborhood, knowing I will be protected should anything untoward happen; while those locals drive in my homogeneous neighborhood cautiously, knowing they may be nabbed should anything untoward happen.
And yet … I’ve noticed my friends of color are treated better when they are in need of social and even business services if I am with them.
And yet … I can get health insurance, a loan at a decent rate, a previously non-existent hotel room, and a companionable handout if I lose my wallet, while my black friend for whom I thought I had found an apartment is denied it once the parties meet in person.
There are so many more “yet’s”. I hate to think … How and where am I complicit in the racism of our socio-economy? It bothers me.