A while ago I read a post by a 20-something years old lady on For Harriet. (I would advise to read it beforehand.)
She used her experience as victim of a racist incident to explain how unconscious racism can be offensive for minority cultures and how it can be approached in order to make the incident become a lesson. I have to say that at first I did not agree with her on some points but going through it again I understood where she was coming from and I find myself understanding the whole issue.
«“I’m not racist” is not an excuse » is the title of the article and “I’m not racist” is not an excuse indeed. Whilst one can be consciously racist, one would never admit it. Do you expect a robber to admit that it is so? Or do you expect a liar to tell the truth? It’s the same issue.
Racisms is not committed by a defined category of people and when I say this, I mean it. Many people would think that only white people commit this incident, but you would be surprise to witness a black person doing racist things to a white person! It’s just unacceptable. It’s reprehensive to be racist, but it’s more indecent to be a black racist person, because you know what it means to be at the other side. Some would say “I’m giving them the same medicine.” Wrong! It’s stupid, ignorant and foolish. Who gives you that right?
Anyone could be racist. The neighbor, the woman/man at the grocery store, the guy walking down the street, the teacher, the doctor… anyone. So I get upset when I hear people say “I’m not racist, my cousin’s girlfriend is black.” Really? Your cousin’s girlfriend can be purple as far as I’m concern, it does not make you racist-free when you do racist things!
Growing up in a very close-minded country, I had my portion of discrimination, and sometimes I still get it. I remember when I was a bit younger, my mum and I went to the hospital for some check-up. It’s was almost time for the doctor to take his lunch break, but I had an appointment with him at that time; he started to speak in the local dialect to the nurse complaining very bitterly about why she checked us in and voicing out things one would not say about a white person. He received us in his office and he went through my files and just dismissed us saying everything was ok. Now, regardless to the fact that I paid money not to receive the service in a proper way, it was clear that the doctor was being racist. Why he spoke in the local dialect? (I understand that dialect by the way) Why he dismissed me knowing I needed further information about my health?
To say this right now, does not even do justice to what happened, but I felt at the time the pain of being victim of racism by someone I regarded with respect and perhaps too educated to fall into this incident.
At the time I did not have the courage and the confidence I have now to express my pain and perhaps I feared to be labelled with the playing-the-race-card tag. As the blogger Dr Jeremiah Gibbs put it down, I would say “Race is a complicated matter. […] Racism is different when you experience it than when you think about it. As long as your reflections upon race and its consequences come from textbooks and muted conversations over coffee, you will not know the realities of racism.” So understand me when I say I felt it.
Now, I don’t know if it was his intention to be racist but from that day I never went to that hospital again for my check-ups because I felt violated.
This is to say that anyone could fall into doing racist things. Racist can be the married man with two kids who loves to spend his holidays somewhere in Africa and loves to eat Moroccan food.
It’s so sad that people are more concern to be called racist than to do racist things.
One advice: do not excuse racism. When it occurs use that opportunity to teach a lesson and to make a statement.
 Dr Jeremiah Gibbs, The Day That I Started To Understand Racismhttp://jeremiahgibbs.com/2014/03/18/the-day-that-i-started-to-understand-racism/