If You’re Asked If You Are A Racist What Would You Say?

“Never assess the many by the few”–Jim

What would you say if your son walked up to you and asked you point blank, “Hey Dad are you a racist”? I’m imagining most people would say ‘no’ and be rather uncomfortable even thinking about it and yet it really is an honest question. But as a parent you are duty bound to give him an honest response. Until we figure out how to treat each other with dignity and respect and at the same time honour each others way of life, this issue will remain with us. The underbelly of this beast is all about ‘being treated with fairness’. What is happening in our country, and many others it seems, is not fair. If I were a finger pointing person that finger would be directed at those who were elected to make sure such unfairness doesn’t happen. Political agendas should not play a part in this but unfortunately they do.

When I think about it I don’t consider myself a racist. I love people for who they are and the wealth of knowledge and experience they contribute to our society be they non-Canadians, First Nation Canadians or those who been here for awhile. I accept the idea that we are all brothers somehow and that we share certain identities and heritage. I’m good with that until the demands, expectations and ideals of someone or some group threatens MY very way of life and does not honor the history, heritage, sacrifice, customs and values of the people who founded this country. My country. The only country and way of life that I have ever known. Now it is my natural cultural identity that is being threatened by those who have no stake or claim in the struggle, sacrifice and pain it took to build and protect this country from those who would do her harm. So, as anyone would, I would fight to keep what is rightfully mine. It is not so much the demands to discard or negate our customs and values but rather the willingness of our own government to grant those demands with little or no concern for those of us who live here. This esteemed group has granted customs and values that have little to do with our founding fathers visions for our country. Sadly this golden opportunity to learn about all the other groups of people that inhabit the planet with us has been perverted into something other than what multiculturalism was meant to be. It has become political and hateful based almost completely on unfairness and simple-mindedness. If these thoughts and words make me a racist then perhaps I need to rethink what that word really means.

The colour of people’s skin seems to be a problem unfortunately. If I call a black man-a black man-I’m a racist and yet I am called a white man and that’s OK?? I meant no disrespect and I’d like to believe that the person who called me a ‘white man’ didn’t mean any disrespect either. If we celebrated a White History Month we would be branded as racist but Black History Month is applauded. Why can’t we each celebrate our race if it is important to celebrate it? There are clubs, groups, special days, organizations, beauty pageants, scholarships, colleges, universities and banks to name a few that have been dedicated to specific racial groups only. People with white skin are not welcomed to join, participate or be a member of any of these. If white folks did that we would be called racists in every instance. Why is it that only white people can be racists? If I question ‘why’ certain things happen the way they do does that mean I’m a racist? How very confusing it all is and how unnecessary.

If people who have difficulty assimilating into our way of life don’t like being here because it is uncomfortable for them perhaps they need to re-think their decision to stay here. Perhaps there are other places to live with customs and values that are more suited to what they are looking for. I’m assuming people come to this great country because of the freedoms and opportunities that are offered them. Perhaps these are not available to them in their native country. Fair enough–welcome–come and enjoy all that we have to offer. We are a generous and sharing people. But if it is not what they hoped it would be then they have the right to change their minds. They are free to come or go. It is not OK for our elected officials to give away that which is not theirs to give away in order to entice people to stay. I speak of my ways of living–my cultural identity–my values and my beliefs and my freedoms and my customs. I don’t see that as being racist but I do see it as me fighting back to retain my cultural identity because once we lose that–we have lost it all.

So when your son asks you if you are a racist sit him down and talk to him about what it means to be a man in this world today. Help him understand what is expected of him and how important his values, customs and beliefs are. He also needs to understand that they may need to be fought for and protected and honoured in order to maintain them. That said we need to make sure that we aren’t taking away someone else’s right to celebrate their culture as well.

That’s the way I see it anyways, Jim

Father & Son Golfing

LET ME KNOW WHAT YOU WOULD SAY IF YOU WERE ASKED THIS SAME QUESTION. PLEASE SEND THIS TO YOUR FRIENDS–I’D LIKE TO HEAR FROM THEM AS WELL–THANKS

4 thoughts on “If You’re Asked If You Are A Racist What Would You Say?”

  1. “So when your son asks you if you are a racist sit him down and talk to him about what it means to be a man in this world today. Help him understand what is expected of him and how important his values, customs and beliefs are.”

    And then tell him you are in fact racist and that it is equally and VITALLY important for every human being to celebrate theirs as well and no fighting is necessary. THAT is what makes a real man. That is where peace lies. I am tired of men raising men to think they have all the answers.

    Reply
  2. Greetings Renee–thank you for taking the time to respond to my article. I appreciate your time and interest. Having said that I’m a bit confused about the points you made concerning my apparent lack of respect for others values and customs. In the 2nd paragraph of my article I say–” I love people for who they are and the wealth of knowledge and experience they contribute to our society be they non-Canadians, First Nation Canadians or those who have been here for awhile. I accept the idea that we are all brothers somehow and that we share certain identities and heritage.” I also mentioned later on in the same paragraph: “I’m good with that until the demands, expectations and ideals of someone or some group threatens MY very way of life and does not honor the history, heritage, sacrifice, customs and values of the people who founded this country. My country. The only country and way of life that I have ever known. Now it is my natural cultural identity that is being threatened by those who have no stake or claim in the struggle, sacrifice and pain it took to build and protect this country from those who would do her harm. ” Again I agree with you regarding each of us honoring the others values and customs. As far as I know people who travel to live here from all over the world are free to speak as they will, to practice their own religious traditions and beliefs, the right to assemble and to protest peacefully and I’m sure there are a few more. As a matter of fact immigrants have the same rights as I enjoy. But now my children can’t pray in school and yet others can. How do we talk about fairness?? How do we explain to our children about what fairness is supposed to be like? Yes it is important to accept how the other person chooses to live their lives and they are free to practice those values and customs provided they don’t ignore or threaten the safety of the rest of us. That is not OK. If we look at an example of a group of people that is recent who want to live their lives in this country according to the laws of the land they just left, a mother, father and son murdered their own family member because she dared to go against the practice of arranged marriage and chose to date an ‘infidel’. Sharia Law I think they called it. If you are to be upset about this racist business I would have thought that this would have registered as something that was unacceptable. They drowned her and two? other people for that transgression. Then there is the customs surrounding how women are seen and treated as 2nd and 3rd class chattel. That does not sit well with me. I don’t know about you in this regard. I would defend their right to live their lives as they see fit in their own country because that is how it has been and those laws and customs are a part of their heritage and the law of their land. If their citizenry want to abide by those customs so be it–certainly their choice. I may not agree with the custom or the reasoning but I would defend their right to live the way they choose in their own country. We, in my mind, have no right to tell them how to live in their own country. And yes, unfortunately, there are times when one must defend their rights because those who are trying to impose their will and negate those rights know no other response and don’t respect those who ‘ask’ to be heard. You can’t make the argument that we need to respect them but they don’t need to respect us. That door must swing both ways. If I am to honor their way of life, and I can certainly do that, then there needs to be a mutual respect that is shared. They need to honor mine as well. That is not happening at the moment.

    The other point that you made was interesting for me because I’m not sure how that jump was made. What I can comment about though is that over the last 22 years of reading the research (and it is plentiful), listening to the stories of both those who have been abandoned and those who have abandoned sons, and doing extensive interviews with both sides of this discussion, the findings were virtually unanimous. Boys not only miss but actually ‘crave’ to have fathers in their lives. They need to hear from another male–preferably their father. They want to know them and they want to be like them. They want to learn from them and they want to emulate them. I write about sons and fathers because I cannot claim to know and understand what it is like to be female in this world since I have never been female. I do know what it is like to be male. I raised a son as a single parent and later on I raised a daughter as a single parent. They were both around the age of three when they came to me. So I do have some reference points from which I can draw. It is a vastly different world for males and females. I for one applaud the differences. I also agree that we have some serious work to do to make it a more equitable place for both of us to live.

    We don’t even speak the same language. We use the same words but the meanings are quite different in many respects. We enter this world the same way but soon thereafter we begin to experience the world as a vastly different experience. When I was bringing up my kids I was able to teach them both the values that are necessary and the social conventions that we each need to live by in order to treat our fellow planet dwellers with the respect and dignity they deserve. I taught them about honesty, and integrity and the absolute need to treat all others the same. I instilled a sense of respect in them for others, their rights and their property. So they got all that and I can say with a large degree of certainty that they each learned those lessons well. I will finish up with this. There are certain messages that you as a female just don’t get. You don’t understand what it is like to be male in the world today–what that looks like or sounds like any more than I can understand what it is like to be female. I have no idea what it is like to be pregnant or to have a first period or to go out on a first date. As a father, a responsibility I take very, very seriously I might add, there is no one out there that should do what it is my responsibility to do and that is to assist my son anyway I can to be the man he needs to be so that he can fulfil those expectations that the world has of him and for him and do it in a way that he can feel good about.

    When I read that 4 out of every five teenage suicide attempts or completions are young men I want to cry. When I see that young men are joining gangs in droves because they are the closest thing they feel they have to a family–that they are connected by a strong bond with other males who ‘understand them’ I want to scream out–why don’t people get it? These young men are trying to tell us something and we are not hearing them. They NEED to have a strong male influence in their lives and they don’t have it. How long do we go before we pass the point of no return. And trying to create a state of androgyny isn’t going to cut it–sorry.

    I know that I went on a bit longer than I had first thought but I wanted to be sure that I was able to clear up any misconceptions about how I feel about the question that this all started with. So the short answer to the long explanation is–NO. No -I won’t be identifying myself as a racist to my son were he to ask me that question.

    Again I appreciate the response and I truly hope that you will respond to this response as well

    All the best Renee, JIm

    Reply
  3. If I may..

    Racism is when you change a system (government, institution, laws, communities) to conform to the beliefs you hold.

    Bigotry is when you feel fear/hate/intolerance etc about another person/race/religion etc

    The two are different, but in the same genre. If you dislike gay people but support marriage quality, if you don’t like black people but think they should have the same opportunities, if you cant stand republicans but still hire them… then you are bigoted not racist.

    If your child asks you if you are racist, this is something you can explain. EVERYONE is a little bit bigoted, it is human nature.

    Reply
    • Greetings sunemoonsong–I thank you for and appreciate your response to my article. There is some basis for agreement for sure–neither bigotry or racism is helpful or beneficial to the betterment of the human race. Would we be further along the road that we need to travel to arrive at our ‘pot of gold’ as human beings??–no doubt. But I think as we are doing it we will be better served by the experience, the knowledge and the understanding we gain as we continue to dispose of the myths and untruths we have had to deal with up to now. As for the ‘bigot’–I see bigotry as narrow mindedness and not accepting of others beliefs–it’s like saying we don’t like what you stand for–your religion or your views and opinions and because you don’t see it the same as I do then there is something wrong with you–I’m fine. I believe that makes me a bigot . I don’t have any foundation–any ‘proof’ as it were that I am right and you are not other than my own distorted view of what it is I have chosen to find fault with. There likely isn’t enough room here for us to discuss this fully.

      Racists-racism–suggests that my hatred or my bias is based on who you are more than what you are. Less about you stand for and more about what you may represent. To me it is simply based in fear, supposition, your nationality, your behaviour, the color of your skin, and the myriad of so called facts that others have instilled in both of us–often by those whom we respect in some way for what ever reason and so those ‘facts’ and the unknown that surrounds you become the basis of how I see you.

      That’s the short of it for me–that’s how I see it anyways,, thanks again for your response–Jim

      Reply

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