01 October, 2011


A racist confesses

Those who are kind enough to read this drivel regularly will be aware that I have little truck with the accusations of racism, or even Racism, that are bandied about with careless abandon (you can't really say "gay abandon" these days, can you?) by Righteous White Liberals and Darkie career race-hustlers. If I call a Spade a Black bastard, it's because he is a bastard, not because he's Black; "Black" in this context is just an opportunistic intensifier. And I dare you to demonstrate otherwise. When you call me a four-eyed racist git, are you suggesting that is it because I wear glasses that I am, so you allege, a racist?

But I have to admit that there some are ingrained attitudes which I'm ashamed of which I find mildly amusing. I was reminded of this the other day during the current Native American Summer (© Pavlov's Cat). When the sun comes out many young White males of the rougher sort are wont to remove their T-shirts and wander round bare-topped. I always find this behaviour vaguely intimidating. Perhaps because the sort of person who indulges in it tends to be vaguely intimidating anyway. Perhaps because of all that testosterone-laden sweat radiating into the atmosphere. Certainly I'm not alone in this view: witness the outbreak of "Shirts must be worn" notices outside the more respectable boozers and fastfooderies. (Question: My shirt is brand new and shows absolutely no sign of fading or fraying. Am I still allowed in?)

But I noticed some young Black males the other day who were walking about bare-topped and it didn't seem at all intimidating. As individuals they were no less intimidating than their White counterparts, but their state of partial déshabillé seemed perfectly natural and unthreatening. Interesting buried cultural assumptions lurking there.

All this brings to mind an earlier brush with deep-seated cultural and racial prejudices: the first time I encountered a physically disabled non-White person. Not a common sight in the 1960s, I have to say: persons of colour were then a) few and far between and b) mostly recently-arrived first-generation immigrants who almost by definition are youngish and able-bodied; the crook and the broken ones tend to languish back home.

But my reaction to this person, and to pretty well any other handicapped non-White until fairly recently, was one of extra compassion, over and above what I would have felt towards a similarly disadvantaged fellow White. It took me half a lifetime to realize what the subtext is that underlies that reaction: "Being handicapped is an awful thing. But having the misfortune to be handicapped and a Darkie as well is to really draw life's short straw."

There you go. Us White folks are human too.

You're mistaken, being white and handicapped is more of a problem.

For disabled non-whites, there are plenty of government funded specialist organisations that are exclusive for their use only and for the rest(since they are so hard done by already), there are only national helplines, and even there non-whites will get preferential treatment, due to the effect you've described. So, in a way, this imagined racism creates real racism -- white people being excluded from getting proper help due to people imagining that they are 'privileged'.

WV: hircism (...)

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