01 October, 2011
A racist confesses
But I have to admit that there some are ingrained attitudes
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.
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 (...)