Am I, A White Man, Racist Against My Own Kind?
Updated: Feb 17, 2020
As a white guy, I've always considered myself to be generally sympathetic towards white people. It's hard to say exactly why, but there seems to be some connection I have with the pale-skinned. I think a lot of it has to do with understanding the day to day struggles that us whites experience, like when cops disregard our lawyers business card at traffic stops, or when we get the wrong colored BMW for Christmas, or even when father forces us to take over the family multi-million dollar business.
Recently, though, I’ve had my character called into question by Reddit user u/LarryTheLobstar after posting my 2019 NCAA Average White Guy All American Team to the College Basketball subreddit. I intended to celebrate white people and our ability to adapt with the times. We went from inventing the game of basketball - to being the stars - to letting black people play - to trying our best - to being glorified cheerleaders - ALL with complete grace. Sure, I may have taken a couple of digs at my own pasty people, but Larry's comment caught me by surprise:
As you can see, LarryTheLobstar ghosted me following my final comment. He simply moved on to sharing his well-formed opinion on other subreddits, specifically r/Nostalgia:
See, Reddit is a place where people throw their opinions out to the universe, completely unchecked; This is something I’m well aware of. Yet, for whatever reason, after LarryTheLobstar's comments, I found myself stuck in my own head, fighting a war of thoughts. I couldn’t be racist against white people, could I? I mean, for fuck sakes, who was the only media member willing to call out Farmington University, an ICE ran academy, for their anti-white admissions bias? That’s right: Bigleys.
It wasn't until I over-analyzed every single thought and action that took place in my 25 years of life that I noticed I may just be subconsciously racists towards whites...
I can remember as far back as being an 8th grader at my local high school's basketball camp. Since I was a star amongst the whites, I was chosen as 1 of the 12 captains in charge of picking a team. I was given the 12th pick overall. When it was finally my turn to select my 1st round draft pick, I scanned the faces of those that were left, many of which were dear friends of mine.
"Pauly?" I thought, "No. John? Too fat. Daniel? Jesus Christ, are his parents still in denial that their kid is gay. Basketball camp isn't going to change his mind."
I continued down the line until…until I saw him. He stood out like a sore thumb that was badly bruised. It was like looking at a rack full of bananas and seeing one severely rotten one. Not saying rotten is anything negative in this case, just when bananas rot they turn brown...and I'm not trying to compare black people and bananas...What I’m trying to say is that he was black; The only black kid at the camp full of opaque suburban kids.
Now, had I ever seen this black kid before? No. Did I see him take a single shot in warmups? No. Did I pick him anyway? You’re goddam right I did. I thought it was quite courageous of me. Imagine me, standing in front of 90 white kids that I knew, and choosing the one kid I’d never met.
On top of that, I had to choose him without saying, “the black kid.” Do you know how much of a hassle it is to pretend like he's not the only black kid there? I just kept saying, “you,” until he finally realized I was talking about him.
When it came down to it, did we make the championship game? Yes. Was he the most athletic kid in that gym? Precisely. But does that make what I did right? Absolutely not. I discriminated against my pale counterparts and showed a racist bias that I’m not proud to admit.
Was that it, though? One measly slip up as an 8th grader? I started looking deeper when my fantasy football draft came to mind. Christian McCaffrey dropped to me in my draft, and I skipped right over him. I didn't even have a second thought. Sure the guy had an incredible season the year prior, but he's white…You know what I'm saying?
Let me phrase it like this: He's literally a white running back. My racist pea-sized brain couldn't see past the skin color of Christian, and it blew up in my face. Maybe there was some truth behind Larry's words. What other racist actions have I partaken in?
Well, when a person in a MAGA hat sits next to me, what do I do? I move. Not because of political reasons, but rather to avoid the confrontation that I assume will inevitably happen. The same way Mark Cuban walks to the other side of the street when black people are coming, I get out of the way before I find myself in the middle of a viral MAGA Hat video.
Then there’s my constant referral to frat kids as Chad’s and Brad’s, one of the most discriminatory phrases you can use towards a white man. At this point, the word is so deeply rooted in hate that it's arguably equivalent to the N-word. I even say it in front of my frat friends, completely unapologetic. I never earned my right to use that term. They're the ones that had to blackout and swim across the University pond, not me. Their fathers, and their father's fathers were hazed. That's why they can use the word, and I can't. Meanwhile, I'm liking every Chad and Brad meme I see, acting like they're not blatantly racist.
So, maybe LarryTheLobstar is right: Maybe I am racist towards whites. Perhaps it's time I grow up a bit and learn about my culture. Rather than constantly putting down my people, why don't I learn to lift them up? No more assuming white people are unathletic. I refuse to go on calling my friends the C-word or B-word. I shall take a spiritual journey to the birthplace of the white man: Wisconsin. There I will indulge in my culture and learn about my ancestors. No longer will I attack those of my own race. From here on out, I promise only to make fun of other ethnicities. Racist no more!