Are you listening?
If you listed things that fell under the term “bad habits” I’m sure the usual suspects like smoking, and over eating, or drug and alcohol use would be at the top of that list, followed by nail-biting and maybe even that irritating clinkitty clink of the spoon as it goes round and round in someone’s cup of tea. And somewhere on that list racism will make an appearance, probably somewhere low because it’s 2010 we don’t have that bad habit anymore!
Or do we?
What if I said we all participate in or witness a viral form of bigotry every day, most without consciously realizing it, just like a bad habit? We have a ridiculous verbal preoccupation with skin color and have somehow made ethnic labeling a part of not only every day conversation but, everyday language itself.
I challenge you to cognitively count how many times in a single day you – or those talking to you or around you, use a racial descriptor before words like guy, boy, kid, man, woman, girl, lady, etc..
Think about it. Did someone tell you about the “Mexican” guy that lives on their block or did you find yourself retelling a moment when you saw the cutest little “black” girl at the store or even find yourself looking at someone thinking not bad for a “white chick”? If you start counting, I guarantee you will be surprised.
If one “white guy” is talking to another “white” guy about a “white” guy he isn’t going to describe him as a “white” guy , in fact he probably wont mention that he’s a “white” guy at all, yet, if one “white” guy is talking to another “white” guy about a “black” guy the one talking will say exactly that, a “ black guy”. Why isn’t he just a guy?