Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Is there still a racial divide in this country? Um, yeah.

I used to be like you. Naive and living in a state where racism wasn't obvious.

Then I lived in GA for 8 years.

What a rude awakening.

First, let me say I LOATHE the term "reverse racism". Reverse racism would be not racist. Racism is one race against another, not just owned by minorities. I also hate when people pronounce Mischievous "Mis-chee-vee-ous", when there is clearly no "I" after the "v", making the correct usage "Mis-che-vous".

But that's a whole other topic.

While working in staffing agencies, it was normal for a client to specifically tell me they didn't want black people. It got to the point I had to submit resumes with no names, when the name was clearly ethnic, or they would not agree to interview the person. This is why I tell people that depending on where they live, be careful what you name your child, because people may not even look at you as a candidate if they have a bias.

I also had many companies ask specifically for mexicans, and they actually would pay MORE for someone of that nationality, because they were hard workers.

I don't understand why people think that undocumented workers don't pay taxes. Most of them do, as they carry fake social security cards, and still have to complete the requisite tax forms. So they pay in to our system, yet cannot draw the benefits later.

No matter what racist or sexist job orders I had been given, I always advised my clients that I would submit the best qualified person for the job, period, and that I could not accept job specifications based on race, religion, sex or creed.

Probably the most irritating, and shocking experience I have had in dealing with racism, was a coworker of mine who was a white girl from Mississippi. She was married, to her family's dismay, to a Puerto Rican, and had two mixed race daughters with him. But she was fast to tell you she only married him because she mistakenly got knocked up, or she wouldn't have married a Puerto Rican. She also told me during the first Obama campaign, that she wasn't ready to vote for a black guy for President. The hipocrisy stung me. How can you be the mother of two mixed race children, yet not be "ready" for a mixed race President?

The political parties have completely changed. It used to be that most southerners were democrats...back when they owned slaves. It's funny now, that all the southern states are now red. Just a coincidence?

People love to say that they aren't racist. My experience is, if you feel you have to verbalize it, you're a racist.

Thank Goodness I have raised two race-blind children. It's much easier to live your live when you choose your friends and, eventually political figures, when race isn't a factor.

And as someone pale as a ghost, I can't wait to introduce some mixed culture into my own family, as my red-headed youngest seems to have an affinity for girls who are latin in ethnicity.


  1. Nice Keri. The joke in Richmond, VA was that all the riff raff lived south of the river and the social elite lived north of the river. All bridges crossing the river (except for one) were toll roads. Dispite what many will admit, Richmond is still a very segregated city. Many would talk openly about their willingness to help and volunteer in urban schools and settings, but would be the first to call the cops if they saw a black man walking in a white neighborhood.

  2. I really loved this post. Very honest and open. My husband, a white man, was raised to not notice color and sadly, when he joined the Army he got a rude awakening. While we were stationed in Germany, he was one of only three white people in his section and for some reason, everyone, including his SGT thought it was cool to pick on him and accuse him of being racist because he didn't act like the other two guys--Eminem-ish, I suppose.

    But it really bothered him because he didn't understand why they thought that about him. Because I worked odd shifts, I didn't get a chance to meet the people in his section. Once my shift changed, I started inviting the guys over for dinner and they were surprised that his wife was black. Then, of course, because I play video games, listen to all types of genres of music, mostly punk, some hip-hop, mostly old school, though, and I spoke as if I went to college, which I did, I wasn't "black enough." Or "You're not a real black girl." It was really annoying. It was frustrating because my husband didn't have any friends there--no one he felt he could bond with.