There are times when I feel exhausted from having to monitor myself and make sure I’m not accidentally being racist (and sometimes I still fail). There are times when I am so tired of hearing about how privileged I am and how much responsibility that gives me . Can’t we all just forget it and get along? Do people really have to take offense?
And then I remember that no matter how annoyed I may feel about having to be respectful of the position I’m in (post coming soon on cultural appropriation and me), it is nothing compared to being prejudiced against.
I do see some people of privilege getting snarky and upset about how P.C. things are (as though being nice to people is a tremendous burden!) I am admitting here that I sometimes feel twinges of that.
I think what those people (and at times my own mind) fail to realize is how bad it is to be on the receiving end of racism.
It really is only fair (and actually does not even balance out) for me to have the uncomfortableness of trying not to offend others.
I can’t imagine what it is like to be looked at as “less than” by the people around you, to have nasty things said or implied about you or your family or your entire race and then be told to chill out and take it as a joke, to have someone be suspicious of you just from looking at you, to feel at risk because of something that should be giving you the respect and care of others.
Racism is alive around the world. As a person who has not been systematically oppressed, it is my responsibility to monitor my thoughts, speech, and action to counteract any racist tendencies in myself.
In my grandmother’s time, being of Irish heritage had prejudice against it in America. But I have never experienced anything like that. These days in America, it’s cool to be Irish.
So, Paula Deen, stop trying to defend yourself and just apologize. Take the lesson that it is better to treat others with love and respect. You’re human, you made mistakes, we all do. Realize that mistake and become a better person for it.