I know that it exists. We’ve in been a small midwestern town where there were simply no minorities at all and heard a man who did not support his family say the reason was because all the minorities got first pick of all the jobs. I do know there have been situations where a minority had a hiring advantage, but this was simply not the case. With no minorities in the town, it’s simply impossible for preferential hiring to be the reason this man did not have a job. When we were in our early twenties we rented a house from a little old lady at our church. When we were moving she wanted us to help her find a replacement renter. We kept sending her potential renters, and she kept saying she needed us to help her find new renters. One day I called her on the phone to say that we were sending somebody else over to interview her and I thought they seemed great. There was a pause. Then she said, “WEll, are they like us?” I thought she meant “Are they Christians?”
What followed was a very tangled conversation as she tried to say what she meant without actually saying what she meant and I failed completely to understand her. I wasn’t being deliberately obtuse, it simply never, ever would have occured to me that somebody would refuse to rent a house to a family just because of color. Maybe I was stupid and naive, but my parents did rear me to be color blind, and I appreciate that. My landlady didn’t. She finally had to say what she meant, “Are they white?” I was utterly flabbergasted, gobsmacked, incoherent, and astonished. There was a long and painful silence as I tried to make my mouth and brain work together. I think I just said “I don’t know” and hung up. Then I called her back to say, “You know, you just can’t, can’t, can’t, can’t, I mean you can’t, it’s just not, well, you know, you just can’t say things like that.”
She said she knew, and she apologized and asked me not to tell anybody, because she was just an old lady.
My mind still reeling I weakly repeated my ‘but you just cant, can,t can’t do that.’ and added the even weaker, “It’s illegal.” A friend told me later that the legality part was least important, I should have explained that it was immoral, unbiblical, unchristian. My friend was right, and I wish I’d been better at thinking on my feet.
I could give other anecdotes, but my point is simply that racism does exist, and I get very tired of discussion where people insist it doesn’t.
I get equally tired of discussions where people insist it exists where it doesn’t. Which brings me to this article, an excellent response to all the ridiculous accusations floating around about the reasons for the tragicomic response to Katrina: The RAcism Charges Won’t Wash
“If the government’s failure to get help instantly to Katrina victims reflects American racism, why have the images of thousands of poor, displaced blacks triggered the greatest outpouring of charity in American history?
…News outlets and pundits the world over—from the Washington Post to Al Jazeera—have gleefully portrayed the Katrina suffering as the product of what Braun calls “America’s original sin—racism.” Yet for racial sinners, Americans are sure behaving strangely. As of September 11, they had donated at least $788 million to Katrina charities, according to the Chronicle of Philanthropy—an unprecedented pace of giving, easily topping the post-9/11 and tsunami giving”