Saturday, August 20, 2011

A Conversation With My Father

Dad: I’m racist now.

Me: Excuse me?

D: Yep. I hate how black people are treated differently.

M: Dad, that’s basically the opposite of racism.

D: No, no, no. I’m telling you. I’m super racist.

M: Ok, give me an example of your racism.

D: I just think everyone should be seen as equal.

M: Right. Not racist.

D: You listen to me! I! Am racist!

M: Dad, I’ve literally never heard you say anything racist.

D: I totally do. Like the other day I heard a black guy yelling at his daughter in public and I told him to stop it.

M: Not racist.

D: But then he told me to mind my own business.

M: Not racist.

D: I think he thought I was racist.

M: But you just said that you are.

D: Exactly.

1 comment:

  1. Here's what makes the situation racist: the fact that the person's race was unnecessarily mentioned. I understand in the context of this blog entry, it was necessary to include it. However, your dad's retelling of the story is a little suspect. The situation could've simply been described as "a man was yelling at his daughter." Instead, it is described as "a BLACK man was yelling at his daughter." That's what makes him a racist.

    Emily Yoffe's book is a perfect example of this: she never mentions the race of any of the characters in her book until she describes the story of a dog trainer who inadvertently killed a dog in his care. In that story, she makes sure to point out his race. (WTF?)

    (Also, FWIW, proclaiming "I don't see race/colour," is not the answer!)