I’m a middle aged, that’s weird to say, white male. Growing up, I never considered myself as a racist. I didn’t see a specific type of person and think anything that covered a whole race of people. I had friends, or at least acquaintances of all types.
The first time I was accused of being a racist white guy was in Army basic training. I needed something from a specific drill sergeant, but I didn’t know his name. I described him as the black drill sergeant. He was the only african american drill we had. I then spent at least an hour doing push ups and being accused of being a racist. Thinking about that now, they never did tell me how I was supposed to describe him. That was in the 90’s.
It’s now 2015 and I still don’t know what words I can use and which ones I can’t. From watching the news and other media it appears that it really doesn’t matter what I do or say. I, and others like me, have been deemed to be the enemy by default. It’s almost as if there are people that want me to be a racist whether I am or not. It feels like brainwashing. If I’m told that I’m racist for long enough, then eventually I’ll accept the title and act accordingly. Then, I can truly be called an enemy. Interesting approach.
I’ve only mentioned one incident here, but there are more than I can count. Both on the job as a police officer, and personally. So, I’m truly interested. What do I do? What am I? Am I automatically racist because of my skin color? Do I have a choice?