I am beyond tired of the new age progressive definition of the word racism that includes a power dynamic. I’m especially tired of the Leftist Caucasian Crusaders who feel it’s their job to tell me exactly what racism is. So, I want to give a personal example of how it requires neither power or privilege or systemic oppression to still be racism.
I was born in bumfuck Mississippi in 1982 to a white woman and a black man that actually married, and remained married.
The school we went to was the only public school in the county. It was split down the middle racially, exactly half black and half white with no other ethnicities except one Malaysian teacher, two affluent Spanish sisters (their dad was a town doctor), and one of the mixed kids whose mom wasn’t white. There were a total of 6 mixed kids during all my time there, all with black fathers and non black mothers. One was a nut job who was friends with no one and I believe in special ed, three associated strictly with white kids and told stories like they were full-blooded Native American or they had birth defects that caused their skin to be dark. The other two of us accepted that we were pretty much black although we had both white and black friends.
When I was in elementary I had my first crush, on a white boy. He was almost as dark as me in the summertime with black hair and brown eyes. We were friends. We had classes and were in the gifted program together.
One Saturday I was at Pizza Hut in town. We had gotten a free basketball with our pizza and I walked outside to take it to the car. As I was going back in, I saw a car riding up to me and I realized it was the boy I liked in the passenger seat. We had to be about 11 years old or so. I raised my hand to wave and he let down the window and said, “I could never like you, you dog. You’re nothing but a mutt.”
I just stood there and then I turned and walked back in the store. I realized that someone must have told him that I had a crush on him and then I realized that obviously we were no longer friends.
It was one of many instances of pure racial hatred that I experienced in elementary and junior high from both races and all economic groups. The reason why I use this as an example of how racism requires neither power or privilege is because this kid came from a single-parent, multi-child household and lived in a single wide trailer. My parents were married. We lived in a house. We had horses. We went on vacation every summer. We were by no means well off, but I was doing better than this kid.
He had no power or privilege over me, yet he was racist toward me and that is the instance of racism that has stuck with me throughout the years.