My Woolly Liberal Rant

OK. I am probably about to commit blog suicide and cull what little audience I have, but I feel I have to rant a little.

Since starting blogging I have slowly gone through the process of finding other bloggers that I like to read by clicking on people that comment on the blogs I read. It tends to work well as it usually ensures a certain amount of mutual interest. I don’t agree with everything that they all say, and I will frequently throw in my 2¢. I think this is the first time I have felt the need to “bring it back” to my blog.

I recently found a blog that I have been reading, but I fear I may have made myself a little unpopular over there now. This is a shame because I otherwise enjoy reading it. Today’s entry was entitled What To Do When You Don’t Like The New Boyfriend and I was expecting an interesting discussion about how and whether to discourage a daughter from going out with a boy that the mother did not get on with for some reason.

She has decided to start seeing a boy who is black. We are white. No, I am not a racist. I think white people should date white people.

She then went on to describe how she has gone about actively trying to sabotage the relationship.

Now I know that I am a bit of a woolly liberal, but yes it does … A statement like that means that yes you are … you are a racist!. You may not be openly racist, you may even believe that because you are ok with the black people living down the street, or serving you at the check out this makes you … well what ever not a racist is (unracist?) … but these are easy things to live with. What do you want… a prize for not going out in your truck with a pillow case over your head, brandishing a pitch fork and setting fire to crosses? It is not the easy things in life that define who we are, it is when things get difficult that we show our true character.

The situation is also not made any less racist just because the boy’s mother is equally keen to see the relationship fail because she does not want him going out with a white girl. That just makes her a racist too. It could be argued that she may have been persecuted for so long that her reaction is almost understandable, but it makes it no less intolerant.

I am not saying anyone has to be Politically correct or ever particularly tolerant. She has every right to interfere with her daughter’s relationship as she sees fit. I am not even saying that being a racist makes someone an inherently bad person (I would suggest it might not be their best feature).

Just be honest, at least with yourself. Don’t start a sentence by saying “I’m not a racist” and then follow it up with an act of racism. To paraphrase Forest Gump A Racist is as a Racist does!

However, having said all this these are only my opinions and should by no means be considered the the beginning rather than the end of any discussion. If you disagree, tell me why, tell me what I am not seeing, what I am overlooking. I do not claim to be divine, I am not the Fonz, I will admit it if you convince me that I am wrong.

17 Responses to My Woolly Liberal Rant

  1. Elena says:

    I really like the blog you are talking about and I really like a lot of the commenters, but I have to agree with you. I think that disapproving of someone based solely on their ethnicity or skin color does fall under the definition of racist.

    I admire the way you presented your opinion in your comments. I thought you were very respectful and intelligent in your arguments.

  2. RC says:

    Seriously, that is what she said?!?!?!?!? And in what place-that-time-forgot does she live?

    Now I’m just curious about her reasoning behind these feelings. Interesting.

  3. RC says:

    Okay, I know which blog it is, and although I know many older folks who disagree with an interracial relationship, it is startling for me to see it from someone fairly close to my age range.

    After reading her full post, and some of the responses, I think it is racism. Is it in the most extreme sense? No. But it is racism.

    Does she have a right to feel the way she does? Of course she does, but it is still a racist thought and she should examine why she feels the way she does, in my opinion. We, as humans, all have the right to feel however we feel. Feelings are private, and a person can’t change the way they feel about something. (They can change how the react, and feelings may change over time through their own experiences, but nobody is capable of changing another person’s feelings and feelings don’t change overnight.)

    Although I’m the last person to preach that we should all remain PC all of the time, I think she should have opened her mind and looked beyond the skin color.

  4. Mr Geek says:

    Elena: Thankyou for your comment, I am glad to know I was not the only one. I too have enjoyed reading it, and it took me by surprise.

    RC: Cognitive Dissonance is amazing. I do believe that she meant what she said and that she did not see it as being racist. I have heard many people say similar things and it usually starts with the sentence “I’m not a racist, but …”. It is usually with people from at least a generation older though.

  5. Mr Geek says:

    RC: I don’t mean to call anyone out, and that is why I didn’t link to the post. I am sure she feels it is her child so her call, and in that respect I do not disagree. I hope her daughter has the presence of mind to see it for what it is and to some extent I hope she also has the courage to stand up to it. Particularly being that the mother didn’t like the last boy friend, but there was no ban placed on him because he was white.

  6. BookMama says:

    I don’t read/follow the blog you’ve referred to, but I happen to agree with everything you’ve said here. Frankly, I’ve found that nearly anytime someone says “I’m not racist, but … ” or “I’m not a homophobe, but … ” etc. that the person is precisely that.

    I find your comments about how it’s easy to be “not racist” to the family down the street, or to the clerk at the store, etc. That’s very true! It’s when it’s closer to home that it really counts. This brings to mind a theory I have about the post Civil War era tha I won’t bore folks with here.

  7. mrsvierkant says:

    A very well stated and well written “woolly liberal rant.”

  8. Mr Geek says:

    BookMama: I have found that it is usually the case that people have a limited exposure to the thing to which they attach the prejudice, be it people of different race, religion or sexual persuasion.

    I remember my FIL trying to convince me that he would disown his son if he were to turn out to be gay. This from a man that had lived most of his adult life in a town of 10000 people and had barely met a gay person in his life. Now his BIL has been “out” for about 10 years and he has had exposure to gay people, he has mellowed significantly.

  9. Mr Geek says:

    mrsvierkant: Thankyou. But you don’t read when I respond to your comments anyway 😉

  10. Daisy says:

    Mr. Geek – although I don’t read the blog you’re referring to, I agree wholeheartedly with your post. I have to admit my parents (yes, my own parents) are racist and there is really not a heck of a lot you can say to them to change their mind. They claim they are not, but, oh yes they are in their home.

    Here’s the craziness when I was young and dating, it wasn’t just about colour… it got very specific about the country they were from. Even worse, I wasn’t even necessarily dating these guys – they were just friends! Needless to say, it was hard for them and me, and I ended up marrying someone not only from the wrong country/background/race and darn it even gave them a mixed grandson!

    Sigh. Racists come in all sizes, shapes and colours. Even in your own family. Like you say, they aren’t bad people.. it just is not their best quality! 🙂

    P.S. I found this very timely as I just did a post on multi-racial people not a few minutes ago.

  11. Tendrils says:

    Wow. i read the blog you are talking about….I pop in every so often but have never commented…… and I am in total agreement with you! Anytime someone starts with, “Now, I am not_____” Bullshit! Ugh. (oops, I probably shouldn’t swear on your blog) Bad Tendrils, Bad! 😦

    Your rant is very well written and very respectable! I liked your comments over on her blog as well! 😉

  12. tendrils says:

    Damn—-I always forget to log in before I comment, so I don’t get my “pretty” picture on my comments! LOL! (Awww, man, that’s a second curse…sorry!)

  13. Mr Geek says:

    Daisy: You have both my sympathy and admiration. It can be very hard to stand up against one’s parents, especially when it is against an unarguable concept.

    Tendrils/tendrils ( 😉 ): Much to the disagreement of one of the other contributors, I tried to keep it civil as it was never going to be well received, if I didn’t dance lightly I would be more easily ignored.

    Oh and I have no problem with your potty mouth fingers 😉

  14. Daisy says:

    Before I leave the wrong impression… my parents are very happy with their grandson and have softened quite a bit about the hubby.

  15. Just a Mom says:

    I am the author of the post that Mr. Geek is referring to. If you are to go by the dictionary, then I would be a racist. Living in the South, in the United States of America, I do not see myself as being a racist. Unfortunately people in pickup trucks, in white sheets burning crosses do still exist here and that in my definition, is a racist. That is the group of people with whom I was trying to avoid being lumped into.

  16. Rick says:

    Racism is racism is racism. I’m a new reader to this blog and completely agree with the general concensus here.

  17. Mr Geek says:

    Daisy: I know many people like that too. It’s funny how people come to terms with things when forced.

    Just a Mom: As I said on your blog, Yes I think this is definitely racist behavior. As much as I don’t agree with it, the way you bring up your daughter is your business.

    I do think it begs further discussion though, what prompts you to think that the races should not mix? Are your views “Set in Stone”? or are they open to logical debate?

    I do however respect the fact that you accept dissenting voices on your blog even if one of your readers is a little sensitive 🙂

    Rick: Nice of you to drop by

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