As apologetically as I say it and as much I hate admitting it, I definitely am racist. From the time I was a little girl growing up in the south, I’ve always been afraid of men, especially those who are minority. I am a bit of a minority, myself. I have about eight different ethnic backgrounds on one side of my family alone, but it’s always been instilled in me through movies, television shows, the news and my parents (especially my white step-father who was prejudice against African-Americans) that there are people who can’t be trusted and a lot of those people happen to be men who belong to a minority.
I’m just a few weeks from turning twenty years old and this fear of African-American and Hispanic men still haunts me. Today I took my dog on a walk and I was sitting on the curb in the grass with her when a super clean, really nice car with large shinny rims drove past me and parked on the side of the road. Out of the fear that has been embedded in me since childhood, I immediately got up, took my dog and hurriedly walked in the other direction for fear that there was a big, scary black man in the car wanting to hurt me. All I could think to myself was, “You are a fucking, racist! What in the hell is your problem?!”
I truly am ashamed of the way that I judge people. More than half of my closest friends are black. I think that African-American and Hispanic children are absolutely beautiful. I also think that black people in general have gorgeous smiles and strikingly gorgeous faces. I am a minority myself, but I still have a sense of fear in my heart towards any Black or Hispanic man that I don’t know.
I’ve been praying a lot recently that God will heal me of this disease. I want to love people purely, all people. I don’t want this sense of fear anymore. I don’t want to feel uncomfortable around a stranger just because they have a dark complexion. I don’t want to cast unintentional judgement on someone because of the pigment of their skin and the gender that they are.
I wanted to go to that man and apologize to him for running away from him because of my own broken judgement. I’m not very brave or bold a lot of times though so it didn’t happen and in all honesty, I was still afraid of him, even after I saw that he was just a boy about my age who was harmless.
The racism that I have in my heart is most likely a similar type of fear and prejudice that got Trayvon Martin killed. It’s the same sort of heart issue that led George Zimmerman to stalk a harmless child and kill him.
It isn't an intentional behavior, it's something that I've learned (mostly from the media) since I was small. I need to be healed. I have a feeling that there's a lot of us that need to be healed in this area. I can't be the only one. Racism isn't dead. It is still an issue. I genuinely hope that my children and all of my friend's children will not be taught this type of fear. I truly hope that they will freely be able to look at someone without judgement in their hearts based on the color of another person's skin. There is no true equality until it resounds in all of our hearts.