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I'm a Closet Racist!

Updated on July 21, 2015

I’m a racist! That statement shocks me more than it does you. It shocks me because as a white male in his late 50’s I wasn’t raised to be one.

My childhood was spent as a military dependent. In my lifetime, all children of military personnel were always integrated. We all went to the same schools, theaters, stores etc. I had never considered myself as being predjudiced. And for the most part I still don’t.

So, why do I make the above statement? I say it because the statement is true. Not in an overt, obvious militaristic manner as most people would consider a racist to be…but in small, not so noticeable ways. I was unaware of them myself.

If you were to ask people who know me well, they would say I’m the furthest thing away from being a racist. Many others might also fit that description. I get along well with most everybody and go out of my way to help those in need whenever possible, no matter what race they are. Recently, I bought a car and gave the van I had been driving to a black male friend who is a coworker. Although I could’ve sold the van, he really needed a vehicle. Is that the action of a racist?

Here’s a statement sure to get some people riled, but it’s true. Many of my best friends are black. Heck, I even married a Japanese woman and our dog was a Pekinese.

But all levity aside, this is a serious subject for me. Therefore, with all the evidence to the contrary, why would I say I’m a racist?

Many years ago, at around age 13, I was living in the small town of Clio, SC. It was during the early 60’s and school integration was being proposed by the government. I remember this being a frightening concept to not only me, but to most of the other Caucasian children in town as well.

For once, those chosen to be forced into one of the all black schools would then be the minority. How would they treat us? The same as they had been? It would only be fair.

But even then, I hadn’t considered myself as being prejudiced. Then, someone asked me a question that proved I was. “Would you accept a blood transfusion from a black person?” The thought shocked me…why I don’t know.

The thought had never occurred to me. Somewhere in my past I had picked up the notion whites were better than blacks. It could have been negative comments overheard from peers or a number of other possibilities. But there it was…right out in front of me.

It took me years to unlearn it. I thought I had finally conquered the specter of racism in my life. But it wasn’t so. Other unhealthy concepts kept plaguing me. A few years ago one became apparent that showed me I still had a problem.

Whenever I saw a black man with a white female, the thought, “She’s pretty; can’t she find a white guy?” entered my mind. That was an ugly thing for anyone to think and I knew it.

There are other examples of racism I’ve had to overcome and I’m sure more will crop up. However, I feel there are those in our country who keep fueling the flames of racism. It’s their livelihood. Without keeping the pot stirred up there would be no use for them.

I’ve been brutally honest in this article, but I feel that’s the only way any of us can overcome our problems.

Racism is dividing our country and there are those who would like to see nothing better.

But I know in my heart, I’ve overcome a lot of the negative thinking I once had. Being a racist in any form is wrong and it’s something I don’t want to be. Maybe there’s hope for us after all.


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      B-Dawg 4 years ago

      Jy 3502,

      Black skin would protect the white man from bogus discrimination lawsuits. A white person could protect a white person from a black racist better with a BLACK FACE! Black skin = Protection from black sin. White skin = Black sin magnet. It is time to bring pigmentation into the white community. Peace.

    • JY3502 profile image
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      John Young 4 years ago from Florence, South Carolina

      Ya don't have to yell. There's nothing wrong with the way you feel. You said you didn't hate anybody. God made us all the same anyway.

    • profile image

      ANN 4 years ago

      I AM NOT RACIST BECAUSE I DO NOT WANT TO MIX MY DNA WITH WHITE PEOPLE I WANT TO BE A 100 PERCENT BLACK WHY DO THAT MAKE ME RACIST TO BE PROUD OF MY PARENTS WHO WAS BOTH BLACK I DO NOT WANT MY KIDS MARRYING OR BREEDING WITH WHITS I DO NOT HATE WHIT E PEOPLE BUT I DO NOT WANT THEM IN MY DNA

    • profile image

      B-Dawg 4 years ago

      Trust me black skin would be a gift for todays white man! I am going to try to enlighten the white man this new year. My goal is to start a race change movement in the white community. Peace

    • JY3502 profile image
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      John Young 4 years ago from Florence, South Carolina

      Well, that's another view.

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      B-Dawg 4 years ago

      Jy 3502,

      If the white man was smart he would get a black spray tan and a wig and live as a black man. I am very serious! Nobody would mess with you, You would get all the fine women, black people would treat you better, you would not have to deal with racial politics. You are not a racist sir. Society has taught you to have white guilt. Black skin would really help the white man moving forward. Peace.

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      Sanxuary 4 years ago

      There are a lot of things to be called racist or prejudiced for and we all got preferences that others would call discrimination. Dumb white guys say outlandish stuff and never know they did and I see others to include other races who do and no one ever calls them on it. I watched two news reporters on TV discussing their Nanny situation as if the rest of the Country had Nannies, oblivious to the fact that most of us don't. This was after the fact a Nanny had just murdered some reporters kids. I call this class discrimination. Advertising is just as discriminatory as they seek every older person to get a reverse mortgage or a new wheel chair. We call this age discrimination, after three years you would think everyone needing a catheter got the free one by now. Sometimes its just a lack of taste or insensitivity but as a male I am tired about hearing about every female issue and my prostate. I even thought about having a sexual encounter just to test these condoms on TV. Toughest for me is to understand the gay community, because I feel like I am suppose to be supporting something, but I have no idea what or why. I am not homophobic nor do I care if others are, but quite honestly, I have no desire to understand or to ever experience anything with the same sex. In other wards its preference and honestly if everyone stayed in the closet and did not shove there sex life down my throat, I would be OK with that. My point is that we sometimes do not know how to act and sometimes we have no way to understand certain things. I respect everyone's sanctuary and I have no problem talking to anyone but I have found that everyone is different and everyone has their own cliques. Now you made me feel all guilty by writing this and I hope I did not offend anyone LOves Ta ya all. By the way we all might be different but we all bleed the same colour and all are tears taste the same.

    • JY3502 profile image
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      John Young 5 years ago from Florence, South Carolina

      Thank you Terrell. Since this was written, some time ago, I have recognized what you say is true.

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      Terrell 5 years ago

      You sir are NOT a racist. A racist doesn't recognize their negative thoughts and feelings toward others as racism. They only recognize these feelings as truth. To them, racism is not an evil thing that divides equals. It is a truth that separates the "superior" from the "inferior". You can hardly be blamed for any prejudice thoughts that may pop into your head. In our country and our society, racist thoughts and ideas have always been pushed on us. It's not your fault. You, as well as everyone else in our society, have been the victim of both subliminal (and sometimes, not so subliminal) racist messages. So when a seemingly racist thought pops up into your head, I don't think you should view yourself as a racist. Especially not when you recognize this thought as being wrong. A wise man once said, "One cannot control which birds fly over his head. But one can control whether or not to allow that bird to make a nest in his hair." In other words, we can't always control the thoughts that pop up in our mind, but we CAN control whether or not to entertain those thoughts.

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      Alun Palmer 5 years ago

      My wife and I used to live in a building where there was an interacial couple. I definitely got a sense that they hung out with us not because they particularly liked us or felt that we had much in common, but that probably we were the only ones who treated them as just ordinary people and didn't try to exclude them socially. I grew up knowing just white people, pretty much. I dated white English girls with the exception of a Belgian, a German and an American who was ethnic Puerto Rican, all of whom were actually foreign. The ethnic Puerto Rican was the only one who wasn't 100% white, and nobody exhibited any prejudice towards her. None of them had met anyone else like her before. The only one who was on the receiving end of any prejudice was the German girl. One time I was sitting next to her in the front row at a folk club and they had a stand-up comedian telling jokes about WW2!

    • JY3502 profile image
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      John Young 6 years ago from Florence, South Carolina

      Yes, Post. I do understand. Today it's mostly governments, not individuals who are keeping the race card in play. And so called religious leaders like Sharpton and Jackson who make a living off of it.

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      I love this post 6 years ago

      I have been struggling with that question since this summer. I'm quite disturbed because I don't know what to think. I'm an african woman (20 years old).

      I think: YES, when I see interracial couples, my first boyfriend was a blue eyed and blond boy from georgia (17). I liked him for his personality, not his looks. It's not about self hate since I also dated wonderful black men and a few indians (since they were attracted to me and I was attracted to them)

      I would have no problem marrying out of my race, even against my parents wishes (they say they don't mind it in itself, but they are afraid of the way the child will be treated- they don't want him to experience racism from BOTH sides.) They were still children during the colonial era so I can obviously understand where this mistrust comes from.

      Here's the thing that creeps me out: I too believe that I will get rejected because of my color which ends up leaving me in this weird state of "defense" and secretiveness. I can't say I "hate" white people, or think of them as being inferior or superior at all because I don't think so. I have been, from 6th to 12th grade in a 95% white high school and I had come straight from africa. I had never felt so out of place...It's much better now since college is much more diverse but I still find myself "afraid" to make a step towards someone from another race unless they look really friendly. I don't want to blame my parents because that's not productive, I'm twenty and should know better. I don't understand myself because I am able to make friends and heck, date people from another race but the moment I feel like "the world" comes in the picture I want to leave. Do you understand what I mean? I'm so confused...

    • JY3502 profile image
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      John Young 6 years ago from Florence, South Carolina

      James, very astute observations. I agree.

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      James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago

      I am not at all a racist in the classical meaning of the word, which meant: you would personally treat people differently based on their race. For me this means things such as helping a man with a broke down car or giving to fund to help the poor when you know if is for those of another race, or being kind and courteous to all people—in other words being JUST as kind and courteous to all people. Or not hiring a person if they are of a different race. I have never and would not ever be considered a racist under this definition.

      Today though, the meaning of the word has changed to mean something altogether different. Such as: if you oppose the policies of President Obama, you are a racist. If you aren't in favor of discrimination against white youths for college and employment, you are a racist. If you do not believe that all cultures on earth have been of equal value to mankind, you are a racist.

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      Valentine Logar 6 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      @Layla, of course it is possible for a racist to be attracted to someone from a group they 'hate'. Look at the slave owners and how they systematically raped their 'property' creating untold numbers of children for hundreds of years.

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      John Young 6 years ago from Florence, South Carolina

      Weirder things have happened. But, this guy sounds like he has some serious problems. I would give it serious consideration before continuing this relationship.

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      Layla 6 years ago

      Hello...I have a friend who is a self proclaimed racist. He says he hates Blacks, Jews, Hispanics and well all minorities yet I am a minority (Hispanic woman). He didnt start off being that honest, over the course of the years we became close friends and I do not know what our relationship is anymore. He tries to kiss me, hug me, hold my hand, I talk to him everyday etc. When he says racist comments or that he hates Hispanics I tell him that hurts my feelings to which he says "its the truth" I don't know what to think about him. Everyone tells me he likes me and ignore it primarily due to his comments and extreme views. I dont consider him for a relationship especially when I feel he hates himself for liking me. Is this possible? He was ranting and raving not so long ago and it finally got to me...told him that I'll remove myself from his life bc Im part of the crowd he hates so much and I cant take his racist behavior anymore. Is it possible for a racist man/woman to fall in love/like with a person of a minority group?

    • JY3502 profile image
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      John Young 6 years ago from Florence, South Carolina

      Car, you made some really good comments. This was written about a year ago. Since then, I think I can honestly say race doesn't bother me in the least anymore. Your honesty, as well as the others who commented here let me see I wasn't alone in this predicament. Thanks

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      carcamping 6 years ago

      I am so impressed with your honesty in this hub. I am white and I am not in a racial marriage but it's only because I met the man of my dreams who happens to be white. I hate racism and I have fought to teach my step-children not to judge on lines of color, religion, physical differences or anything else. 20 years ago if someone would have asked me about a blood transfusion, I may have thought twice but age and maturity have taught me that God put us all here and loves us equally (that's my belief). Even after all of that, I have to fight against what I hear in the news and on the street because I think it perpetrates racism and keeps our world divided.

      This was an excellent hub and much needed in today's world of so much denial and controversy. May others be as honest and soul seeking as you have been.

    • Valentine Logar profile image

      Valentine Logar 6 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      I just ran across this and have to say I was astounded and gratified as well by your thoughtful assessment. You and I are of an age, I suspect we have maybe some similarity in our backgrounds.

      I am also one half of an inter-racial marriage. Isn't my first though in between this one and the first I married to please others, that is someone White. I didn't look for someone outside of my race, it is just what happened. Oddly this time I wasn't even looking for a partner thinking I would remain single for the remainder of my life having not had much luck in love. I married again not only outside of my race but a non-American, but that is a different story altogether.

      I often have to examine my premise. My family had to shake some inherent prejudices given we are first Texans and Southerners, oh yes indeed we had some real Sheets in our closet a couple of generations back from mine. I broke so many molds they stopped counting. I was also the victim of a brutal hate crime in which I nearly lost my life, all those prejudices emerged full force and no one in my family understood how I continued to see past race to humans, I met and married married my husband long after that event.

      So I think really, we all have the capacity for racism. It is something each of us have to work at, examine our motives and our reactions. It is so simple to accept social standards and definitions without challenge and then we fall into traps.

      Anyway, thank you for writing this. It was refreshing to read.

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      John Young 7 years ago from Florence, South Carolina

      Dorkies,

      I liked your comment as well. I think awareness is the first step. Since writing this article, I've been able to search my soul and found peace with myself. I thought about if I would marry a black woman and can honestly say I could if it was the right person. Heck,I wouldn't marry most white women these days. LOL Thanks for your feed back.

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      Dorkies 7 years ago from Tennessee

      I have to say that I like your post. I am a black woman married to a white man (and we just had a beautiful little girl). Although I'm not from your generation, I understand what you mean by the whole fear ingerating blacks and whites. I agree with you that racism is tearing our world apart. I think its ridiculous to judge someone by their skin colour rather than their actions OR judge someone (or add them to the stereotype) because someone of their racial background did something terrible; which may mean that they are more incline to do it too...I married my husband because I saw pass his skin tone; all I saw was his love, humor, full of life, and his caring for me. He came from a family that wasn't keen on interracial coupling. Did he get with me to "stick it" to them? I asked him that when we first started dating because I was curious given his family background (we're all lovey with each other after they met me during our 6 month courtship).

      This is what he said to me: "I could care less of what they think. I'm not with you to please them or stick it to them. I'm with you because I care about you and love you. Our skin tone does not dictate our relationship, our love do. If anyone has a problem with that, they can kiss my ass."

      He honestly said that to me..lol..but, i just wish people would have an open mind and realize that a person's action is what made you not like them, not the skin colour.

    • JY3502 profile image
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      John Young 7 years ago from Florence, South Carolina

      I can understand that. I've known people in mixed marriages. After knowing them a while, it's obvious they married for love. Thanks for understanding. I thought it was important as I think there are many who have the same thoughts.

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      Kevin Schofield 7 years ago

      Hi JY3502. I'm a white guy married to a black woman and the disturbing thought occurs to me that I might have married my wife to disprove some latent racist feeling. But I didn't, I'm sure of that. Or am I?

      No. I absolutely married my wife because I love her as the unique person she is, not as a Black, Asian or White woman. But having established that, I know I have an infinite capacity to conjure up phantoms of doubt in my mind that endlessly question my motives and "true feelings". In other words I'm a self-torturer rather than a crypto-racist. Anyway, that's a part of my own peculiar, personal inner war.

      I admire your courage in disclosing your own personal inner war, and writing a perceptive and thoughtful hub. Kind regards, Kev.