I’m a Racist, or Something

12-31-2020: I think people that are obvious racists are willing to destroy anyone that is different than them, I think of it as an ‘ignorant hatred’. But I don’t think that I’m a racist because I don’t like people that are different than me, I think for me it’s different. I think that the Black people Brown people and Latin-American people, and Korean people and European and Mexican people that worked with me in the ARMY knew that I wasn’t a blatant racist… I remember my dark-skinned brothers trying so hard to get me to say ‘nigger’, I think it was two-fold, 1 they knew that I wouldn’t mean it from a real white racist perspective so there was 'nonsense humor' in that, and B, it’s pretty funny to hear a guy from Boston try to pronounce a word that ends with ‘er’, it’s impossible for a guy from Boston to say thousands of words that end in ‘R’ without pronouncing it as ‘ah’, so basically they were screwing with me… and I love it, and I still love those guys today.

But I do think I’m a kind of a racist because sometimes when I’m around people that are different than me (race, ethnicity, religion, height, weight, young, old, weird hair, no hair, smell, loudness, bumpy texture, tattoos, piercings, demographic, too much or not enough fashion sense…etc) I begin to assume things about that person. I think that when people begin to assume things about people that are different than them they are much closer to racists then maybe we want to consider.

Do me a favor and after you finish reading this looong article, try to google this… ‘how many seconds to make first impression’… but don’t be lazy, please actually do it in conjunction with reading this post.

If your ‘google results’ are similar to mine you might see skimming’s of articles saying that most people will have formed an initial opinion of someone else between less than 1 second, and up to other results that say you get a whole 27 seconds to shape another’s opinion, and then a bunch of other interesting results/articles that suggest something in between… I am lazy and have not read those interesting results yet, someday I might, but not yet… and full disclosure, I didn’t read much of the other two articles/results either, based on how much influence they have in fine details or if I’m making a larger point (do you know that almost anything that you can imagine, well that you can find similar things on the internet, and then think that you are totally right in thinking the way that you do… try it and see what I mean, make up something really bizarre and try it).

The rest of my full disclosure/DISCLAIMER is that I am not a subject matter expert in anything that I write about. Things that I write about are all opinion and observations and probably a whole bunch of stuff that I have heard people say, or read over the course of being a 51-year old white male born in Arlington, Mass. USA … that is literally the only credential that I poses, I have a different life experience than anyone else on earth and that’s all that I have to offer in life and in my words, I’m not all that smart based on stereotypes or qualifications that we expect smart people to have, I’m not all that important either unless you ask my family and friends, so keep those things in mind as you read.

But if I write about a topic, idea or thought that seems interesting to you and you would prefer to see what professionals have to say about these ideas then it’s up to you to not be lazy and just outright dismiss my every word, so do it, I mean it’s easy to find information and read it for yourself, right? … Similarly, it’s also up to you to not be lazy and just keep reading blindly as if everything that I write is honest and truthful… maybe I’m writing this from a secured hospital room, where I’ve been restrained from hurting myself or others, with powerful drugs attempting to keep me ‘safe’, and maybe I’m writing this on the phone of the person that is now duct-taped to the inside of my closet door… or worse, what if all of that is true AND, your ‘regular source of info’ are even more unreliable than me-- WHAT… well it happens, not exactly as I have described above, but it happens every day.

So my point about racism is that it’s just too lazy and easy to quickly judge/label people as the ‘stereotypes’ that we have all heard before, and it’s lazy and easy to just blindly hate things or people that are different, or things or people that might be a little hard to understand at first. But how/when/why does our laziness and ignorance become ‘correct’ or ‘truthful’, or just ‘what we want it to be’ (assumptions)… maybe it never does, and maybe it’s time to look at life a little differently, past your blind assumptions… you should listen to me because I am very smart and I know everything.

Maybe some know-it-alls are so full of what they have already learned in life (full hard drive) that they just are too lazy to learn a little more… but some with compromised egos may never understand that they are living in their own made-up false-world where everything that THEY ‘think’ is actually true and correct, and that the other guy that they are assuming about is completely wrong and is interpreting life all wrong/incorrectly, because a know-it-all is lazy and ignorant enough to think that all of their assumptions are ‘true’… don’t be lazy and ignorant.

Some know-it-alls have compromised-egos, they are people that don’t understand that what they believe/understand can be the most incorrect and wrong thing in the world, my made-up example to try to prove my point is… maybe a color-blind buddy keeps asking how you like his red sweater and he’s wearing straight-up blue… you could respond that you don’t remember what his red sweater looks like, but the blue one he is wearing now is perfectly adequate… or maybe you just nod up and down and tell him how nice his red sweater is… maybe he knows damn well that he doesn’t own a red sweater and he is just testing to see how shallow and untruthful and easily manipulated you really are, maybe, but hopefully not. I offend most people that will read this because truth can hurt if you are trying to kid yourself about reality and who you really are … truth can also be incredibly funny when realized by people that know they are not perfect, I think that self-understanding can be hurtful and hilarious, maybe depending on how honest people are willing to be with themselves….

… Some people understand that already, so for the people that understand that already, well your parents were screw-ups, so were most of the teachers that you learned from, and if you have ever been to any religious gathering… well they were probably screw-ups too, and so are the people that you listen to on your radio or device and watch on TV or internet!

… Check your pulse rate in about 10 more seconds, and then ask yourself why my words are so disturbing, and offensive…

… Is it because I’m a hater, is it because you think that I’m picking a fight, is it because there is any truth to my statement, is it because I sound like an angry know-it-all… Is it because I just stirred-up your emotions with a partially true but terribly incomplete statement… whatever it was that bothered you and poked at your ego, well maybe you shouldn’t go on reading anything else that I write, because you know enough to not take my angry hateful words as the truth, and you are ‘all set’ for now…

… If you are still reading you have given me the chance to follow-up my hateful statements by saying that as good or bad as you think your parents, teachers, holy teachers, TV/Radio personalities … as good or bad as you think they are, well they are imperfect people, and people are imperfect from the second we are born to our dying breath we are all imperfect.

But when I used angry words that were demeaning toward your parents or teachers or church figures and it hurts you because you love them and don’t want to hear anyone talking crap about them; but then again, it's easy for people that grew-up in differing dysfunctions to totally agree and think ‘yeah right, no kidding’, no news here... but it’s more hurtful to read for folks that assume that they were perfectly prepared for all of life’s answers by perfect people that know everything, and they know the perfect answer to every question that life throws at them… those are the people that are most offended… no one that was ever put in charge of caring, nurturing, raising you, teaching you, or shaping the way that you view the world and what life has to offer, none of those people were perfect in every way but it doesn’t mean that they were really total ‘screw-ups’ even though I threw that up earlier, many were not perfect but still prepared you well for this big and complicated world that we live in with the ability for you to live and flourish, and continue to learn and appreciate and respect other people that are different than you, those are the people with decent centered egos that you can go back to for sound advice when you need it…

… But some people that were offended by my seemingly hateful words that were directed at the Videos or TV that you watch, or the radio or podcasts that you listen to, damn straight you should be offended because most of those people or things that you look up to, or look to for news, or look to for opinions, or look to for entertainment probably don’t have your best interest in mind, it’s not to say that they are completely wrong or right, but they aren’t perfect in every way either… in fact, most of the people that we read or listen to over ‘media’ are trying to sell you someone else’s products/ideas, and some aren’t allowed to say what they might really want to say because of their boss’s opinion, or their advertiser’s opinions, or a focus group, they might be ‘controlled’ from being completely truthful and honest, sometimes other people’s opinions are more important than truthfulness and honesty and full disclosure…. Sometimes, but not all of the time… but if someone is motivated by other people’s opinions they probably have a compromised ego and could also be motivated to try to shape your opinion too, even if that means them not being truthful to you, or only telling you 'a part' of the truth, But ultimately it’s up to you to understand why you listen to the things that you like to listen to, and know and understand why my hateful words are hateful, and why other people’s opinions are funny, truthful or just hurtful, or just angry, or demeaning, or hateful… Or maybe because you are hurting somehow, maybe you like to demean others, maybe you just really enjoy being hateful, but maybe you shouldn’t just read what I might ‘think’ about you… why settle for my dumb opinion… Maybe it’s because I am a know-it-all that is trying to sound smart? Probably not, but there are people much smarter than me that could probably help, I think sometimes the best person that you can ask for help when you are pissed-off, or hurting or just frustrated with too much crap, maybe you already know or have someone in your life that seems to be a solid, genuine, truthful, non-demeaning person in your life that can help you shake out of your funk and help you try to see through your frustrations at what’s really going on in your life… but no one is perfect, not even that person, but you will know when you get solid good advice or help, it might feel like a kick in the groin, but you will know… I personally think that everyone should have someone like that who you can go to when we need to, I think that because I also think that no one is perfect, but maybe you are.

Know-it-alls that continue a life of laziness and ignorance will prove themselves to be… emotional and competitive and frustrated and misunderstood… maybe isolated, maybe someone that just doesn’t know how to say what they mean, maybe even an ‘outcast’ that is so busy thinking about what other shallow people are going to ‘think of them’ that they are afraid of just being genuine and authentic and true to themselves… honestly that’s something that everyone already is, like maybe you just have to be you and no one normal will expect you to be anyone except who you really are, just you.

Hardcore know-it-alls and blatant racists might have trapped themselves in a world of limited knowledge and understanding and won’t ever acknowledge that they look at things in life through a dirty filter that they have taken a lifetime to create and it could take the rest of their lifetimes to cleanse that filter… but maybe sometimes know-it-alls will understand that we are not perfect… and that’s because nobody is perfect, and maybe sometimes know-it-alls have understood that we do not have to pretend to be anyone that they think people expect them to be, you know, maybe they just need to be lovingly reminded that people only want us to be authentic and genuine and true to themselves and that most reasonable people only expect them to just be real. Maybe some know-it-alls learn that we should be respectful of other people who are not them, or look different than them, or seem different than them… And maybe some of those same people will understand that they can learn a lot from those different other people because there is a lot more to life than what they themselves have experienced and learned and understand yet, maybe… maybe some racist know-it-alls eventually come to understand some of that… And maybe some begin to actually look for the difference in others as something to be appreciated and to learn from, maybe, and I hope so.

I think it’s up to everyone to not be lazy and assume that everything that we’ve read or heard is truthful, and really if it’s worth any further consideration at all… information is available at our finger-tips as easy as any old-folks could have imagined, but lazy people that are just trying to trudge on through life will form simple ignorant opinions of things that we won’t spend the time or energy to form on our own, we might just take someone else’s thoughts and opinions as fact and I cannot comprehend a more putrid thought than lazy people making lazy opinions and mistaking their assumptions as facts and then simply assuming our way through the rest of our life… so where are you at and what types of assumptions have you ‘settled’ on, or maybe you have just settled on being a mere ‘follower’, you know, a non-mission essential, I mean non-essential, I mean an insignificant part of a ‘herd’?

Most people that are stuck in some type of ‘herd’ just go with whatever they listen to on their favorite radio stations, DJs, tv stations, news anchors, podcasts, YouTubers, or worse, an Opinion ‘show’ (hello ‘The View’) and other things called newspapers and magazines… a lot of know-it-alls find it easy to align ourselves with people that talk like we want people to talk, say things that we want to hear people articulate, and make us want to say ‘amen’ (or whatever), without considering if that influencer has a compromised ego/integrity… I think maybe those sorts of things that we align ourselves with that get our emotions in a stir, maybe ask what their motives are for trying to make you feel that way, because the truth/reality can be a lot different than what your feelings or emotions are telling you… feelings only tell you that something good or bad is happening but you still have to figure out why your emotions were triggered… is it because you can see it with your own eyes and it’s good, or maybe just because someone told you it was good… did you witness something that was really bad and you actually know that it was bad…. Or did someone tell you their own biased opinion why they think it’s bad. Feelings and emotions tell you partly what’s up, but you can’t be lazy and assume what’s up… so what’s up?

I just want to bring up one quick illustration of what could have been a racially charged incident, but cooler heads prevailed… The quick background is that I bought some of the clippers used to cut your hair back when I was a late teenager while enlisted in the full time ARMY. From time-to-time there would be an inspection of some sort where our leaders wanted to make sure we looked and lived in accordance to ARMY protocol. Many soldiers made sure to get a fresh haircut to look as perfect as possible on inspection day, and many other soldiers were last-minute procrastinators… I had developed a reputation for cutting all of the procrastinator’s hair the night before inspection… I had the reputation to charge 1 beer, or 1 wine-cooler for the cost of cutting each individual procrastinator’s hair on the night before inspection… I had developed the reputation for drinking each of those cold beverages during the process of cutting a long line of late-night procrastinator’s hair. The difference (according to me) between most of the white guys, brown guys, and black guys that I served with was that most brown and black guys were smart enough to have their haircut by anyone other than a drunk white guy in the middle of the night before a big inspection… so I typically only cut the hair of white procrastinators, during hours when most normal people were sleeping. so one night a dark-skinned brother of mine (who’s name sounds a lot like Joe Winter) asked me if I’d cut his hair, and for some reason I got scared and immediately tried to discourage him from picking me as the guy that should cut his hair. I think there were many times in my life when I was too scared, to drunk, to over-tired, too distracted to be able to say what I really mean, so I try to deflect instead of being genuine and present… I’m pretty sure that Joe already knew that I wasn’t a racist that didn’t want to cut his hair because I didn’t like him… but how does this situation look to anyone else other than Joe and I. You could have viewed this situation as a handful of late-night drinking white guys are all sitting around getting haircuts and stuff, and in walks a black guy that is simply asking to get the same service and respect that all of the white guys seems to be appreciating and then the guy that’s holding the clippers says no… you don’t know why, he doesn’t know why, and the other drunk white guys don’t know why… just no. Joe doesn’t flip out on me and accuse me of anything, the white guys don’t jump to racial conclusions, I don’t get angry, and Joe does the most sober, healthy, and respectable thing… he just asks why… and he doesn’t give up on the drunk white guy’s inability to articulate why I said no, he pushes me enough with multiple ‘why’ related questions until I can finally say that I didn’t want to cut his hair because black guys hair is a different texture and coarseness that I’ve never tried cutting before, and I was afraid that I’d really screw-up his haircut, and that he’d be pissed off at me for screwing up his haircut… and after he heard me state what the real issue was he smiled and said that he wasn’t concerned about that, he just wanted to be ‘military-spec’ for the big inspection… big Joe was raised in the southern part of America where many dark-skinned guys and ladies have experienced white people telling them ‘no’ for lot’s of stupid and ignorant reasons… I think that big Joe could have jumped to the conclusion that he was now experiencing that sort of ignorant hatred from someone that is supposed to be his brother, but fortunately for everyone around, he didn’t, I think Joe was being very smart when he simply asked why, I think he was smart because he got me to look at myself, figure out why I didn’t want to do it, realize that it was just fear that made say no. I’ve been held back from experiencing more of what the world has to offer because of various types of fears that I couldn’t articulate, I couldn’t really say what I was trying to say and I’m grateful for my brother Joe for being patient enough with me to help me cut through some of that, and I’m grateful for the possible ‘life-lesson’ that my white buddies may have taken away from that late night experience.

I think most of the motivation for this post was coming to grips that while I was ‘stuck inside watching TV’ during the incredibly emotional, and germy, and shutdown year of 2020 and witnessed a lot of compromised egos that were making me feel wound up, and I was wound up based on what some with little integrity were telling me, and almost all of what I was ‘feeling’ was far beyond my control (which is probably good), and I was also ignorant in assuming that everyone else in the country had the same knowledge/information/perspective as me, and what’s wrong with those folks anyhow!!! Anyway, don’t be a know-it-all please because it’s crazy-ugly unattractive and it doesn’t look good on anyone, especially you. I hope that offended you, feel free to unfollow me now.

I am a lazy writer at the moment, maybe I will learn how to improve upon that, but what I mean to say is that I have not researched, or cross-referenced, or to even looked to see if anyone has already written the same exact things that I post online, my thoughts are my own stuff that is bothering me enough to write about to get it out of my head... I could literally be writing the same exact words that an ancient Mayan woman wrote a zillion years ago, or the guy down the street wrote last year, but I’m lazy and I haven’t taken into consideration plagiarizing when I write, my sincerest apologies to anyone that believes that I stole any of my writings from them. If this ever becomes the case I will own up to it and will probably be wicked interested in your other works, you are probably much smarter than me because I can only write based on my own perspective, and my own… uhh, assumptions… and I know that I’m totally a work in progress. -- christopher

06-18-21 UPDATE: Juneteenth is now a holiday and i'm so totally stoked about it, or something like that anyway... i'm happy though that the importance of that date in history is finally considered worthy enough of a national holiday, so cool.  --  christopher