I’m not racist but…

http://thoughtcatalog.com/anonymous/2014/01/im-not-racist-im-just-not-attracted-to-black-men/

This a link to an article written by a white gay man explaining why on his Grindr profile he has selected the options “white whites only”. In this article he uses a lot of color blind rhetoric. He talks about how he has black gay friends as proof that he isn’t racist. The article goes on to talk about how he hears his black and Latino friends talk about how the even in the gay world there is a normalization of whiteness, and how its hard for them to find partners. He however talks about how that isn’t an issue for him. This follows the “I’m not black so I wouldn’t understand” colorblind rhetorical device. At one point he talks about his black friend who commented that white guys are brainwashed by societal beauty norms. The author replies that his would mean that his friend was too brainwashed. Though his black friend agreed I disagree. While it is true that black people sometimes prefer white people I would argue that the brainwashing is at a lesser degree because while black people do see the same media as whites they often recognize that they aren’t represented. At some point or other black people start to notice that they are not the majority where as white people might never realize that they are over represented. Also with black people even if they grow up in a suburban white bread world they still have their family. The more people try and defend that they are not racist the more they appear to be just that. Even people that seem to understand white privilege or at least know that it exist speak in a way that shows their color blind racism. Why are some people more affected by the media and society’s brainwashing than others? If everyone knew the same facts would there still be these differences in understanding? Is it a matter of acceptance?

5 thoughts on “I’m not racist but…

  1. It amazes me how people always use the “I’m not racist I have [insert minority] friends here”…. so you are kind to certain people and use colorblind rhetoric to work through your friendship. That does in fact, not make a “not racist” person. While people are allowed to like who they like I think it is interesting that society doesn’t see how what is beautiful is highly structured in how the media portrays things. For example I saw a post the other day that said “white girls with big butts, a black girls worst nightmare, and black mans weakness”. Things like that is what makes me loose faith in any progress we have made. what is beautiful and desired should not only be under one racial construct.

  2. I feel like the media brain washes everyone. I just think it does it in a different way for different groups. We all, Black , white, Hispanic, or any other race, know and are uncomfortably comfortable with “classic” stereotypes such as Black people being thieves, It’s about checking yourself and saying “I know that’s not a trait specific to Black people and I know that not all Black people steal” that help you out of the brainwashing done by the media. The media lends the same material to everyone but certain things are internalized by different races and are made to be a joke in others. I think that the gentleman is arguing less fro a brain washed perspective and more from an outwardly racist standpoint.

  3. I thought it was really interesting that the author related not liking black men to the fact that he doesn’t like women, stating, “It is just a matter of preference.” But black men are men just the same, so that argument does not stand. I think this article related to the example of a rhetorical device i brought up in class, where my friends say they would never date a black man. When you push people further when they make statements like this you will eventually get down to their true racist beliefs. Saying you just are not attracted to black men is a cover to avoid having to explain why you only want white men.

    I think Chris’ comment that black men feel they are allowed to be racist because they are members of another oppressed group is very interesting. I guess that could add to why the author feels it is acceptable to say that he is only attracted to white men. Also, the media typically demonstrates gay men as white, so I guess people could become brainwashed to believe that it is only ok to date white gay men. Regardless of whether they have been brainwashed or not, the author seems very adamant that he is not racist, but i think if someone really took the time to push him on why….then he racist feelings may emerge. This was a very interesting article!

  4. Wow. There are so many interesting things to talk about in that article. Thanks for showing us! I thought you were right to point out all of the colorblind frames he is using. It’s like he realizes that there is a racial problem, but he doesn’t realize (or refuses to realize) that he is part of the problem.

    Sometimes I worry about the tendency for some white gay men to feel like they can be racist because they are part of an oppressed group. One example in the media is the TV series Modern Family. Modern Family rightly receives praise for incorporating a gay couple into a primetime show on a major network, thus helping to further the gay rights movement. On the other hand, Modern Family frequently resorts to stereotypical depictions of Hispanics. Similarly, Queer as Folk was a popular show about the lives of gay men in Pittsburgh. I watched one season of it, and all of the main characters were white. A new gay-themed HBO show, Looking, does a better job with representation of people of color, but it is still important for the gay rights movement to ensure that it is not a white gay rights movement.

  5. You asked some really interesting questions! I think that some people are more affected by the media and society’s brainwashing based on superficial factors and how important those aspects are in the persons life. Im not sure if I think if everyone knew the same facts if there would be a difference in understanding. I think that it would still take these people a lot to believe the facts. Like we discussed in class with changing people’s implicit biases, therefore no I do not think it is a matter of acceptance, I think they are accepted by these people its a matter of educating and convincing to change.

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