A Man Thinks He Is A Racist — But Not So Much . . .
Robert De Filippis declared, "I wasn't a racist when I was a young man, but I am now." When the truth is, Robert De Filippis is no more racist than Pavlov's Dogs are hungry . . .
Growing up, for people De Filippis' age, included a symbolic bell "ringing" every time a dark face appeared, in the form of signs saying "white's only;" in the form of imposed poverty, "we don't hire blacks;" in the form of a perpetual peasantry, enforced by lack of resources, bullying and social challenges like "uppity," when dark skinned folks dared to displayed their intellect or, sense of style and class; in the form of social indignities like forcing people off sidewalks, name-calling, disdainful gazes, avoidance, and projection, equaling a constant refrain that dark-skin is less equals, way less . . .
In effect, what we call racism, Ivan Pavlov called a conditioned response. If you've ever seen a white person snap their head, avert their eyes, or even squirm in physical rejection at the sight of dark skin, you've seen Pavlov's experiment in humans! It was a tactic used to keep the races apart, and to keep a color hierarchy in place, but something that was not anticipated happened, many people were so attracted to the idea that they are better than an entire world of people whose skin is darker than theirs, that they incorporated their racial identity into their personal identity, and when one''s personal identity becomes enmeshed with their racial identity, they are racist, and their beliefs and behaviors are racism.
Unlike Robert De Filippis, the true racist doesn't struggle to live up to the truth, she fights for the lie, and is personally offended by the truth. Racist are like the Javert character in "Les Miserable," relentlessly struggling to hold others captive to their personal and perverse life-view. For them, like Javert, their personal identity is so tied to their relative value of the "other," until too much truth, too soon, is unbearable . . .
Finally, De Filippis, shouldn't be so sure that his grandchildren are not racist. Because, when organized racism went underground, major media took on the racializing task with such consummate skill, that they have achieved things that organized racism did not . . .
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