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Joined: 3/4/99 Posts: 7637
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You are so right, Blah. I have a friend who admits he is a racist, and at

the same time, tries desperately to fight against those deeply-rooted feelings.

Kelly was a teenager in an all-white area growing up. He just didn't interact with black people at all - not because he didn't want to, it was just where he lived that was like that. His first job during high school was at a McDonald's. A month or so into his job, two young black men entered the restaurant a few minutes before closing. One of them pointed a gun in Kelly's face, and forced him and his coworkers into the bathroom, where they locked them in. Before locking the door, they told them they were coming back to kill them. Something caused the perpetrators to flee the store, and Kelly and his coworkers were unharmed.

Fast-forward to today; Kelly openly admits that when he first meets a black man that he doesn't know, his mind flashes to the day he thought he was going to die. He admits this in shame, yet he works hard to fight against those feelings by trying to get to know each person he meets, even when he starts from that visceral fear-based reaction. He doesn't try to make excuses for his initial reactions, rather he just admits them and fights hard to overcome them. Kelly has close friends who are black, and has great relationships with coworkers who are black. He just has a scar in him that he has to overcome every time there is someone new coming in his life who happens to be of African American descent.

My point isn't to paint Kelly as some saint - rather it's to point him as someone who had a traumatic event lead to a deeply-held stereotype, one which he recognizes as bigoted, and which he fights against as an adult. But his honesty is more and more dangerous in today's world, just like you've described.

(In response to this post by Blah)

Posted: 02/06/2019 at 5:29PM


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