Confessions of a White Racist: Chronicle Two
Last night, I spoke to my realtor…(yes, I am looking for more land to raise farm animals) and my realtor called me to tell me about the farmhouse with lots of land in this town I’ve been eyeing. She and I, I’ll call her X, have a great rapport, we talk about our love of houses( I’m a big Frank Lloyd Wright fan ) and she loves the ornate beauty of the Victorian era.
X is white, older and full of charm. I liked her immediately. So when we spoke and she interweaved Obama into the conversation, I got a little quiet. Ok…I’ve had two reactions from whites living here, just here, concerning Obama. The first group feels that he’s doing as best as he can considering the situation. And the other ones despise him. The fact that I am black makes them apprehensive to talk to me about him due to the fact that they are deathly afraid of appearing racist. So they tiptoe around the fact that yes, he is our president now and yes, he is black.
So when X brought up the fact that because of Obama’s socialism, we are in a terrible mess with the housing market and homes that were once worth $500,000 are now selling for $300,000, foreclosures are skyrocketing and people are starving for lack of food, I wondered how one man, in 4 years could accomplish:
1. Worldwide poverty
2. A housing bubble burst
3. Predatory loans
I find that in these situations when speaking to certain folks, it’s best to keep a little quiet, nod politely and wait for the bomb. She did not disappoint. She proceeded to tell me about how her daughter was rejected from a prominent school, with good grades, for a black girl, from Philly with poor grades. She told me that affirmative action was ruining the lives of blacks and white due to an unfair practice of rewarding someone for their skin. I quickly thought of a little thing called White Privilege but said nothing.
I offered her a useless explanation. I said, “X, affirmative action was originally created to help white women in the workforce. It was then misconstrued(perhaps on purpose) by the powers that be to mean “black” but that’s only a fallacy. Many organizations that seem black-oriented were originally created for whites, by whites, to help them when they needed government assistance and to propel them into middle class status.”
She got quiet.
“Well I don’t feel guilty for slavery. I never had slaves so it has nothing to do with me.”
The phone went unusually quiet. Needless to say, I didn’t check out the farmhouse and she didn’t call back. I’m sure she felt that something in our relationship was gone with the slip of the tongue. I am now in the process of searching for a new realtor, a black one this time. But this does make me wonder about one thing…how many blacks were steered into certain neighborhoods because they “belong there” by X? How many houses and farms were “not available” to certain buyers? And if she had never opened her mouth and revealed her colours, would she had steered me into a certain neighborhood? Perhaps we’ll never know.