As a white male in the suburbs of Pittsburgh, I’ve honestly not had to spend a lot of time dealing with racism and sexism, but I have had the fortune to come across a lot of different people from a lot of different backgrounds. I’ve always tried to use those interactions to learn more about other cultures and learn to see things from other perspectives. I want to stand on my own merits, and try to treat others in the same way.
I won’t say I’m perfect though. I’m sure I’ve said the wrong thing more than once and offended people I never meant to. When I do so, I try to recognize it and course correct, so it doesn’t happen again.
Some may view that as being a people pleaser, trying to be politically correct. I see it as treating others as human, and I try to make sure my boys see it as the normal way to act, and not a badge of honor.
So, I have a hard time understanding the mindset of the bold racist/sexist. And twice in this young this week, I was caught by a few different introspections on the subject:
First was Dave Kellett, a California cartoonist who creates the hilarious Sheldon and Stripped (the greatest documentary on comics ever, which is available on Netflix). I really appreciate his reflection on the world around him:
Second, is a bit close to home, and it hurts because of it. Virginia Montanez has been writing about her Pittsburgh experiences as long as I can remember. Sometimes scathing, and sometimes humorous, she hits a home run with this response to a racist troll.
This only persists as long as we put up with it, and there’s no reason for anyone to lash out against someone they know nothing about. I know the easy thing to do is to shy away and let it pass, but I encourage you to speak up when you see this abhorrent behavior. The vocal minority will only continue to get their way as long as the silent majority stays silent…