As the U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments on gay marriage this week, Yahoo asked readers and contributors to share what one cultural issue absorbs their interest. Here's one perspective.
Nothing makes my blood pressure soar more than hearing someone make a racist statement, then say, "… but I'm not a racist."
I suspect my intolerance to racism had its roots growing up poor in a small town in North Dakota. I hated being judged by my appearance, and I have tried my best not to judge others. A year ago, I blocked a Facebook friend I had been known for more than 20 years. Since President Obama's election, her intolerance of minorities took a sickening downward spiral.
I have experienced less overt racism since moving from North Carolina to Indiana last year, but racial ignorance knows no geographical bounds. I have heard: "There are fewer blacks in this town because there are fewer social welfare services... but I'm not racist." And: "White women date black men because they can't get a white man... but I'm not racist." Give me a break. Don't even get me started on the racist "dog whistle" -- the welfare queen!
I used to bite my tongue, but I realize I need to be part of the solution, not part of the problem. With family members of many different skin colors, it is my duty as a decent human being to speak up. I will no longer let my silence be seen as tacit approval.
Racism is alive and well. People blame President Obama for bringing a new surge of racism to America. It isn't new - having a president with more melanin in his skin than the majority of Americans has brought racism back into the light.
The spin-doctors have managed to convince conservatives that people who bring up racism are the real racists! How absurd...
I do see more racial tolerance in the younger generation - yes, even here in blood red North Dakota. Racism will never go away; people will always be afraid of others who are different. But when these older generations who took their white privilege as a fact of life die off, racism will be looked at as indicative of lower intelligence and fear.