Most racism is bred through ignorance, though. My Aunt said something just last month that wasn't necessarily racist, but ignorant. We were talking about China and Japan, and she said something to the effect of, "Oh well, SAME THING." My wife took quite an exception to that, being Japanese and all. I was pretty embarrassed.
The best I've heard came from my mom. I live in typical white suburbia (Fairfield County, CT), but the "city" next to my town has a large immigrant population. One night I was going to an area of that city that I frequently go to for movies and food, and is one of the better sections of the city. Anyway, my mom says to me, "You be careful there. There's all those *here she whispers* Asian gangs out there". This was said in a way as if they were standing right there.
up until the year I graduated, the high school I went to had separate white and black (well, "Majority" and "Minority") homecoming kings/queens, because heaven forbid we have a mixed couple representin' us.
My mother is pseudo-racist, in hilarious non-conventional ways.
"Alright honey, I want you to turn another set of lights on, and another off every time you check on the house while we're gone."
"There are Koreans that live across the street..."
According to my great uncle Fritz, "this family always treated our niggers good!" This did not go over very well at a family gathering mostly populated by younger people. Still, I guess it's good to know where you came from - I came from a bunch of racist slaveowners, at least partially.
Fritz isn't with us anymore, I don't believe.
I saw an old man walking down the street here in Seattle singing in an old-timey style, "The niggers, oooh the niggers, will enslave the white man!". Guess he's not an Obama supporter.
The other day I was volunteering at a health fair, and some friend of my mom's walked up to me and said "Oh, look at you! Handsome half-breed!" and started ranting on about Philipino pride, dropping gems like "Do you have nice Philipino girl? I bet you do" and "You know half-breeds very smart. Are you smart?"
She ended the conversation by leaning in and whispering "I didn't know your mother liked the race."
Thing is, I'm not even remotely Philipino.
Only problem in my family is that my grandma believes everything she sees on the news. This means that ever since 9-11, she is convinced that every single Muslim is a troglodyte who wants to blow up all of America.
I knew she did not think too highly of Muslims, but I had no idea she harbored full out hatred for them until this one time a year ago. We were at this fancy restaurant and she was giving me some unsolicited advice on men when she blurted out loudly, "Don't you ever date an Arab man, they'll drag you back to their cave and beat you senseless. Those men are savages." It was so embarrassing because the whole restaurant could hear her. Everyone in the restaurant was old so I guess it wasn't that big of a deal to them but I still lost a lot of respect for my granny that day.
Sir Mix-a-Lot's classic follow up to "Baby Got Back" has serious unintended consequences.
"Really, Holmes!" I dropped into my seat, shocked. "You are remarkably tall! What are you, six foot six? Six foot eight?"
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