For years I’ve wanted to write a book about racism. But after visiting Barnes and Nobles, both online and our actual bookstore here in Boise, Idaho; I realized there were already volumes of books and articles written on the subject of racism. I asked myself, could I write a book on racism that would be different than the books already available? So, I started to think about my twenty years of personal experiences, conducting courses, giving seminars, lectures and writing articles about racism. In those seminars, lectures and articles, I always wanted to make sure my students, the attendees and readers learned something specific; something they could take home and use immediately. After realizing what I’d been doing for all those years, I decided that teaching something very specific about racism would be make my book different. In all my lectures, seminars, courses and articles, I always had a primary goal; teach people how to move from being a non-racist, to becoming an anti-racist. Everything I spoke, taught and wrote was about helping people to see where they really stood regarding racism and how to take the necessary action to becoming a positive change agent. That was it! My book will tell people how to take the action of moving from non-racist to anti-racist.
The next question was, what piece of knowledge could I give people to help them take the actions needed to move them from non-racist to anti-racist, thus, becoming positive change agents? Throughout my teaching and speaking experience I’ve realized something very important. Most people in America tend to hold true to what they believed and what they felt about racism; rather than the facts about racism, in America. Therefore, I would teach people an important fact about racism. I wouldn’t write a dissertation about about racism. I would explore one fact about racism and teach it. So, I went back to my teachings, seminars and lectures notes and I found exactly which fact I wanted to teach in my book on racism. I decided to teach people the difference between a racist, a non-racist and an anti-racist. Here’s why; the lack of understanding and defining who is a racist, a non-racist and an anti-racist; has always been a dagger sticking through the heart of America. This lack of admitting, knowing, understanding and defining racism has been one of the biggest obstacles keeping America from realizing its true potential and obligation to provide equality to all its citizens. Also, the lack of admitting, knowing, understanding and defining racism is a major reason why America cannot rid itself of racism. And if America doesn’t understand what racism is, and deal with it once and for all, America will eventually commit social suicide.
I believe anyone, regardless of the color of their skin, who possesses the heart and the guts and the knowledge to help America understand racism, should. In my book, since I am an educated Black man, racism will be dealt with from an educated Black man’s perspective. The science of racism has been poked, prodded, observed and talked about through slavery, stealing the land from Native Indians, reconstruction, Japanese internment camps Jim Crow and the Civil Rights Movement, and yet racism still lives in America. The goal of my book will be to get everyday people to understand racism to the point, of being able to do something which could help them get rid of racism in their communities. The best way to do so, in my opinion, is to minimize the peripheral information, which causes us to talk on and on about racism. I want to give folks the knowledge to get out of their huddles and run the plays that rid our communities of racism. Therefore, my book will home in on a common-sense approach. The commonsense approach I will use entails, helping folks to learn enough about racism to be able to DO something, that will help rid their own communities of racism. If everyone used this commonsense approach of learning and applying what they’ve learned, communities could put a serious dent in their racism situations.
Last but certainly not least, I, as the author of this book on dealing with racism, will not be firing thoughts, like bullets, across the country at White people. I live in Idaho (since 1977), the heart of America’s whiteness. The Black population in Idaho is 1%! Therefore, I deal with some form of racism, up-close and personal, on a regular basis. I live here and fight for racial justice, with very little mental or financial support. The next section of this book will further explain my situation.
So, who will this book help? We have many important social situations going on in America. People are dealing with health-care issues. People are becoming aware that the top one percent of Americans own ninety percent of America’s wealth. Americans are realizing that the American Dream has all but disappeared. But, believe me when I say, ahead of them all, is racism; and it has dominated America since the first Europeans sailed here and settled in a place and called it Jamestown in 1607. Racism is why they quickly massacred the native people. Racism allowed them to buy, steal and sell Africans into slavery. Racism was the catalyst behind forcing the Chinese to work the railroads and live in underground cities. Racism put Japanese people into internment camps and stole their property. Over the years Europeans have affectionately called these acts of racism, “pulling oneself up by ones’ bootstrap”. Racism, disguising itself as “pulling oneself up by ones’ bootstrap”, would have been more difficult to accomplish had the Europeans, now Americans, not created a government and then enlisted the help of their new governmental body, to do their bidding. Within the words of America’s documents of freedom and sown within the fabric of the America’s institutions and flag, is a powerful ideology called racism. It dwells smack dab in the heart of social and civic justice, education, religion, health and financial wealth. Racism continues to chug along throughout American society like a locomotive, purposely set to steamroll anyone who isn’t the right color. Racism never gets fixed because Americans have been taught to not truly understand it or speak freely about it. Racism never gets fixed because anyone with a pair of lips and a tongue thinks and speaks as if their feelings are facts. Racism never gets fixed because White people think people of color are the only victims of it. Racism never gets fixed because whites in power have been able to convince poor whites, that people of color are the reason they are in the financial and social predicament they’re in. Racism never gets fixed because White America doesn’t invest in ridding America of racism. The bottom line is racism never gets fixed because people do not understand that racism was perpetrated on purpose, therefore it must be un-done on purpose. Racism isn’t just going to go away because of a moving speech. It will take love, desire, money and White people willing to take a backseat (until they acquire real knowledge) to people of color, in regards to moving people from racist to non-racist to anti-racist. This book is intended to be an aid to moving people from racist to non-racist to anti-racist. I am writing this book for people who want to be change agents in the area of racial justice. I am writing this book for true patriots, who want the best for America.
This book isn’t written to teach the reader about slavery, Jim Crow, Black History or the history of the civil rights movement. There are plenty of well written books, written by very dedicated and detailed historians, who can make a reader a walking wealth of historical civil rights information. Some may say, in order to fix the future, we must know and understand the past. To a certain degree, I agree. But living in the historical, can sometimes prevent action towards improving the future.
People who deal with the effects of racism, need to unite and fight. Uniting as a team, allows many people to use their skills and talents to fight against the growth of racism. On a successful team there are many people performing many duties and, at any given time any one of the people on that team can be the reason the team is successful. As a former football player, I’ve been in games where the kicker, often the smallest guy on the team, wins the game. In fact, playing college football taught me; knowing a play doesn’t mean anything if you can’t or don’t run the play. And if you can’t or don’t run the play you’ll never score. If you never score you cannot win! Fixing racism in our individual communities, will put a dent in how racism effects this country. This fight takes a mighty team effort in a game where every point will matter. My contribution to the team is: I need to teach white people how to move from racist to non-racist to anti-racist. It takes a special set of shoulders to do what I am suggesting. And I know there are others like myself. I am not the only one. Sadly, very few people know who people like me are because we’re not famous athletes or wealthy entertainers or businesspeople. People like me are just people who understand why America has never reached its full potential. People like me know that the inner-workings and mechanics of racism has affected all Americans dearly.
Each chapter will include helpful information about an aspect of racism. Also, each chapter will include an important step on how to become an anti-racist. Another important aspect of each chapter includes short essays regarding my thoughts on racism in America. These essays will comment on racism from the aspect of several American institutions; such as education, religion, wealth and America’s social climate. These essays were written to help induce the reader to engage in meaningful and thoughtful conversation about racism. Once the reader has read the contents of this book, they will be able to converse from an informative perspective rather than an emotional perspective. Just for the record, some of the sources I use are older. They are older not because I was too lazy to research newer statistics for old problems. I used older resources for two reasons. First, there are people who have been concerned about and fighting racism in education for a long time. They deserve some credit. Second, I use older resources because things still have not gotten better and I want the reader to see how long racism has been looked at in America. In fact, in many areas of education, racism continues to make the prospect of progress feel further from a possible reality.