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Are You Predjudice – Deep Down?

Don - November 10, 2006

We just had an experience at our bridal store where 4 blacks came in one diverted our salesperson’s attention. The remaining 3 huddled around our jewelry caseand then left. The salesperson checked the case and found $600.00 worth of jewelry missing.

Spokane has a very small minority population, but I grew up in Seattle with quite a different racial mix. I can remember growing up that my dad’s thursday night poker games included a black man named John Johnson. He was kind and friendly to me as a little kid as were the others in the group. This was at a time before Rosa Parks and desegregation.

My high school was all white at the time, in my senior year they bussed in 9 blacks. I became friends with one of them and didn’t think much of it. Going to BYU provide no contacts with blacks – the only ones on campus were football players.

Graduated and moved to Spokane, where at the time the minority population was less than 3%, yet two years later we elected a black mayor.

Growing up and even when older I made my share of black / racist – pollock – disability jokes. And I laughed at plenty of other people’s black / racist – pollock – disability jokes.

I never really thought I was racist. But you know what – I really am!! I’ve tried to anyalize my feelings, who they are really directed toward and why I feel that way. What I think I’ve discovered is I’m prejudice against “Ghetto blacks” and “Trailer Trash”.

Ghetto blacks to me are: the uneducated – the gang members – the society owes me – the I’m black so I deserve special/different treatment – the I’m African American – the black talking blacks. I respect and admire the blacks who speak well – the ones who don’t complain about being black – the ones who have worked hard to get where they are at.

As for the Trailer Trash, I guess I put them right there with the Ghetto blacks – uneducated – welfare mentality – etc.

I look at these two groups – I react differently toward them, I don’t trust them, especially in our stores.

I am prejudice – but I feel I can’t help it.


  1. I try to look at all people the same. We probably all try to do so. But there are two types of people (and I am probably stereotyping) that I cannot tolerate. People in the “hip-hop” crowd, usually black, and people in the “hillbilly, red-neck” crowd, usually white.

    I live in Tennessee so the red-neck crowd is prominent. I’ve noticed one similarity between these two crowds: ignorance and lack of education seem to be honorable and noble.

    Many of the local TV and Radio ads play off of this red-neck mentality. That is proof that people here know it exists and know that other people relate to it enough that it could possibly affect their consumer choices. To me it is sickening. Some dumb hick comes on the radio with his “accent” exaggerated to the point that it becomes a caricature.

    In both cultures, stupidity is something to be proud of.

    Comment by John Cline — November 10, 2006 @ 2:42 pm

  2. I have a prejudice towards men, especially white, straight, upper middle class men. My husband was the first person to point this out to me and HE is a white, straight, middle class man, so he found it quite disturbing.

    I’m a white woman in my 30s and have had some education and have seen the world operate. It’s geared toward these sorts of men and they rarely acknowledge their priveledge. I roll my eyes at men in business dress and have very little patience for “their pain”. Needless to say, I also have little tolerance for patriarchy in the church as well.

    I’m almost embarrassed to admit it, but in the election a couple of years ago, I didn’t do my homework as well on the issues and candidates and and pretty much voted for anyone who was a women or a minortiy.

    Comment by anon for this comment — November 10, 2006 @ 8:49 pm

  3. My spelling is atrocious! Please forgive, I’m multi-tasking.

    Comment by anon for this comment — November 10, 2006 @ 8:58 pm

  4. I’m predjudiced toward everyone. Everyone is a one-dimensional cariacature of themselves in my eyes.

    Except me of course. But even that is becoming debatable since I started blogging.

    Comment by Seth R. — November 10, 2006 @ 10:03 pm

  5. If you think you aren’t you are. I am prejudiced, I’m racist, i’m bigoted, and ethnocentric. But, I’m working on it.

    Comment by David B — November 10, 2006 @ 11:25 pm

  6. One of the ironies of race issues in urban life is that there are plenty of decent, honest, upright, and virtuous people who live in ghettos. For all I know the good citizens in the ghettos exceed in number those who are of the criminal class.

    I had a wonderful experience with a couple sweet elderly African-American “church ladies” at an auto repair shop. Due to their knowledge of the Bible, they were quoting in advance the lines from one of our church videos that we watched. Given the location, they could have lived either in a nearby ghetto, or a nearby nice neighborhood.

    Sometimes while visiting friends’ relatives in a ghetto neighborhood, the niceness of the interior of their homes impressed me in their contrast to the exterior appearances of the neighborhood.

    A lot of people in ghettos just can’t afford to move.

    There are forces that shape people in our inner cities that I just don’t understand. I had a client from an upper-middle-class African-American family, yet some combination of influences sucked him into a gangster lifestyle, or at least into the fringes of it. And everytime he worked his way out, it continued to suck him back until he was in his early 30′s. I think that as a teen and young adult, a big influence was that he somehow was given to think that lifestyle was the definition of “being black”. I don’t think he got it from his family.

    Most black men who are involved in it leave, wake up, or graduate from the gang/thug lifestyle by the time they are 40. But then many who start over have a criminal history that can hold them back.

    I think that the entertainment industry that caters towards black Americans is much to blame. I once met a couple of young African immigrants who were working at a gas station. They were in their late teens or early 20′s. The young man, who obviously had an African accent, was trying so hard to affect an undignified and debasing inner-city ghetto accent and speech pattern, it broke my heart.

    There he was, a REAL African, but immitating a small clownish and thuggish subset of African-Americans who debase themselves. He was trading his true dignified African-ness, for a perverted sense of American “black-ness”.

    Comment by Bookslinger — November 11, 2006 @ 6:48 am

  7. The ghetto I lived in had a lot of good, decent people, definitely the majority. They just stayed in their houses, for the most part. The gang members, drug dealers, prostitutes and drug addicts were always out on the street, so that’s what you saw, mostly.

    Comment by Susan M — November 11, 2006 @ 8:14 am

  8. I don’t disagree that there are decent people who live in the ghetto and idiot-slobs-trailer-trash who live in regular neighborhoods. The terms I used in the post are my definitions as to these types of people, not their geographical location.

    There are numerous blacks who grew up in the ghettos who have worked hard to act well, speak well and deserve my respect, and I try to give it to them. It’s the blacks who act ghetto-gang, who speak like un-educated idiots, and claim certain rights / respect / treatments because they are african-american, whatever that is!

    Comment by Don Clifton — November 11, 2006 @ 11:37 am

  9. One thing that many don’t understand is the sense of powerlessness and futility that afflicts both groups that Don mentioned. Your behavior changes quite a lot when you’ve grown up your entire life with the assumption that nothing you do will change anything.

    Comment by Seth R. — November 11, 2006 @ 2:07 pm

  10. Interesting post. I appreciate how honest you are. Just a couple thoughts:

    1. Round my parts, referring to black people/African Americans as just “blacks” might clue people into your racism. FYI.

    2. With your last three paragraphs you took the time to clarify exactly which types of black people you weren’t okay with, but for (white) trailer trash, it seemed like you lost interest a bit. That was just interesting to me because I’ve been noticing that a great indicator for someone’s true feelings for a person (group) is how quick they are at finding fault. With families, kids and the spouse we love, we seem to selectively and happily neglect their faults. So, I wonder then, if you’d have as much interest breaking down exactly which sects of all groups you don’t care for. Ya think you’d ever spend the time breaking down precisely which type of middle class, white, businessman you don’t like? Also, would you mentally position them in such a way that they have to prove something to you in order to gain your trust?

    3. Your last line, you feel you can’t help this, really? Sure ya can. I say if you’ve got a brain you can remind yourself that dishonesty and maliciousness can come from anybody at anytime. Logical safety measures to protect against theft are practical, but have you never heard of a white teenage boy stealing? Or a suburban housewife with kleptomania? I think I might accept the “I can’t change myself” mentality from the group of “ghetto blacks” you described, since I think it’s a matter of being educated, but you appear to be educated, why can’t you change? Isn’t it about love anyway? When Jesus says love everyone, are you going to say “No, I can’t”…?

    Again, just a thought. It was thought-provoking post!

    Comment by madre — November 11, 2006 @ 9:12 pm

  11. Like I said, people who haven’t lived it really just don’t understand it.

    Comment by Seth R. — November 12, 2006 @ 8:18 am

  12. I am prejudiced against bigots. I hate those nasty self-righteous, hate filled, ugly souled people. I think we should just hang ‘em all.

    Comment by gorgonzola — November 12, 2006 @ 8:39 am

  13. I call dibs on the bigot’s Playstation 3 though.

    Comment by Seth R. — November 12, 2006 @ 12:31 pm

  14. Great thoughts for a post like this.

    What I get from most everyone here (and which I agree with) is that we hate dumb people. Not necessarily less intelligent people but those who glory in their ignorance, per say.

    I agree with most of your comments, though I do remember a number of 40+ black men in the ghetto that had definitely NOT grown out of it.

    Comment by Bret — November 12, 2006 @ 7:23 pm

  15. I hate (am bigoted against) those that serve Satan, especially the “reign with blood and horror” part.

    Comment by ed42 — November 12, 2006 @ 7:41 pm

  16. 2. I have a prejudice about women managers. I think that they are inherently dishonest. You cannot create a relationship of trust based on a record of accomplishment. They always react in the moment. All the good you have done for them in the past means nothing if you won’t acquiesce to their latest demand.

    I also have a distrust of homosexuals for exactly the same reason.

    I suspect that anon in comment 2 resents the fact that men try to form trust bonds and that they exclude people who they decide they cannot trust. (Women and homosexuals).

    Of course this isn’t true across the board. But my prejudice proclaims it to be statistically true.

    Comment by GeorgeD — November 13, 2006 @ 3:49 pm

  17. RE: Post #8

    Aren’t the ghetto-gang, un-educated people those that we need to help most???

    I find it hard to believe that the Savior would be hanging out in the sophisticated, upper-class white neighborhoods of affluent America. Instead, he would be in the Ghetto’s of Oakland, L.A. and Detroit. He would be with all those that needed him most.

    It’s easy to be nice to people that are nice to you, but rarely is it rewarding… and it definitely isn’t going to get us into heaven.

    If I was only friends with those whom I felt met my standards, I would live an extremely sad, selfish life.

    We should be reaching out to “those” people.

    Comment by Johnny B — November 14, 2006 @ 2:43 pm

  18. You’re right Johnny B, but I don’t think Don would disagree with you.

    Comment by Rusty — November 14, 2006 @ 2:58 pm

  19. Experiance is what has worked for me.

    Comment by Suspence — December 5, 2006 @ 7:06 pm

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