I’m genuinely sorry about my family.

picture011Katy Wilkerson,
Houston, TX.

In the deep South, in my experience, racism is pervasive, especially when you talk about poorer and poorer white people (not just men). There truly does still exist a level of social acceptability that is just not OK. I’ve always been extremely disgusted by it, despite being white and having these people in my family, but I am well educated now and I did grow up poor in a mostly black community. My husband is white, from a poor white family, and they’re all less educated and living in white, rural communities. The racism they display sickens me. My father in law refers to black children as “nigglets”. And that’s a tame example. They are not alone and the culture is pervasive– otherwise hardworking, loving, and “good” people can do horrible things when there is social acceptance and pressure behind it. My husband is not, I believe, a racist, but when around his family he has to “play along” and I generally have to physically leave when this is going on, since I refuse to “play along”. If we continue to tell ourselves, as white people and as humans, that this isn’t happening anymore or acting wounded and dismissing it, we are making it worse for whichever generation finally addresses it and doing ourselves a great disservice. There is no “acceptable” racism in the modern world, no reason that makes it OK, it’s ALWAYS wrong, and this will be a problem as long as it’s ignored.


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