It Is a Matter of – RESPECT

Some quotes about RESPECT: 

  • “Respect comes in two unchangeable steps: giving it and receiving it.”– Edmond Mbiaka
  • “Respect yourself and others will respect you.”– Confucius 
  • “Respect begins with this attitude: I acknowledge that you are a creature of extreme worth.”– Gary Chapman
  • “Nothing is more despicable than respect based on fear.”  Albert Camus
  • “Don’t lower your standards for anyone or anything.  Self-respect is EVERYTHING.”  
  • “Respect yourself enough to walk away from anything that no longer serves you, grows you, or makes you happy.”  Robert Tew 
  • “They cannot take away our self-respect if we do not give it to them.”  Mahatma Gandhi 

With all that being said, I am expected to attend a training that expects me to acknowledge:  I am Caucasian and therefore, I am inherently racist.

Look it up https://bit.ly/3gwaJ1T

I guess this “you are white, therefore _______”  is the same or similar to me seeing a tall black man and thinking, “He must play basketball.”  

What is really driving me crazy or really to a stage sadness is we are being taught this “critical race theory” at public schools!  Schools supported by your tax dollars.  https://christopherrufo.com/mandatory-white-privilege-training-for-san-diego-teachers/

So, where does “critical race theory” / “white fragility training” and the “tenet” respect come in this for you, Paul? 

I have enough self-respect and confidence to know that I am not racist.

EXAMPLE:  You (student) are late to a rehearsal.  I DON’T GIVE TWO “POOs” AND A MULE WHAT COLOR YOU ARE / WHAT GENDER YOU ARE … For being late, you are going to get “the look.”  You are going to get more than “the look” if you DON’T APOLOGIZE and continue to be late!  

My goodness.  So, because you are a certain skin color being raised by a single mother, you should not get “the look?”  Only the white students who have two parents should get “the look?” 

REALLY? 

Isn’t that racist?  That being, give “the look” to white children, being raised by two parents, and letting those people of color with a single mother not get “the look?”  Not lowering the person of color grade due to being tardy?  Oh, that’s right … lowering grades for being tardy for class or turning in work late is unacceptable.  (Possibly another issue for another day:  to help “combat” racism, lower expectations  https://bit.ly/39XZ0rY )

UNBELIEVABLE!  

“Nothing is more despicable than respect based on fear.”  Albert Camus  People (in my case public education) are in fear of losing their job or being labeled “racist” for NOT participating in these trainings mentioned in the Rufo article.  Disagreeing with I am “inherently racist,” because I am white could cause me to lose my job or having letters in my file due to my insubordination not attending  sessions.  Question:  I am going to “earn” respect because admitting something I am not, oppose to standing up defending myself?  Wow!  I hope not. 

“Respect yourself enough to walk away from anything that no longer serves you, grows you, or makes you happy.”  Robert Tew
You (a white person) are sitting in a “white fragility training meeting.”  You are being told to sign a form (nothing binding; just part of the exercise) acknowledging you are “racist” because you are white.  How does admitting you are something you are not, serve you, helps you grow, or makes you happy?  IT SHOULD NOT!  

Again, if you are racist, please … get some help.  Racism is as real as COVID-19.  BOTH ARE REAL!  The response to either?  May need to be re-examined.  The response can be IMPROVED!  Racist:  a person who is prejudiced against or antagonistic toward people on the basis of their membership in a particular racial or ethnic group, typically one that is a minority or marginalized.  It is interesting to read, “…typically one that is a minority or marginalized…”  That is not the case any longer.  

Also, please know, this (you are white and no matter what you do, you are racist) comes from personal experience.  This is a no win situation

Around 1991, prior to a weeknight rehearsal, my wife and I invited two of my African American high school students to our home for dinner.  (You can read more about this story in my book… https://amzn.to/3n6qLSW

Twenty-nine years later, my invitation to two of my African American high school students to our house for dinner prior to rehearsal, because they needed to have dinner …… GET READY …. is now deemed as an act seen as helping my “guilty white racist self!”  I kid you not!  This year, one of the two students sent me that message!  Very sad day for me.  

Twenty-nine years later, that act of giving dinner to two of our students is now seen as a way of comforting my white guilt.  If that student only knew how much “guff” my wife and I took from a relative for that act of kindness!  Seriously!  Unbelievable!  BTW – I would do it again IN A FLIPPIN’ SECOND!  

Hence, this is a no win situation.

Oh, but wait!  There is a win! 

“They cannot take away our self-respect if we do not give it to them.”  Mahatma Gandhi  DO NOT GIVE THEM YOUR SELF-RESPECT!  You know who you are!  Truly.  You do.  For you to sit there at a “white fragility” training and at least NOT SPEAK UP?  Please.  Ask questions.  Give your opinions.  Staying there and speaking up is a strong sign of self-respect.  These people do not know who you are.  Also, quietly walking away from the table is also respectable.  

In the end, for an opportunity at a good life, respect / self-respect is very important.  For a person to say or infer:  you are white, you are this or that is like saying, you are black, you are this or that.  That accusation / allegation / inference is a sign of “respect” towards you?  What happened to “the benefit of doubt?” 

“I have always had extraordinarily good relations with very conservative colleagues.  And that’s not because I agree with any of them or fudge on my positions, but people feel I listen to them and give them the benefit of the doubt.  I assume the best of people.  And that, I think, is an attitude that is maybe rare in politics.”  Barack Obama  

“I’m going to give people the benefit of the doubt.”  Leon Panetta

“You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view { … } until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.”  – from the novel TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD by Harper Lee 

How is accusing you, (a white person), of being inherently racist because you are white a sign of respect?  Benefit of the doubt?  Assuming the best of people?  

If you want to see one person’s perception of “Critical Race Theory” :  
https://bit.ly/33XaurD

Anti-racist Arguments Are Tearing People Apart 
https://bit.ly/2VXrSYZ

And, yes… I have read IBRAM KENDI’s book “How to be an Anti-Racist.”  

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2 Comments

  1. Drake Daley

    Reply

    I entirely agree with the idea of this point of view, and luckily I can put myself in a situation where I can avoid this lose lose situation. The problem I see is that this critical race theory idea is at least perceived to be a wide spread belief and can have significant consequences should you not follow the mob. Like you said you could lose your job just by having that kind of self respect, like you said “People (in my case public education) are in fear of losing their job or being labeled “racist” for NOT participating in these training’s mentioned in the Rufo article. Disagreeing with I am “inherently racist,” because I am white could cause me to lose my job or having letters in my file due to my insubordination not attending sessions.” That kind of thing could ruin someones life, and this kind of training is in multiple professions and businesses.
    I hope that this sort of one look judgement ends soon in every way, as it certainly isn’t unifying the country.

    • Paul Everts

      Reply

      Hello Drake,
      First, THANK YOU VERY MUCH for taking the time to read my article and then, writing your wonderful response. Time is limited and something we do not get more of. So thank you.

      I appreciate your agreement that this “CRT” is not unifying our country! We need to get back to the idea “I look to a day when people will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” ~From the “I have a dream” speech. What happened? How did we get off track? I guess that “dream” came and went. Damn shame.

      Actually… don’t care. Don’t have the answers to those questions. All I know is … we are never going to be “perfect” / “utopia.” What needs to happen is to hold individuals accountable to our laws / tenets. Not adjust the laws to fit the individuals. To blame an entire group as __________ due to one idiot? Please. That thought is juvenile. We need to continue to grow-up.

      Many Blessings / Agape,
      Paul (to you “Mr. Everts” (smile / wink)

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