racism, homophobia, and wheelchairs

Is it possible to completely rid oneself of prejudice? It hasn’t been for me.

Despite years of effort, my own covert prejudices still exist. For example, I once had the thought, “what if one of my kids turned out to be bisexual? Well, I would hope they would choose to marry an opposite-sex partner, all other things being equal.” This bothers me. I thought I was done with homophobia.

I’m also covertly racist. Of course, I have many friends of other races and cultures, and I’m reasonably afraid of any scary lookin’ White dudes in a dark alley (not to mention any white people in creepy small towns, thanks to the X-Files), but I can’t say I have been successful in rooting out all covert racism.

Wheelchairs? Well, first I admit I watch Glee. Second, there was an episode where my least favorite character (the one in the wheelchair, of course), had a dream-sequence where he was able to get out of his chair and dance. It was really cool! Only later did I realize I normally hated this character’s songs. Really? Really?

I have a long way to go.

What has helped you to get over your prejudices? Any advice? Be gentle. Please. 🙂

About shenpa warrior

"Patience is not learned in safety." View all posts by shenpa warrior

7 responses to “racism, homophobia, and wheelchairs

  • Derek

    There is no eliminating prejudice. There is no magic bullet, no breakthrough beyond which one is free from bias. A friend shared what I think is the perfect metaphor: Our minds are gardens. We must forever weed that garden, pluck up the small shoots of bigotry to prevent them from overgrowing the garden and choking off the rationality and compassion we are trying to raise.

  • George

    I have given up and abandoned all hope as I am perpetually challenged to view Republicans and equals…

  • Andrew

    …wheelchairs? that’s definitely one I haven’t heard of.

    I have to agree with Derek. I’d probably say that the best we can do is *be aware* that we may have prejudices (because at least if we are aware, we can be sensitive when others may be offended, instead of clueless)

  • Tweets that mention racism, homophobia, and wheelchairs « shenpa warrior -- Topsy.com

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by utahBNN, shenpa warrior. shenpa warrior said: New Post! I’m still working on my racism, homophobia, and covert prejudice against people in wheelchairs http://bit.ly/c2HYzh […]

  • adamf

    Derek – I like that analogy… takes some of the useless distress over being free from prejudice, and focuses on one’s daily actions.

    Andrew – Re: wheelchairs – it was surprising to me as well.

    I’m starting to wonder if it’s not “racism” per se that is my problem, but misandry. Generally, I prefer to be around women rather than men, regardless of race, unless I know the person. I feel more anxious around men I don’t know then around women I don’t know… Maybe I’m not as racist as I thought… just sexist!

  • salth2o

    You’re being too hard on yourself.

    1- That character on Glee has the worst plot lines and worst songs- except when he sang dancing with myself. That was awesome. The problem isn’t you- it’s Glee, because they didn’t stick the adorable jock in a wheelchair, they put a geek. And because you like a dream sequence where someone who hasn’t been able to use their legs finally gets use of them and gets a taste of freedom doen’st mean you have issues with wheelchairs.

    2- Homophobia, after seeing what your relative has been through socially and personally I don’t think anyone would want their children to go through that. And, after understanding what a homosexual in a heterosexual realtionship may feel you obviously changed your mind. Because you’d want you child to be free from the social issues that accompany homosexuality- it doesn’t make you homophobic.

    3- I think you’re confusing rascim with sterotypes. Asian women can’t drive. They can’t- that’s just the way it is, and Asian women love designer clothes. Also a mostly true statement. So when I talk to my Asian friend about namebrand shopping is that racist?

  • adamf

    Heh, plus that dream sequence was filmed buy Joss Whedon, so yeah, I get your point.

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