Forums The Vibe Chat I’m not racist, I don’t think

This topic contains 10 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by Avatar Psybastian August 15, 2013 at 11:22 pm.

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  • #1056364
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    The Psyentist
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    Do you ever find yourself being really racist in a desperate bid not to come across as racist? For some reason despite genuinely having no problem whatsoever with people of a different ethnicity I can’t help but focus on someone’s skin colour sometimes and all that runs through my mind is “don’t say the N word”, which is a word I seldom use anyway, however when in the presence of a black person my brain is so focused on not letting it slip out that it is the only word I can think of so communication usually breaks down.

    Earlier today I went to my local Asian supermarket to get some coconut oil that is not available in your ordinary supermarket. As I approached the doors it dawned on me that I was probably the only white person in a two mile radius and I was about to enter ‘their’ domain, this was just bullshit that was running through my head and I knew it, but couldn’t dismiss it. So I was walking through the store with my headphones in looking for the oil and all I could think was “I am the only white person in here”, then I got into an argument with myself in my head berating myself for being racist but simultaneously justifying these ridiculous thoughts by telling myself they were merely observations and as long as I kept it to myself no harm was being done. Then lo and behold another white family walked in, relief genuinely swept over me, which only served to fuel the disciplinary hearing that was going off in my head. The white folk happened to walk past me in close enough vicinity for me to hear them talking; they were Polish. Well my mind nearly imploded, I felt I was on the verge of a panic attack. Then as well as the voice in my head that was telling me off another one chirped in with abrupt laughter finding the whole mental predicament I’d worked myself into hilarious. So I had three voices in my head, all of which were me (not like a schizo hallucination type thing); one being paranoid and racist, one telling the paranoid racist me to shut the fuck up and get on with it and a 3rd just pissing itself at the stupidity of the situation. I genuinely couldn’t tell which was the conscious me, or was it all of them?

    Anyway I found what I needed and bundled myself over to the checkout, only to be served by an Asian man with a cleft palette. This was too much; different coloured skin and disability, what next I thought. Then again I told myself off by saying “shut up you racist cunt!”, I saw the mans face drop and I realised I’d said it out loud not in my head. I took my earphones out and managed to mutter the words (again quite involuntarily) “not you, I’m racist. I was talking to myself”. This didn’t exactly remedy the situation. In the end the only thing to do was to apologise profusely and explain that I was a bit tapped in the head and tell them, as I have you, what had happened. In the end I paid for the coconut oil and accepted without complaint the banning from the store that I’d visited only once and never again. Hooray for social suicide!

    My brain is forever doing stupid shit like this in all kinds of situations. This was just an outstanding and recent example.
    Anyone else have any similar stories where their brain just needs to shut the fuck up? Doesn’t have to be in a racist context lol.

    #1275331
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    Izbeckistan
    Participant

    Its a form of OCD, you know something is wrong and you obsess over it in your mind.

    A bit dramatic but some women worry so much about their babies they start to imagine all the different ways their baby can die (like being on a train and picturing it falling through the gap) some of these women end up going to psychiatrists saying ‘I think I want to hurt my baby!’

    #1275330
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    Chrispydelic
    Participant

    It’s perfectly normal after thousands of years of human evolution to be mistrustful (or even on a basic level fearful or wary of) people who look different to you.

    It goes back to when we lived in tribes and we needed to be able to easily discern who was a potential threat (ie someone who was not a member of the tribe) this could be deduced by them looking and/or talking differently.

    Civilized society has taught us that we no longer need to be mistrustful of people who are different to us but getting your brain to act against instincts that have been programmed into it over thousands of years isn’t the easiest thing. It’s not a case of being a racist (because from your post, clearly you aren’t) it’s just your survival instinct kicking in and doing what it’s supposed to do.

    The fact that you felt guilty proves this as if you were an actual racist, you wouldn’t feel bad for having those kind of thoughts.

    #1275338
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    Psybastian
    Participant

    Im racist and i dont think

    #1275334
    Avatar
    The Psyentist
    Participant

    @izbeckistan 554796 wrote:

    Its a form of OCD, you know something is wrong and you obsess over it in your mind.

    A bit dramatic but some women worry so much about their babies they start to imagine all the different ways their baby can die (like being on a train and picturing it falling through the gap) some of these women end up going to psychiatrists saying ‘I think I want to hurt my baby!’

    That kind of makes sense as I do have OCD, and didn’t even realise it until I watched John Richardson’s ‘A little bit OCD’. When walking down the street I’m planning my route constantly as I navigate down the road; avoiding cracks in the paving, not stepping on leaves or chewing gum and other debris and I’ll avoid 3 grids in succession but deliberately steer myself towards 2 grids in succession. Another big one for me is if the volume on my stereo is at an odd number I can get so worked up about it that I need to change it to an even number otherwise I can’t focus on the music. Even if the ideal volume is say 27, my brain would feel more at ease having it slightly too loud on 28 or slightly too quiet on 26. I could give more examples of my various OCD foibles but I’ll leave it at that.

    @chrispydelic 554805 wrote:

    It’s perfectly normal after thousands of years of human evolution to be mistrustful (or even on a basic level fearful or wary of) people who look different to you.

    It goes back to when we lived in tribes and we needed to be able to easily discern who was a potential threat (ie someone who was not a member of the tribe) this could be deduced by them looking and/or talking differently.

    Civilized society has taught us that we no longer need to be mistrustful of people who are different to us but getting your brain to act against instincts that have been programmed into it over thousands of years isn’t the easiest thing. It’s not a case of being a racist (because from your post, clearly you aren’t) it’s just your survival instinct kicking in and doing what it’s supposed to do.

    The fact that you felt guilty proves this as if you were an actual racist, you wouldn’t feel bad for having those kind of thoughts.

    This is also a plausible theory. Likely a combination of the two I think.

    #1275335
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    The Psyentist
    Participant

    By the way I had a good chortle about it once I’d processed what had happened so don’t feel bad if you think this is a funny story.

    #1275332
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    Izbeckistan
    Participant

    #1275333
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    Izbeckistan
    Participant

    One of the reasons I love Ricky Gervais is how much he touches on political correctness. Hell, its fine to differentiate people from different backgrounds, just don’t be a cock about it!

    I remember once my grandad ranting that you couldn’t say someone was black in police descriptions as it was ‘racist’ – I was quite young when I over heard this but I even remember thinking to myself he must be talking shit.

    #1275336
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    pyross.
    Participant

    @The Psyentist 554810 wrote:

    Another big one for me is if the volume on my stereo is at an odd number I can get so worked up about it that I need to change it to an even number otherwise I can’t focus on the music. Even if the ideal volume is say 27, my brain would feel more at ease having it slightly too loud on 28 or slightly too quiet on 26.

    I don’t like having the volume on anything that doesn’t end in either a 5 or a 0 lol, thank fuck my speakers don’t have numbers on the volume control & on my mac its just little squares.

    #1275329
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    know_hope
    Participant

    fear seems to ignore political correctness; wanting all the information even if its not what you’d like. i think fear of the unknown is rational. if you see dark skinned people when you commonly see pale, then they’ll seem more threatening as you’ve had less time to judge their character. but thats not racism.

    wow sounded quite crazy/funny/scary this speaking your thoughts situation. they didn’t let you back after you apologised?… thats a bit harsh. i’ve never done anything resulting in confrontation, but, sometimes when im thinking about something bad thats happened, particularly if its something embarrassing, i get so involved with the memory that i’ll start saying things out loud, like what i’d like to have said or say in some future resolution or dissolution or whatever. also i have a thing for involuntarily humming notes, which seem to attempt blocking thoughts, i guess in the hope that i’ll get distracted and think about something else… but i get really pulled into it, and like earlier i was at a friend’s and went to the toilet and suddenly notice im humming notes, lol ^.>

    #1275337
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    Deez
    Participant

    @pyɔross. 554819 wrote:

    I don’t like having the volume on anything that doesn’t end in either a 5 or a 0 lol, thank fuck my speakers don’t have numbers on the volume control & on my mac its just little squares.

    Strong this. Can’t take that shit, if it isn’t a 5 or a 0 I get really agitated.

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