Anonymous, American Renaissance, November 2009
I have been wrong my whole life. It took me 36 years to figure it out. Now I am ashamed of myself. In fact, I am not just ashamed of myself, I am also ashamed of my race: the white race. I sincerely want to thank the Army’s Equal Opportunity program for finally showing me the way.
I grew up in Austin, Texas, in a mostly Mexican-American neighborhood. Many of my childhood friends are Mexican-American, as is my stepfather. My stepfather, my friends, and my parents’ friends all welcomed me with open arms. Because of the school busing program in Texas, I was bused to a majority-black high school. The school and students welcomed me with open arms.
Before I joined the Army in October 1993, my friends were mostly of Mexican heritage, some were black, and fewer were white. We all got along. We all knew we were of different races, but we didn’t care. All we cared about were sports and girls. Many years later, I married a Korean woman and now we have two children. Race was not a factor in my life.
That all changed when I joined the Army in 1993. From the beginning, I was introduced to the Army’s Equal Opportunity program. I was taught that only white soldiers where capable of racism and that minorities had to be on the lookout for white racism at all times, everywhere. I expressed doubts about that to the black EO advisor, but she persisted in saying that whites were inherently guilty of racism while minorities were incapable of it. I thought about that lesson for years but I didn’t believe it.
Later, on during an assignment in Korea, another black EO advisor told me the same thing. Eventually, I approached my brigade EO advisor about this question. She said the same thing: Only whites can be racist and minorities are incapable of racism. In fact, she even accused me of racism for bringing up the subject.
For eight months, I researched Army regulations and publications to determine where the EO advisors were getting this idea. I found out that the Army’s definition of racism actually excludes minorities from the possibility of being racist. The definitions of discrimination and prejudice exclude minorities. At the time, I believed the Army’s EO program was wrong. I thought all people, regardless of race, could be racist. I brought my concerns to many EO advisors, but all said the same thing: only whites can be racist, and minorities can only be victims of racism. One particular senior EO advisor told me, “It’s not in the nature of blacks to be racist.”
I continued my research. I found the Army’s Equal Opportunity Representative Course. Studying it, I learned that the course is filled with example after example of how the white race contributed little or nothing to American history and society. The course teaches that a substantial number of inventions claimed by white people were actually stolen from black inventors. The course mentioned in passing that in colonial times whites “took better care of their cows than their own children.”
I was outraged. I voiced my concerns to my brigade/base EO advisor, but she accused me of racism simply for bringing up the matter. I attempted to file a formal EO complaint against the US Army EO program because of its teachings, but the EO community refused to permit it. I made several attempts to file complaints, but no one would hear of it, including my own chain of command. My brigade commander told me to stop communicating with the EO office.
Eventually, I tried to file an Inspector General (IG) complaint about the inequalities of the Army’s EO program. I explained how my chain of command refused to accept a formal EO complaint from me and how the Army’s EO program violates its own policies of promising equal treatment to people of all races. The IG wrote to tell me that my IG complaint had been referred to the very organization about which I was complaining: the Army EO program. The Army IG let the Army EO program decide whether or not its own program was guilty. Needless to say, I never heard back from the IG office or the EO program.
Shortly after my last EO complaint attempt, I sat in on an EO class given by the brigade/base EO advisor. Again, the message was consistent: Whites are always, without exception, guilty of racism. Many white soldiers approached me after the class to tell me how guilty they felt. The class was clearly a great success! I continued my research.
I discovered more than a dozen Army EO documents dating back to 1962. According to the EO documents from the 1960s and 1970s, anyone could be racist. It wasn’t until the 1990s that the definition of racism was changed so that it applied only to whites.
I began a transformation. I learned that whites have built “white privilege” policies into the Army, and that whites still benefit from them. Thanks to President Obama, his nominee for the Supreme Court taught me that white males are inferior to Latinas. Former President Carter even said a few days ago, “There is an inherent feeling among many in this country [he later said he meant white people] that an African-American should not be president.” Translation: white Americans are inherently racist.
For the last four months, I have studied the Army’s EO program harder than ever. I have finally found the truth. Yes, I am racist. I am racist because of the color of my skin, not because of anything I did or said.
Since I am racist because I am white, by extension, this means all other white soldiers are racist. All white soldiers must therefore be investigated in accordance with Army policy. Racism is not tolerated in the Army. Therefore, white soldiers should not be tolerated in the Army.
I never paid attention to race until I joined the Army. Now, I see race in everything. After several years, I have come to my senses. Now I realize that I am the problem, not the Army’s EO program. Now I believe, as the EO program teaches, that I am ultimately responsible for all the ills faced by minorities. I am heartily ashamed of myself. I am certain that the Army’s EO program is proud to hear me say that. After all, isn’t it one of the objectives of the Army’s EO program to blame whites for all of society’s ills? Thankfully, it worked for me. My new mission is to help the Army’s EO program so it can work for all other soldiers.
If you have a story about how you became racially aware, we’d like to hear it. If it is well written and compelling, we will publish it. Use a pen name, stay under 1,200 words, and send it to us here.