How to Tell if Something is Racist - TribPapers

How to Tell if Something is Racist

Read the original email online.

Asheville – An old friend of mine, Matt Mittan of the Take a Stand Show, once explained to his radio audience how to tell if something was racist. He said if there was a color involved, just replace it with the word “white,” and if that sounded racist, then it was. 

For instance, Black Lives Matter. Just replace the word “Black” with the word “White,” and if that sounded racist, then the original wording was too. I’ve always found it to be a good rule of thumb. 

I am reminded of the world that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. envisioned; “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” 

Now its seems that the world is bent on living by nothing but seeing skin color.

Examples fall from Coca-Cola’s “Be Less White” training to Buncombe County Department of Health & Human Service’s “Racial Equality Group for White Folx.” Haven’t heard of either? Let me enlighten you.

Coca-Cola’s “Be Less White” training, given to its white employees, told them to be less “oppressive, arrogant, certain, defensive, ignorant” and to be more “humble.” To “listen” and “believe” more and “break with apathy” and “with white solidarity.” I’ll be honest. Those sound like traits anyone of any color could have and use on improving on.

Buncombe County Department of Health & Human Service’s “Racial Equality Group for White Folx” is a voluntary group, and according to the email that went out to Buncombe County DHHS staff who “…identify as White and/or have White/light skin privilege…” 

So much for being a color-blind society. Our nation will never get better until we stop focusing on skin color and start concentrating on ourselves as Americans. 

Again, let’s go back to Mittan’s test for racism and substitute Coca-Cola’s “Be Less White” training with Coca-Cola’s “Be Less Black” training. Racist? Yes! Either way, you write or say it. Buncombe County DHHS’s training group, “Racial Equality Group for White Folx” becomes “Racial Equality Group for Black Folx.” Racist? Again, yes! Either way, you write or say it.

Oh, and you may be wondering about the spelling of “folx” instead of “folk” it’s for those who are in the LBGTQ community. Readers may want to make sure they read our story this week on Buncombe County’s proposal for a nondiscrimination ordinance on page 4 and see what’s on the way. This is not only from Buncombe County, but the federal government down to small towns like Weaverville. 

What’s coming for high school and college women’s sports is going to set back female sports decades. I was told to follow the science, science says their XX or XY, but what do they know. However, that’s another commentary for another day. This is my opinion, what’s yours?

Editor’s note: Readers are encouraged to share their opinion on this commentary or any subject by emailing their comments or letters to the editor to

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