The Something Else that Racism Became

Emotional Intelligence
Ch.10: Managing with Heart
Daniel Coleman

The Something Else that Racism Became

“I would never date a black guy,” the teenager said.

“Neither would I.”

The teacher was helping a student and preferred to stay out of conversations but couldn’t. “That’s very racist,” she said, without thinking.

“How is that racist? I’m just saying that I wouldn’t date a black guy. I’m not saying I don’t like them.That’s just not my type.”

“For what it’s worth,” the half-black, half-white boy the girls were talking to joined, “I would never date a black girl.”

“See?”

This is the kind of situation the teacher had dodged her entire career. Now, words came out of her like they were not her own: “Racism is the judging of an entire group of people based on their race. In saying that you would not date anyone from a specific race, you are saying that you judge the entire group undateable.”

“I’m just saying that’s not my taste.”

“What isn’t your taste? The color of someone’s skin? Because that varies within any race. What is it then, that you’ve decided is the undateable characteristic that defines an entire race?”

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