Could You Be A Racist Without Even Knowing It? - Los Angeles News | FOX 11 LA KTTV

From Reporter Gina Silva

Could You Be A Racist Without Even Knowing It?

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Could you be a racist without even knowing it? It's a question I ask because almost no one ever admits to being racist. In fact, when confronted on the topic, many will say, "What are you talking about? I don't have one racist bone in my body." I want to believe it, but actions speak louder than words.

Thanks to Facebook, I reconnected with a friend I hadn't seen in more than 20 years.

One day, I went to an early dinner with his family. His son talked about wanting  a bacon milkshake that Jack in the Box had just introduced. After our meal, I suggested we all go to Jack to get that shake. Unfortunately,  we didn't have a clue where the nearest fast food joint was located.  As we were walking to our cars around 6pm,  I saw two black kids heading our direction. They were just minding their own business, talking to each other.  I stopped them to ask, "Hey guys, do you know where the nearest Jack in the Box is?" They were cool and gave us the directions we needed. They went on their way and so did we. Suddenly I heard, "I can't believe you just did that!!" I had no clue what he was talking about. "We could have been stabbed or killed. You could have been raped and I don't want get into a fight, Gina. My kids are here."

My jaw dropped. He had an issue with me because I asked two black kids for directions. When I explained his reaction was racist and ridiculous, he denied any wrongdoing. He added, "You don't know what they could be hiding." 

I remember his own kids saying, "Dad, that's racial profiling." Still, he didn't get it. And I'm sure he never will. If you ask him, he's not racist.

Is it possible that unless you've been racially profiled yourself, you may not be aware of what exactly that is or how it feels? Maybe, that is why some people are able to dismiss it so easily.

When I told this story to photographer Carlos Jacinto this morning, he said, "Maybe he's not racist. Maybe he's just afraid."

What do you think? Please share your thoughts on this issue. Is it racial  profiling or is it something else?  Have you ever been a victim of it or done it to someone? Share your experiences. 

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