Paul S. in Marietta asks: I want to be safe on the roadway, but I also don’t want to feel like a racist. Is it okay to watch out for black ice? Am I a racist simply by virtue of wondering whether watching out for black ice makes me a racist?
Great question, Paul. First of all, let us just say that it sounds like your head is in the right place. Posts on the internet claiming to question your own casual racism is the best way to insulate yourself against being thought of by friends and colleagues as a racist. The true answer depends heavily on whether or not in your every day life you are, in actuality, a big ol’ racist.
Ask yourself this: are you watching out for other kinds of ice, or are you singling out black ice? If you would cross the street to avoid a patch of black ice, but you plow straight over a patch of whitish blue ice, you may want to spend some time catching up with your ethnically diverse friends and family.
If you don’t have any ethnically diverse friends or family, red flag. You’re a racist. Note that a single black friend to whom you constantly refer in conversation is not only not proof that you aren’t a racist, but strong evidence that you are.
Now ask yourself this: are you a dick to people with a heritage different from yours? Ding dong. Who’s at the door? You know who’s at the door: racism, ya freakin’ racist.
If you encounter a patch of black ice on the road, drive with at least one of your car’s wheels still on the ice. This way you maintain a degree of control on the roadway while still showing that you’re cool with any kind of ice. Probably wouldn’t hurt to slow down while navigating the ice, to show you’re not self-consciously hurrying through it.
In summary, yes you are probably a racist. Drive safe out there, Paul!