“I’m not racist, I have a black friend."
We’ve all heard a version of this at some point in our lives. Whether it has been through a classmate, tv show, play, or even from a family member. But what kind of affect can that saying really have on society? Jean Klein really dove into this occurrence in her play “Refractions Of Light”, directed by Nancy Pop on Thursday, March 15th at Alchemical Studios. The main character Rose must face her own deep prejudices when Joe and her adoptive daughter Nettie want to buy her house who happen to be colored.
Rose is the family member or friend or classmate we’ve all cross paths with at some point in our lives. We think that there is no way they could have prejudices and micro-racism because they have a “black friend/spouse/child/colleague." So that is why when they do it seems to hurt more than when a stranger does it. Does this make them a bad person? An evil person? A secret bigot? NO. These are learned behavior that has systematically embedded themselves into these people. Should you just let it go and turn a blind eye? Of course not! You can lovingly try and help them unlearn these impulses because there is a high change they are unaware.
Life is about growing and unlearning many problematic things that have been taught to us throughout our lives. None of us are perfect because we are only a reflection of what the world looks like. No one is safe with these secret prejudices that are hidden in ourselves, but we can save future generations by unlearning and creating an environment to which this can be possible.