Beach Walk 707 – The Race Against Racism

Do you think of yourself as a racist? Chances are no, That doesn’t mean you don’t have latent racism. Nicholas Kristof wrote a piece in the NY Times that really helps to explain it.

Rather, most of the votes that Mr. Obama actually loses belong to well-meaning whites who believe in racial equality and have no objection to electing a black person as president — yet who discriminate unconsciously.

The cure? Out yourself when you have a racist thought, even if it’s embarrassing. It helps I think to flush up those legacy thoughts that have been passed down from generation to generation, just like, “put a coat on or you’ll catch a cold!” Paying attention and breaking the habit – that does work.

Welcome back to Hawaii Barack Obama. I filmed this before I knew of your impending visit.

Hawaiian Word:
Lāhui: race of people
Heihei: contest

This conversation is continued over here, Are You Responsible for Your Subconscious?

Be in Touch!


  1. Susan and my dog Lexie says

    Unconscious bias occurs with all races. In my state, those termed minorities are the majority and receive the minority benefits. Curious dichotomy.

  2. @Susan and my dog Lexie: Sorta like when some White people use the term Ethnic to describe someone of color instead of the Webster’s definition of the word.

    I usually think of myself as open, however I can remember some years ago at work offending a guy from Holland who was teaching us about some software and I was mocking his accent with a coworker. That certainly doesn’t fit my norm where I usually find a difference interesting and not something to make less-than.

    My biggest challenge currently is trying to understand, accept and not get wound up around the majority of Republicans I work with – it’s always a little bit like being at a stranger’s house and I’m counting the minutes until I can go home. However one of my best and longest friends is both Republican and Christian and is one of the most rational, open, level headed and intelligent people I know.

    Maybe those labels really don’t define us as much as they are something we hold on to for various and individual reasons – something that might make us interesting to someone else, ha!

  3. OTOH, labels are like shortcuts to help our brains store ginormous amounts of information. There is an inherent trap though the moment we flip it and the label itself becomes more important or when we forget that it is only a label – and cannot possibly include or describe the depth and breadth of what lies within the group being labeled.

  4. A local radio DJ was musing the question: Which breed pet dog should the Obama family own when they are in the White House?
    After listening to many interesting call-ins touting this, that, and the other exotic pedigreed pups, my recommendation would be the same kind as mine: a small crossbreed (known in Hawaii as a “poidog”).
    And a good example would be made by adopting one from an animal shelter.
    Back to your topic, aren’t we all “poidogs” to some extent?
    So isn’t being racist actually promoting the illusion of one’s own incestuous inbred ancestry?
    Personally I’m programmed to be unsettled by the unfamiliar settings and persons, and maybe this is what smacks of racial bias.
    Based in fear of the unknown, only overcome by exposure and positive experiences.
    I’m looking forward to the Obama presidency benefitting all of us in this regard.

  5. Celeste from Tennessee says

    I early voted last night – for Obama! But I can’t talk about it at work. I, too, work in an environment that is hostile to the idea of Obama supporters and it is definitely racist based. (I live in Tennessee) I had a rude awakening one day when I nonchalantly mentioned I was thinking of voting for Obama. They descended on me like vultures warning me against it. I’ll never forget the crazed look in their eyes. As a result I only became more determined. I think there are several other secret Obama supporters at work but know better than speak about it. When I first saw Obama 4 years ago on TV speaking at the Democratic convention, I had wished he was the one running for president and I could vote for him because he made so much sense! My wish has come true! I voted for Obama because he gives me hope for the future of this country and for us all.

  6. Hi there for Katherine

  7. Margaret from N.O. says

    Thanks for a thought provoking beachwalk, Rox.
    I’d like to see Obama make it but I wish the best to whomever gets in.
    What a mess they have to fool with!

  8. Gus from Lima-Peru says

    Aloha Rox,
    Felicitaciones por sus programas,
    Your contributions to society are well appreciated, I think the ways you portray your Beach Walks trailers are fascinating and definitely inspiring, hoping to hear more from you in your future videos.

    Mahalo nui loa
    Gus J.

  9. Phillip in L.A. says

    I’ve been watching and this is a great topic. I do believe there is a little racism in all of us but it is just another tendency to feel safe with “those like me.” I’m a black man that grew up also being taught by my father that I have to be twice as good as the white guy standing next to me. Of course this has worked out well but I am still one of the few black people at most professional events (ex. Beachwalks #501). However, it doesn’t just stop at race. It’s also gender. The same lesson I learned from my dad I will be teaching my sons but also my daughter. She will have to crack the door open a little wider for women as well. Soon the conferences will be full of all races and genders.


  1. […] did a show on the latent racist tendencies many of us have a few weeks ago, Beach Walk 707, talking about how deeply racism (and other “-isms”) reside within our subconscious. Exploring a […]