White person: Are africans real people?
African: No. They are not real people.
White person: What? I thought you are african, from Africa. Aren’t you?
African: Yes. You thought right. I come from the continent called Africa today. If that makes me ‘african’, then by all means, I am african.
White person: But you just said africans are not real people.
African: No. I didn’t. You asked and by asking, wondered whether or not africans are ‘real people’; and in the same vein, opined that africans are not real people. I simply confirmed your bias. Telling you they are real people, would effectively mean you are wrong in your assumption and would make no difference because it is evident you made up your mind on that, you formed your own view in which you are evidently stuck. I am of the strong view that it is better to speak to the mind of the person asking and/or listening and that person’s [their] ability to receive and digest what you say to them without necessarily taking it personally.
White person: But are they really people?
African: Depends on what you call “real people”. You will have to define that, and help me to understand what you mean, to answer your question.
White person: I mean, like you and me.
African: Am I a person? Do I look like a person to you? Are you talking to a person? Do you think I am a person?
White person: Yes, of course, you are a person. You look like a person. What kind of silly question is that? I wouldn’t be talking to you if you weren’t or I didn’t think you a person.
African: Good. You just answered your foolish question.
African: How would you describe yourself in terms of race, in terms of racial category?
White person: White Caucasian, of course. I am white, isn’t that obvious to you?
African: No. It is not obvious, that’s why I asked. Are you “white”? Are “white” people “white”?
White person: Yes, of course. Well, not really. To be fair, we are not really white in skin colour but we are “white” people.
African: Are “black” people black?
White person: Of course! They are black. Black people are black that’s why they are called black people. They have black skin, it’s obvious. I mean, look at your skin colour, well, it looks like dark chocolate.
African: If I go by your own reasoning about “black” people, then answer me this: why do you “white” people call yourselves “white”? Obviously, you aren’t white in skin colour. Are you?
White person: Well, we are not, maybe I could say correctly that we are “pink” in skin colour, but we are “white” people.
African: Then it behooves us, between you and me, to agree and thus conclude that, just as you think and are convinced that “black” people are black in skin colour, “white” people are, and should thus be called “pink” people because they have a rather pink hue and not anywhere remotely white.
White person: That’s really racist of you.
African: Maybe, maybe not. But ask yourself this: who really is a racist? Who determines what and who is a racist?
Is it racist when it is about you and not, when it is about others, particularly by and from you?
When you get through those questions and you’ve answered them candidly; I suggest you take a humble look at yourself in the mirror and will most likely be staring at a bona fide racist as they come.