Are we all racists?
May 23, 2009 11:33am CST
I grew up in israel in a mainly "black" neighborhood. Now, I don't hate any race, but I do have more fear towards blacks then any other race, maybe it's the fact on the news all you ever see is a black man robbing this person or a black man killing that person, sure caucasians get their share too, but the news mainly focuses on the black people. I feel it's wrong for me to even be afraid, it's illogical, but I'm human and it is forced into your minds so much it's impossible to just ignore. I have black friends, I'm really only slightly scared until I get to know them, I really want to change and I've gotten better. I don't like racism, I'm simply acknowledging the fact I am and the way most of us were raised (save a select few who never turn on the T.V.) has made us all somewhat racist, hate creates more hate, violence creates more violence. I want it to stop, that's why I try to ignore that voice in the back of my head. Do you feel the same?
• United States
24 May 09
Whoah ho ho, and you're thinking that is not done anywhere else? Wake up, friend, this world is a racist state. Even different white regions of the US have something to hate about each other. Please do not condemn the poster of this message for living in Israel, which you apparently scorn.
• United States
24 May 09
I encourage you to try and fight the feelings you have. Your fear, as you have suggested, is certainly encouraged. And many people do feel that way about cultures they do not understand. Here is something that has worked for me: think of yourself in a situation to where you would be subordinate to black people, say, a corner store clerk. You do not actually have to go get this job, just imagine how human a person can become when they are doing a real transaction with you. Ignore outliers, like criminals, okay? They are not the status quo. Black people are worth talking to just as much as white people are. A neighborhood, against all common interpretations, is not a good place to mingle with another race. Try volunteering at a soup kitchen or something like that. My Hispanic neighbors can be difficult to tolerate when I'm next door hearing their music, but believe me, they live and love just like me. And by the way, everyone appreciates your admittance of bias. It takes bravery to confront the social boxes that the media and other venues push us in to.
• Greenwood, Mississippi
23 May 09
Maybe it is in human nature to associate people into groups, but I don't think it's something that can't be overcome. In a way, I think racism is sort of a coping mechanism for people because it lets them believe they are really a part of some extended family (their race) who will fight with them against the evil in the world, which they feel is represented by the other races. In truth, there are no big families...there are people of every race who are ready and willing to do you in under the right circumstances. It's not pleasant to think about, but that's part of the dark side of our world. I don't really blame the media for racism that much...I mean, there ARE black people who commit crimes, and it's right to document that when it happens. In the United States at least I hear just as much about crimes committed by whites so I don't feel that there's too much of a bias. But I agree that focusing on crime can make one feel fearful and prone to generalize criminals as coming from certain groups. I think the study of history provides a good counterbalance to the study of crime rates -- it might seem like black people commit disproportionate amounts of crime right now (though you also have to consider possible racism in the justice system as a possible reason for that), but if you consider the past then you'll see that atrocious crimes have been committed by members of every race.
23 May 09
I really appreciate your honesty and I've been just going through where you've been, except that I grow up in society where there's basically no black people but only , i'm sorry to say, deeply-rooted bias towards them and nobody thinks that's wrong! And right now I realize the concept of ' race' is totally socially constructed inside our minds and sometimes I do feel bad about this. Right now I'm paris, where I could get contact with black people everyday, and that really helps me to erase some of my prejudices, but on the hand it leads to reinforcing some other bias somehow 'since in paris and its surburbs, black communities are still linked to poverty, violence and insecurity. This is really a vicious circle.
2 Jun 09
I am born and raised a native of the north in the Philippines. I have always heard of that being so racist as to each of us have different tribes but not within the different tribes but to a few people who never thought of our rights as stated in the Republic Act 8371. For some, they always had that teasing us but never thought of who they are and not so clever to had known the Indigenous People Rights Act. Only to some extend that they had hurt us so badly before turning themselves for forgiveness. We respect and forgive, but due to their ignorance of the law, they shall not be excused.
30 May 09
I do think,in some degree we are all racists.It is out of human nature.We even exclude people from other places.But they are all somply notions in our mind,which are formed since we were children;it's the result of the social environment. However,just because of this,we can try to "brainwash" by ourselves.
24 May 09
Just want to add something here. In one episode of the drama 'Grey's Anatomy', there's a white cop who's racist and doesn't want to be operated by black doctors and he usually performs his tasks well with a black colleagues. What he explains is quite typical I guess: ' I work with Mary( the black girl), we're good friends and we used to have fun together. But i'm not be okay if one of my brother wants to marry her.'
24 May 09
In defense with blacks, they are more loving, more caring, more understanding that some people from other races. This is base from my own experience. I think the reason why is because they make big issue about the things that black do, than other races do. We have different belief and fears, all we need to know is understand each other.
24 May 09
I personally don't like racism but sometimes we just can't help it but to become one. I just keep in mind that, we were created by God with so many difference among each other so that we can learn each others culture, language, way of life etc.
24 May 09
I think the thing about racism or all other sorts of prejudices and stuff depends on the community the person comes from. There are people who just feel it is totally fine to be racist or to feel superior to other people just based on their skin colour or their tribe or religion or whatever. Probably that is what they were taught as they were growing up. But a lot of times with education and exposure, people tend to realise that that is a totally wrong way of thinking. It doesn't matter where the person is from or the colour of their skin but all people are able to achieve whatever any other race can achieve given the same opportunity.
• United States
24 May 09
I definitely agree with this. There's nothing more the media likes than to turn people against each other and make people afraid. If it isn't one thing to fear, it's another. -cough-swineflu-cough- My family doesn't watch too much television anyway and if we do it's usually something like Spongebob. :) We're all children at heart, you know. But no, I don't think I'm racist towards anyone. Not that I know of. I'm nervous around certain people, but their race has nothing to do with it, it's mostly the way they act and their body language that makes me distrust them. But that's how I was raised. My family has always been very open about a lot of things and we're all generally laid back. And once people hate, like you said, it's really hard to break the cycle. Their children learn from them how to hate and then their children learn from them. Some people can change, of course, and go against their parents' examples, but a lot of times they learn what their parents teach them and run with it and it's a shame. I always want to disown my father when he goes on his rants about Mexicans. Gosh, he sounds so stupid! Everything in the United States is the fault of Mexicans. He's like "just deport them all and build a wall!". I want to smack him. Not only will our economy collapse because they are a very important part of our work force, but you can't build a wall between our nations. -_-; Look at how well the Berlin wall worked and that was within a CITY. Not to mention it's just ignorance. Heck, heaven forbid Americans take responsibility for messing up their own country. Nope, it's the Mexicans faults. I've even heard some people blame the Canadians, too? It's silly.
• South Africa
24 May 09
I live in a country where racism agains black people was the norm, even tought in churches. Black people were seen by some as being not human. I grew up in that environment and with that mentalit that it is right. I became a policeman and things got worse, I treaded black people with absolute hate. Then in 1994 the elections came and we became a democratic country. This was hard for most whites to accept. Some made an effort to change for the sake of peace in our country but some of us was ready for war. Then in 1999 something drastic happened in my personal life - I became a born again Christian and one of the first things that God showed me was that I was wrong in my views towards other cultures. God opened my eyes for me to seee the love He has for all people, even so That he gave His son die die for all peoples of all nationalities. It took some time to get over the fear that you are talking about but the hatred was gone. I still had to work hard on the trust part but with the help of God, I believe that I am cured. We all are from different cultures and backgounds and the way we were raised,and the influence of the media plays a big role in how we act towards and feel about people from different culture groups. May you have victory over your fears. The devil who wants to destry us will make it hard for us to love unconditionaly, because he know is we have hate or unforgiveness in us, we cannot be free as we are ment to be. Blessings