I know this article will hit a nerve with some of you and for that I am sorry. However, I feel like the only way to get to the root of our race issue is to understand the reason behind the issues. Racist thoughts are born from our perceptions that we gain over time. You are either racist, ignorant, or simply a liar. Ignorant people can learn how to be better and learn how to move on. Some would state that all racist people are ignorant and that the ones who claim to not be, are liars. I went to this class once that talked about how black people can’t be racist. They stated that black people couldn’t be racist because we do not have any power. However, I feel that anyone can feel superior to another person. I feel that anyone can judge another based on the color of their skin.
In America we are racist by default. We are taught imperialistic views from very early. Our teachings and history dealing with the Native Americans was a history born out of racism. The Native Americans were called all kinds of demeaning names. Then push forward to black people and again we see the name calling, and depiction of black people being animal like in nature. We have seen Japanese talked about in similar ways, Irish, Italian, Mexican, Cuban, Haitian, Jewish, Puerto Rican, and Russian. We have also seen prejudice against people in the LGBT community as well as Christians, Muslims, Wiccans and anyone else we label unworthy.
I will admit I was ignorant and prejudice against members of the LGBT community. I didn’t even realize how ignorant I was until I took my first college class some 20 years ago. We had this question about who we would hire for a job. There was a nun without education, but she had experience and a lesbian with education and experience that were trying out for the same job. The question asked who we would pick and why? I stated that I wouldn’t want to pick the lesbian out of fear. I said I was scared she would make my children aware of the homosexual community and I did not want that for my children. Needless to say, the whole classroom pretty much ended up gaining up on me. Until that moment, I didn’t know anyone who thought it was okay to be gay. My environment condemned and whispered about anyone who was other than straight. Look at this as a default in some areas of America. Some of these people do not know any better, but that doesn’t mean they can’t learn to be better.
I saw a man two nights ago in a store with white pride tattooed on his arms. I wanted to be upset, I wanted to feel like he was offending me and others like me. However, I thought back to the classroom and how I spoke out about the lesbian teacher. I ended up feeling sorry for the man because someone hasn’t rescued him from his ignorance. Have a great week. Feel free to tell me about your experiences below.