My son is Vietnamese, my next door neighbors are Korean, across the way is an Englishman married to a Philippine, and next door to them is a Latino family with the cutest dog you ever saw. This neighborhood sits at the edge of a town where white skin is the majority.
Am I racist because I live in a predominately white town? No.
I have my predominantly white tribe that I feel comfortable with. Does that make me racist? No.
Did a few feathers get ruffled when I posted the statement, “I am racist.” Yes.
I made that statement to make a point to myself. To “try it on” for size. I found the taste bitter and the fit much too small. The narrowness of it all pinched my beliefs.
I have struggled with the idea of hate in any form, especially racism. Why do people hate? What has happened that created such a strong, unforgiving feeling? I wonder what kinds of things would make me hate to the same degree a Supremacist hates anyone who is non-white? We, as humans, bleed the same. We are born and die. We laugh and cry. Our bones break and heal. So, why do some people hate each other so deeply? Recently I read an interesting article where several anthropologists talked about the subject of race. Their agreed conclusion is that children learn racism at a very young age. Through listening to conversations they learn who is important, who is better, and who isn’t.
Let’s say a mother is in a conversation with another adult at the playground, and her child overhears her say, “It’s so great that we have a black president.”
The child just learned a lot about the world from this remark. She learned that there’s a category called “black.” Every other time she heard the word “president,” it didn’t have the word “black” in front of it. She learned that this new term is really important. And she learned that her mother is excited or angry or sarcastic about it, depending on the tone of voice.
Dr. Michael Baran
From a simple statement a child now has a seed planted that will grow into love or hate. Through further conversations, statements, and emotions that are associated with any specific race (Black, Asian, Jewish, Latino, etc), the child forms their view, positive or negative, on that entire race of people.
With today’s technology, this world has become quite small, yet it has great riches in the multitude of diverse cultures. To hate any single group is like cutting off a limb just because it has a freckle. We need each other, in all our faults and strengths. We need to stop hating. We need to teach our children about the beauty in all people. Instead of talking about the color of each other’s skin and who’s culture is better than who’s, it is time to celebrate what we really are. Humans. Plain and simple.