Racism – a horrible trait to have, right? Everyone would agree with that statement. But do we all agree with it because society tells us it’s wrong to disagree with it or do we genuinely believe that it is horrible?
The reason I ask is this – why do people hang around with others of the same ethnicity? Is it because we share common values, common upbringings, common views? Or is it because we have some type of prejudice against other ethnicities?
I have friends from different backgrounds and sometimes it’s difficult for me to understand their values. As a result, I feel as though the relationship I have with them is not as strong as the ones I have with those of the same ethnicity as me. It’s sad but its not something that has happened intentionally. As a young child, my best friend was someone from a different race but over time, we grew apart. I believe it’s because as children, when we look at people, we don’t see colour or race. That concept is totally alien to us as we are growing up. Awareness is learned from others. In secondary school, I started to become more aware of race and ethnicity, and it was because of the 9/11 attack. People were taking sides, being ignorant and there was a visible segregation on the playground and I was caught up in it.
Its a sad state of affairs, but I honestly think its something that will stick with us, as humans, until we are extinct. Unless there’s a way to erase history and start life on a blank slate where everyone has the same upbringing, values and views, we will all have some kind of prejudiced views.
Muslims/Asians are seen as terrorists, black people are seen as criminals, white people are seen as exploiters, Mexicans are seen as border jumpers, Chinese are seen as speaking a funny language. These are all prejudices we have. I don’t mean to cause offence to anyone by listing the stereotypes. All I want to do is provoke thoughts on this and to ask ourselves if we are genuinely racist or not. If we are, how do we change this? Do we want to change this? Is there an end to it or will it stay with is until we are all wiped off from the face of the planet?