Day 267 Question 267:
Do you believe yourself to be racist or prejudice in any way?
This is a question in which majority of people would immediately answer no. Racism and prejudice are such negative things that none of us can possibly believe that we are either of them. Right now in my life I believe I am not racist but I am sure I hold some prejudices. Prejudice is such a wide open idea and sometimes it can be easy to judge someone or make assumptions about someone simply based on their differing viewpoints.
This world is made up of billions of people and in a lifetime we would never possibly be able to meet everyone and hear their story. There is so much I do not understand about how other people live…whether they be people residing in the same area as I do or people living on the other side of the world. I believe in the past I was prejudice. I did make assumptions about entire groups of people, usually because of the actions of only a few. It took me a long time to see how wrong that was….it was learned though. I we learn something we can unlearn it if we choose to but it does not necessarily come easily. It took me a long time to stop following the majority and listen to what my gut was telling me. Even the most violent and hateful person has a story and although their actions might be disgusting, who am I to make assumptions as to why they are the way they are??? I would never know if I did not ask the questions and there are some people that are just too far out of reach. I don’t know if I am making any sense here.
I have faults and flaws and I have made many bad decisions throughout my journey called life. I am learning though. I have realized how important awareness is in determining who we are as people. I cannot truly know if I am or have been racist or prejudice if I do not know the true definition of either of those and when it is laid out on the line, it comes down to being honest with oneself. We may not like to see ourselves in a negative light or admit the faults that we have but when we do (at least for me) there is a sense of freedom. When we actually see the things we are guilty of and the wrongful actions we have taken, we are then able to change. I have found that one of the hardest things in life is being able to accept yourself and breaking out of the mold of who everyone else wants you to be. Hatred and anger are not natural and prejudice and racism are not natural. These are ignorances that have been passed on through words and actions and because the cycle has been going on for so long some people are unable to see the way out….or simply do not want to. For myself, I had to take time for just myself and decide how I truly felt. I had to think about whether or not I believed things because other people told me to believe them or whether I truly felt that way. I found out that I was living in someone else’s mold and I have now taken the steps to break free. I appreciate the education I have received and the mentoring and there are so many ideas and ideals that I agree with but I love my individuality. I love to be able to choose what feels right and I feel like I am one of the lucky ones that sees the beauty of the world even through all of the destruction and chaos. It sometimes angers people when I defend others but I only do this because I do not know everyone’s stories. I am far from “perfect” and I will make snap judgments and assumptions and I will choose to negate people from my life. Having an awareness of these things is what helps take the prejudice away and continually reminds me that I do not want people to make assumptions about me so it would be unfair for me to make assumptions about them.
Very good post. Reflection is a positive action we all need to engage in. I was taken with myself for years until I realized that I need to accept people the way they were. I thought I was all that and that people should be more like me. I now listen more and talk less so I can understand why people do what they do. I now lead by example and leave the talking to others. I still love myself but I place myself into context. When I consider how many people there are on this planet I am more in awe than anything else. Whose listening anyway?
a comedian, i forgot who, posed the question: “what would you say if a certain ethnicity robbed you, rammed your car, or anything to that effect…and the cops asked you what they looked like? all politically correct statements will go out the window at that point” point being, everyone has prejudices, its human. the key is treating others the way you want to be treated.
I am against illegal immigration. My grandfather immigrated from Italy in the very early 1900’s, but he did it legally. Being against people who enter my country illegally does not make me a racist. Sure, let them in—if they do it according to the law. Yes, there are many jobs lost to “wetbacks” and millions of taxpayer money is spent on illegal immigrants like free emergency room service, fraudulent Welfare, food stamps and so on. I know what I am talking about. I live in San Antonio, Texas, where there are a lot of illegal immigrants and much fraud. They drive cars, have no insurance, get drunk (getting drunk is the Mexican Way) and when drunk fight, kill, steal, rape—Hispanics are a violent people. I wish we could round up all the illegals and kick their butts back across the border, and to HELL with the bleeding heart liberals. I am a Disabled American Veteran and love my country to the fullest. I have no problem with people who want to come here and be a part of our great nation. I DO have a problem with people who come here to exploit it, rip it off, and trash it.
Not all Hispanics are violent people. I find it unfair to blame an entire group for the actions of some. There are many violent white people, black people, Asians, etc. I respect your viewpoint but find it unfair to blame an entire group of people. You should probably read the blog entry. It’s obvious you didn’t get past the political cartoon.
And btw…what if I’m a liberal. Should my butt be kicked out of this country or to hell as you stated?
I’m quite sure if you know what you’re talking about, you have read the latest surveys and statistical studies that show and claim that now-a-days there are more immigrants, both legal and illegal, going out of the states rather than going in. It MIGHT be due to such non-sense comments like this one.
me – being white – and having dated women of various races – will claim to not be racist. however, i do tend to pre-judge people based on their appearance, which i know is neither accurate nor fair. and because i know that many, many people do this, i try to impress upon my kids to dress nicely and not trashy looking like their mother allows. it’s not unusual for a kid to think it is comfortable and cool to wear pajama pants when going out to stores and such. i see it constantly, and to me it’s trashy. so i don’t want others looking at my kids in the same way that i look at other kids when they’re in their trashy-looking pajamas while walking through the mall.
Brilliant post, though I sorta think differently about racism. I see both phenomena as something that humans are born with. I mean, in a practical sense, to be racist to one another can be perceived as the most natural reaction a person’s got towards something he/she does not like. If I could explain it from what I go through, it would be like this:
I am bisexual and I live in a really close minded country, Chile. Now, I really often get called homo, fag*** and stuff alike. Now, I know they can be considered racists or homo-haters or whatever you may call them. Nevertheless, is it really a bad thing at all? I mean, they may think like that because their culture says so – Culture being understood as the variety of factors that makes who we are – So, are they actually being bad people? I think they’re just reacting to how they have been brought up and which is even more important, who am I to try to change their schooling? They could’ve been brought up wrongly, yes, but that will always be according to my criteria. Consequently, if I am to try and change the way they behave, am I not being racist in return?
I think I didn’t make much sense there, but what I am trying to say is that, as I see it, racism is just the most natural way for a person to say he/she does not like something else and it is a feeling society has tagged as ‘bad’ in order to try and create a world with everyone can be the way they please without fear. To that last point I made, I should add – for me – it’s an illusion.
Thank you for the brilliant response 🙂
I feel that even those of us who believe we are NOT prejudice carry with us a certain bias…..buried prejudice…..that operates at a subconscious level below our conscious awareness. Societal exposure and genetics are behind this bias. The media and marketers capitalize on and fuel this bias.