Racism is the hatred or dislike of other people based on their physical appearance, cultural background, ethnic group, etc. Racism is perhaps one of the world’s greatest problems, yet people don’t know how to exactly solve it. Some people say that all people are racist, yet this statement is one of the reasons why we cling on to the idea of racism. Racism can determine who you hang out with, what you think, where you want to live, etc. Racism is a powerful ideology that has no color, and only seeks to make the world worse, regardless of what race is in power. After thinking for over the past few weeks, I have felt that I’ve freed myself completely from racist and prejudiced thinking. I see people of different colors and cultures, but all I see in general are humans. I do not actually know them, so I cannot assume what they think and how they act. Here are ways which I’ve found out can help free one’s soul from the prison that is racism.
*Learn about other peoples and their cultures. Perhaps a big reason why racism still is big in our society is because of our misunderstanding of other cultures and peoples. Perhaps BBC best put it in their article, “5 Myths About Mexico” (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-22373654)
“For Presidents Obama and Pena Nieto, there is much to gain from a better understanding of each other’s country”
Unfortunately, common misconceptions about both countries on both sides of the border are widespread, even with US-Mexico relations being stronger than ever. However, we live in a digital age where everything is at our fingertips. We can accurately learn portrayals of different human cultures, quite literally for free. When we learn and gain a better understanding of other cultures, stereotypes go away. Learn about other cultures. Only positive can be gained.
*On expansion of this, learn history. Racism still persists strongly because of the lack of understanding of why things are and aren’t. If we could understand exactly why such social circumstances exist, we wouldn’t feel any hatred for people, yet we choose not to understand. This is perhaps why so much racial tension exists in the United States, is because of the lack of understanding why things are. I understand why, for example, so many African and Hispanic Americans often make much less than White or some Asian Americans, because of the historical economic conditions in the United States. Because of this, I feel no hatred, but I feel hatred for the people that brought such conditions. Some black Americans might think that white people are rich because they were given everything by the government, while some white Americans might think that black people are poor because they don’t work and like crime. But if we actually gained an understanding of each other’s problems per se, we’d be much better off.
*Try to put yourself in another’s position. This may be difficult to do at first, but you can acquire it. Tell yourself that, “All the people around me are humans, and therefore behave, feel, and communicate in the same ways I do. They go through the same hassles, problems, jobs, and such just like me”. If we are able to think of ourselves more as similar rather than different, we can get along better. Don’t blame someone for their own pity, but imagine the circumstances they might be in. A lot of things (such as race) were not their choice by birth. Better understanding of human nature will go a long way in ending racism.
*Do not assume that one person is a model for an entire group. This world is far, far too large for one person of a certain race to share the exact personality like other people. A lot of people are different. Unfortunately, a lot of people act in stereotype because it is imposed upon them, and just go with it, which is harmful (which is another story for another day). However, note that a lot of people may not be open about their personality because of the circumstances they may be in. One man of one group may not feel comfortable being in people with his same group that like a certain type of music.
*Cuss words may be words, but racial slurs are much different. Racial slurs all have negative connotations because all of them have been used to oppress and make fun of a group, and all of them have been used to spread hatred. It is never okay to say any racial slur or a variant, regardless of your ethnicity, regardless of the word. It’s better to eliminate the word altogether than try to “salvage” it.
Please, spread this article to other people, in order to free them from the clutches of racism. Racism is something that affects all people, regardless of what they may be, and it can be in the most subtle of forms.
“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character” – Martin Luther King Jr.
“The more I see, the less I know for sure” – John Lennon
“We can make life better, but we choose for it not to be better” – Me