What Racism?

racism

“What racism? People aren’t racist anymore. That ended years ago. Get over it.” Until a couple of weeks ago, that was my thinking. Having lived the majority of my life in a very diversified city, racism is a foreign concept to me.

We have people from all over the world here, and from many different walks of life. It’s practically unheard of to walk into a business and only be greeted by people of one race. In fact, it’s so uncommon that it would probably raise a red flag.

Even with all of my travels around the United States, I’ve never sensed racism or noticed a lack of certain ethnic groups in any particular town or region. Because of that, I felt that if racism did still exist, it must be very rare.

That is, until I had a conversation with my sister who lives in the southern region of the country. She is not racist, but evidently a good portion of the local residents are. The drastic contrast between where she and I live is quite unsettling.

In the small town in which she resides, 96% of the residents are white. Sometimes people of the same race do flock together, so being that it is a small town, that number wouldn’t normally be a reason for concern. Various ethnic groups do this all over the United States.

But what is concerning, is the fact that the mere 0.3% of black residents are often fought against and urged to move elsewhere. In a region scattered with racism and home to an established KKK group, these brave residents stand up against the hate by refusing to leave.

Sadly, racism in that region is a normal part of life. Many of the children who grow up there are not exposed to anything different. From birth, they are surrounded by racial slurs and hate speech from their family members, peers, through billboards, radio programs, and newspapers.

Because of this, racism often passes down to them, to their children, and beyond. It’s a cycle that’s been going on for hundreds of years and has yet to be broken.

Racism does exist.

After that conversation with my sister, I began researching. What I learned is that racism is very much alive all over the United States, and it’s not just limited to white vs black or black vs white. No race is exempt. Just because we may not see racism where we live, doesn’t mean that it doesn’t exist.

My perspective has greatly changed and my eyes have been opened, and quite frankly I’m disappointed. We live in a country that’s been named, “the greatest country in the world”, and “the land of the free,” so why then are we still stuck in the 1800s?

 


 

Daily Post prompt: Flip Flop Think of a topic or issue about which you’ve switched your opinion. Why the change?

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31 Responses to What Racism?

  1. mommyx4boys says:

    The thing is there will probably always be some racism, whether it is white people hating black people, or black people hating white people, or mexican people hating chinese people, and thats because their will always be stupid people in this world . My son was walking home from the bus this past year, he was in 4th grade and there was a high school student cussing him well I stepped in and I said I was gonna talk to her mother and this girl called me a stupid white racist bit–. The funny thing is what I said had nothung at all to do with race but she herself was racist.

    Like

    • mewhoami says:

      You are right about that. Unfortunately, as long as we have ignorance we’ll have racism. What a frustrating encounter between tour son, you and the girl. Sadly, I think that people often throw their own beliefs onto others. That’s probably one reason why this issue is getting so out of control right now.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Gary Lum says:

    Sadly racism is skin deep. I hear subtle elements of it frequently.

    Like

  3. I often have this conversation with my husband who grew up in the southern US. I’ve lived in a place, as you have, that is diverse and accepting and can’t imagine anything else. He says I live in a bubble.

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    • mewhoami says:

      Apparently, you’re not the only one. Evidently, I lived in a bubble too. I had no idea this was a real issue anymore, and especially that it was so severe in other areas. I honestly believed that most people were just creating these false ideas in their mind. How wrong I was.

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      • I grew up in a small town and mostly white. We weren’t racist there. it was whites that didn’t get along with other whites there 🙂

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        • mewhoami says:

          That’s the thing. People are always going to fight. No person is perfect regardless of race, but it should never be a racial thing. It should be based on each individual’s behavior.

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  4. tric says:

    There is racism in every country. In my parents time many Irish emigrated to Britain, where they were met with signs on accommodation and work vacancies stating ‘no blacks, no Irish, no dogs’.
    There has been serious sectarian violence in northern Ireland for many years and only in the last twenty has it begun to die down. Equally here in the south there is serious division between the settled community and travellers.
    So for you it is black and white but there are all different types of racism, all of it stems from ignorance. I cannot understand it.
    Also you might be interested in this. I heard the author Malorie Blackman being interviewed (writer of noughts and crosses trilogy) she said that growing up she just knew the characters of the books she read were black even though the books were not about colour. I was fascinated by that, not to mention the ratio of whites to blacks on tv series and movies.

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    • mewhoami says:

      It’s so sad that people do this, and you’re right it is everywhere. Just think back to the many genocides all over the world where millions of people have died for the sake of color or minor differences in characteristics. It is absolutely a product of ignorance.

      Interesting how people think they can judge a person’s color based on speech or behavior. I had never heard that about Malorie. Very interesting.

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  5. It’s pretty silly if you think about it [not the pain it causes, that’s totally legitimate and alive, unfortunately]. Biologically we’re the same, there are only different skin tones, eye shapes, etc. based on where our ancestors settled. Skin color has been caused by UV rays. That’s it. Scientific fact.

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  6. If i could click Like ten times I would, It seems, to me, some people are raciest because A) Others are different from them and they feel their way superior and B) need someone to blame for their problems in life. Like your picture on top suggests, kids aren’t racist. Its a learned behavior often from their dinosaur parents. You can not like someone and still chose to get along with them. And yes, I think it is still everywhere in varying degrees, as Tric suggests. You don’t have to be white to be a racist.

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    • mewhoami says:

      It is certainly a learned behavior. If children weren’t taught that there’s a difference, or a ‘reason’ to care, then they wouldn’t know. They wouldn’t care. We’d all be the same in their eyes, which is exactly what we are – the same. You’re right about both the reasons you gave, and both are inexcusable.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. It’s every where. And it’s not just about ‘race’. It’s about differences. It’s hatism. (Just as an aside, don’t let what good things you know do exist be minimized by the bad things that exist.)

    Like

    • mewhoami says:

      You’re absolutely right. Sadly, there is a lot of that going on. I agree with you – bad things happen, but there is so much good to be seen too. The good should be where most of our focus goes.

      Like

  8. Glynis Jolly says:

    I live in the south too. Racism is out in the open here. It’s one of the things I’ve had to get use to being a person from the west. Still, racism is out west too. It’s just kept under wraps better. I’m probably a little more sensitive to racism than the average white person. Although I look like I’m white and even have a German maiden name, I am part Native American. On top of this, I belong to a multi-race family. The only region of the world that isn’t represented in my family is the Middle East. Yes, racism is alive, well, and won’t be leaving anytime soon.

    Like

    • mewhoami says:

      That’s the main difference I believe. In the West it’s hidden and must be looked for, but in the South it’s out there for anyone to see, whether you look for it or not. It would be so strange living around that every day. But regardless if it’s hidden or not, it’s still not right. I imagine that you being mixed with a variety of races, you probably see this more often than many others do. It’s a pity that people can’t understand that our differences are what makes us all so special.

      Like

  9. Well, people who don’t think that racism exist should simply get out more because they live in a bubble.. I as am immigrant as countered my fair share of racism and discrimination. People will always find a reason to hate one another but for now race seem to be the main reason.

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  10. markbialczak says:

    I totally agree. I still see and hear things that make me flinch, Me Who, and I make my reaction obvious. Racism is unacceptable.

    Like

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