Can You Really Not 'help' Being Racist? Can Racism Be Involuntary? (another Long Post)

In response to a previous post, the sentiments of which are felt by many people I believe, raises an interesting question.  There is no animosity meant in my post, by the way.  If you think I am dead wrong, please feel free to tell me.  I like the idea of an open forum to discuss true feelings without the threat of being ostracized for honesty.

However, every single person on earth can have experiences and relationships with people of other national origins, ethnicities, religions (or lack thereof=), cultures, and 'races' (although what does that mean anyway...there are an infinite number of shades of skin color).  I mean, they're right in front of your face.

So the only idea I'm really putting out there is the fact that I think it is possible to make an effort to see if you can prove yourself wrong.  The basis of racism is believing something about a person based on their race.  I hate when people say, I'm not racist because I have friends that are (of afro descent/latino/asian/etc).  That does not show lack of racism.  All that proves is that you conceded on some level that at least once you were wrong about this one person...OR...that you are friends with someone DESPITE this trait that you put on them.  You can judge members of a group while you 'like' or 'love' one of them.  Otherwise heterosexual men couldn't be sexist.  They obviously feel things for individual women while still judging them based on their gender.

People can choose to talk to people and realize that there are people with good and bad qualities that come in all shapes, colors, and sizes. 

An aside, the concept of race I think is inherently simplified and abstract, making any assumptions that are based on such a concept very flawed.  Culture is also very amorphous but there are definitely cultural differences that one can pinpoint between Americans and Mexicans (to take the U.S. and its neighbor)....Because these categories are already so incredibly broad (you're boiling down the cultures of Texas, California, New York, South Dakota into one 'America')...can you imagine if you boiled it down to race?  meaning just differences between caucasians and latinos?  Besides the fact that I find racism wrong, to me this scenario shows that it is also just inaccurate.  I have friends that are very fair who live in Texas who relate more to Latino culture (a general label as well I realize) than other Latino friends I have that live on the east coast.

Everyone is an individual affected by culture, ethnicity, or other ways of self-identification.  This does not mean that you can accurately look at someone according to these classifications and know ANYTHING about THAT person's beliefs, values, thoughts, opinions, or emotions.  I refuse to be forced to disprove something upon meeting someone. 

I hope I was sensitive to the previous poster's honest statement while still getting my own feelings across.  Anyone's personal thoughts are most welcome.  (I apologize for my long postings everywhere=)
av789 av789
26-30, F
4 Responses Feb 7, 2007

Gaqbrielc, what????? you haven't left your house since 1995??? so, what do you do there besides getting replies from pen pals??? if I were in your shoes, I would save enough money and come to live anywhere in the United States where perhaps racism does excist but not to the point that you are feeling like you cannot walk the streets...that happened long ago in history....things have changed and they will even more now that we might be electing a black president.. I don't feel that the police should be this way towards a man that is just like everyone else out there...a man should not be judged by the color of his skin. good luck and hope that you are able to get out and about like veryone else!!!

I have lived in Canada and found it incredibly racist. It first occurred to me when Mandela came to Toronto and I saw the turnout of black people. I think they came looking for answers.

I actually have to re-read your post because my thoughts are flying, but one thing i can add, is despite that MOST of us would like to say we are not racist, at least in Canada (where i am from) i feel that in a way that is almost impossible to believe, even if it is just the mere recognition of the institutional racism that is very much ALIVE and WELL in Canada, ok, now i'm going to re-read.

Well, thank you so much for your views. If you read my own story, you would have seen I suffer from racism, not from the people but by the Police. And if you have read my Article which I called "The way I want to live" you would see what I feel about racism. No one can choose where he or she is born, in what natinality and in what coloiur and where to come into this world, as a male or a female. Like flowers and trees, we happen to be born at random, in any country. Alas!, I am being severely criticized by the Police here in England for being a coloured man, and that is why I have not been out of my house since 1995 and the reason why I will never leave my house again until I die. No, there is nothing I can do about it. No one can do anything about the prejudices and the Totalitarian Regime of the Police here and obviously supported by the Government.<br />
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I am still trying to find a few pen pals, and if anyone care enough to care at all, please write to me on my email address, which is:<br />
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Thank you<br />
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France Chorley