How to Put an End to Racism

This is definitely not something I normally discuss on my blog, but I felt very strongly that I had to write this story tonight. I’m not breaking any big news stories when I remind you that racism is rampant in this country – we all know it. The level of discrimination and hatred against people of all colors and nationalities is growing by the day. Where does it end? How can we put a stop to it? I’ve been asking myself these questions ever since I learned of a particular incident that happened earlier today. I know I don’t have all of the answers, but I sure know where to begin: stop teaching your children to hate.

Over in Indiana, the weather was gorgeous on Wednesday afternoon. My Community Manager Kat was holed up in her office working while her daughter took her granddaughters to the park to play. The girls are ages two and four, and both love to interact with other kids. What transpired during the outing horrifies me beyond belief. I cannot begin to fathom why or how any parent could do this to their child.

Four-year-old Jenna went up to a little girl around her age and asked her to play. The little girl gave Jenna a dirty look and said “You’re white.” Jenna was confused, and replied “no, I’m skin colored.” The other girl yelled to her mother that she would not play with Jenna because “she is white!” The child’s mother found this to be hysterical and encouraged the behavior. Jenna was crushed and wanted to go home because her new friend didn’t like her. Jenna couldn’t understand why the little girl was so “mean” to her.

That, my friends, is a classic example of why racism has never died out in this country. Hating someone because of the color of their skin is a learned behavior. You aren’t born with the mindset that you should look down upon people who are different from you. You learn by example and by absorbing what others in your family believe. Many people outgrow these types of behaviors as they mature and begin to see the world through their own eyes. The problem is that not everyone does, and the hatred festers, grows and is foisted off on the next generation.

Until we stop teaching our youngsters that they should deride others who don’t look or act a particular way, racism will never end. Violence and anger will continue to cause a rift between those who co-exist in this small world of ours. We are all HUMAN. Why can’t that be enough?

15 thoughts on “How to Put an End to Racism”

  1. Well, I’m sure that once religion is stamped out all other forms of intolerance will disappear as well. It’s quite disturbing that people in this day and age still believe in things like that and are willing to participate in rituals like ridiculing gay union, or teaching creationism in schools. It’s all part of ignorance. As long as people are ignoring facts and making up things for their children to hate we will have displays of this kind. Let’s all act like grown ups people, we’re supposed to be the adults here.

  2. Well, I’m sure that once religion is stamped out all other forms of intolerance will disappear as well. It’s quite disturbing that people in this day and age still believe in things like that and are willing to participate in rituals like ridiculing gay union, or teaching creationism in schools. It’s all part of ignorance. As long as people are ignoring facts and making up things for their children to hate we will have displays of this kind. Let’s all act like grown ups people, we’re supposed to be the adults here.

    1. Just to clarify, it’s not God or the Bible that promotes these inappropriate ideas, it’s people. God didn’t give us religion. Made invented it as a way to control how large masses of people worship and believe in God.

      And it gives them the power to condemn others for being different, and to claim that God wanted them to act in this manner, regardless of what the Bible says. Religion is the excuse man uses to act like the monkeys they claim not to have come from.

      I firmly believe that religion makes God shake his head sadly.

  3. Let’s give this argument a bit more perspective. The little girl could’ve said “You’re Republican; you’re a Mac user; you’re a nerd” etc etc etc. The lack of tolerance is what needs to be addressed.

  4. Wow, I’m a new father, my son is four months old and I’m going to teach him to love, get along with everyone…. at least do his best to. It’s sad that it’s 2011 and this issue is still a problem for our country, heck the world. We try to ignore it, I’m even guilty of that until something happens to me personally or you read about it such as in this post and you realize that it’s not going any anytime soon. But at least today’s parents can try to teach their children to do better on all sides of race and gender. … I too have a dream.

  5. Wait a couple of hundred years. Something like this doesn’t die overnight, but over the last two centuries, it has been wounded. Be patient and remember to pass on the lessons of kindness to others to your children.

  6.  Truly appreciate your site and insight.  And I’m glad you brought up this subject.  This is the 21st century, and one would think humanity would be moving forward as fast socially as it is with technology.  Such is not the case of course.  

    But in the interest of providing solutions to a problem, instead of just complaining about it, I offer the following below, just as you offered your suggestion above.  I do believe we should  be discussing solutions and pursuing them.  All of us are empowered in our own lives at least.I very recently found racism can be fostered in children in ways that surprise me.  We are all aware of how social training and societal customs affect behavior.  But not everything in a person’s behavior may come from this cause.  Some of this racism may just be part of the human brain trying to understand anything harmful and categorize it.  Let me explain before you jump to conclusions.It may be part of the evolutionary process of the brain to look for causes in anything that instigates the self preservation reflex.  Not that evolution is fair or correct.  When someone does something bad to another, the victim takes stock of who and what did that.  Crazy things can come of this process.  I firmly believe that until humans take stock of their evolutionary heritage in their brain, they will continue to make stupid mistakes in their lives and as societies as a whole.  A six year old Caucasian child I know recently suffered through her parents breakup, caused by a mistress, among other things.  The mistress is African American.  The six year old child, much to the chagrin of both her parents, is picking up on the fact that the person that destroyed her home life is of a different race. She has made comments about how blacks and whites have no business together as a couple since they don’t even look alike.  I don’t think anyone else put that in her head.  This childhood racism popped out on its own without any input from others. 

    At the very least, each of us should be very sensitive how we treat others who are different from ourselves.  Because the very first thing a person’s brain will always do when a person feels threatened, before the brain reasons, the brain will respond emotionally. 

    Emotions have a stronger control and the first control over our brains before reason.  This is due to evolution.  Without it, our species may not have survived.  There is no time for reason when a saber toothed tiger is chasing us. Our ancestors responded with fear and ran.  They didn’t do a whole lot of reasoning under that threat.

    We do, at least sometimes, have time for reason when another human hurts us or threatens us in some way emotionally.  Just let the emotion pass, accept it, then use reason.  That’s how our human brains are wired at this point.  There’s a lesson for adults and children here.  The adults need to teach the children this lesson. Just because one individual (really even many) that is different from you is a negative in some way does not mean that every person of that classification is a negative and a threat.

    I wish the parents of this six year old child some luck in imparting this lesson.  It is essential that they do.

  7. Excellent post. The sad part is, racism exists in every country and within every ethnicity. I don’t think we can ever put a stop to racism – it is an innate response.

  8. Excellent post. The sad part is, racism exists in every country and within every ethnicity. I don’t think we can ever put a stop to racism – it is an innate response.

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