In our multicultural society, in our post civil-rights era, being labelled a ‘racist’ can guarantee ostracization and contempt from the general public. After all, this is the 21st century! How could anyone hold such regressive views?!
Don’t get me wrong. Anyone who dares to inflict violence on either a person or a group of people based on their ethnicity should, justifiably, be scorned by his peers. He who refuses to acknowledge the innate dignity of a certain group of people should be denied respect from his community.
However, there is an unsavory truth which with we must all come to terms. Everyone, and I mean, everybody is a little bit racist.
Sure, we’re not lighting crosses or lynching Black teenagers. None of us would even think about joining the Ku Klux Klan or any Neo-Nazi organization. Most of us berate Donald Trump for his fatuous remarks on immigrants and American Muslims.
Nevertheless, we all have a racial bias. It’s not our fault. And there is no one to blame. Its simple a facet of human nature.
For hundreds of thousands of years, the human race consisted of countless nomadic tribes, hunting wild game to ensure survival for themselves and their kinsmen. It was a dangerous world and we relied on our own tribes to guarantee our longevity. Outsiders were naturally perceived with suspicion and distrust. After all, they didn’t know us and we didn’t know them. They could have been a threat to us, seeking to exterminate our entire tribe. Therefore, it was ludicrous to propose a cultural exchange program, participated by inexperienced adolescents from each tribe. We simply wanted nothing to do with them.
Although there are some groups who maintain the hunter-gatherer way of life, the majority of the human race participated in shifting paradigm into our modern, urbanized, cosmopolitan world. We interacted with a variety of ethnic communities, yet most of us choose to cling to our own. The cultural stigmatization of miscegenation has eroded (for the most part), yet the majority of Millennials still gravitate towards their own ethnicity.
We make baseless assumptions when formulating our perception of a person from another race. When people meet me, they assume I’m vegetarian, even though I think bacon is God’s gift to mankind. When I meet a Chinese person, I automatically assume him to be a savant in math and physics. You’ve probably met a Black person who shocked you when he revealed his ineptness in athletics.
We’re not bad people. But we hold a certain level of prejudice which we inherited from our primitive, tribalistic ancestors. I cringe whenever I hear someone claiming to be a post-racial and colorblind. Listen, buddy, I admire your intentions. But you can’t just eradicate race! Our ethnic identity is not just about skin color and hair texture. It’s about culture. It’s about our experiences in relation to other ethnic communities. It’s about our perception of the world.
We see race. And we all succumb to various preconceptions based on race. And yes, sometimes we prefer the company of our own kind. So let’s stop pretending we’re all multicultural, socially conscious liberals!!! Let’s remove the mask of ‘pluralistic tolerance’
I’m not what you would call a die-hard aficianado of musicals. I find most of them to be boring and pretentious. But here’s a bit from one of the few I love which coincides with my points on race.