Saturday, March 15, 2014

Letter on Racism

Dear Readers,
                It has come to my attention that some people lack an understanding of what racism is. They claim to be victims but say they are justified in their similar actions. This is not right. There are two kinds of racism. The first is hatred of another person based on his place of origin or heritage. The lesser of the evils is judging someone based off a stereotype, however, this can lead to the former.
One of the most common lies is that racism is based on the color of one’s skin. Japanese and Koreans have their distastes for each other even though both would be considered “yellow” to some people. Israelis persecute Palestinians. Whites are notoriously racist toward each other. Germans and Russians persecuted Polish. In parts of America, people who were not Anglo-Saxon where mistreated, hence the development of ethnic enclaves. Just as bad is Africa, a land with an unfortunate history of civil wars and animosity. So I plead with you, my readers, to avoid thinking the evils of racism are based on skin color alone lest you do injustice to everyone in the world.
One cause of the first and more evil kind of racism is another kind of racism that falls under the umbrella of stereotyping. I can argue that stereotyping on its own is not evil when used properly. I know this might sound wrong to you, but listen to my case. Stereotyping is a cultural shortcut for our brains. It helps us realize there are people who are different from us and what they consider respectful differs from our own understanding. Unfortunately, we really take it too far.
We have an unnatural desire and need to stereotype everyone that we strip away their humanity. Humans are complex beings and can act in any number of ways. When we limit them to only one set of responses, we are committing a sin against them. We do this to our own countrymen who share our culture when we ask, “Where are you from?” I think it is safe to bet that if they grew up in the same culture as you, it’s a very offensive question because it’s the second cause of hatred.
We have a fear of being the minority. Minorities are historically persecuted for very unjust reasons. No one should be persecuted for simply being. However, the irony is that the idea of minority and majority is a social construct. Everyone is a minority is some way or another. However, we hold on to the idea that we are a majority is some way and we don’t want to lose it. This is why White Anglo-Saxon Protestants persecuted Polish Catholics. Even though they were the same skin, they were still losing the “majority” and feared they in turn would be wronged, which is the third cause.
This is current situation of Racism in the world. Someone was offended somehow by someone they consider a representative of a people. An example of this is terrorism, but a better example is war. This is a tricky one to deal with because of Nationalism mixing with Heritage. Even though someone is very much your fellow countryman, we fear the tie that connects him or her with our enemy. It’s very sad that we had to turn to practically concentration camps to protect those people. Unfortunately, this cause is not limited to war. This is the current cause that continues to add fuel to our current problems.
I ask you, my readers, to consider how we can put an end to all of this hatred and spread the peace to all kinds of persecutions without doing any injustice towards a single human being. I have two thoughts that might help. The first is to remember there are good people even in a bad area and they deserve your respect. The second is that we are all people. We like certain people because we have something in common. That is why “like” also means “similar.” Racism focuses on how someone is different from us, but seeing people as human focuses on how they are like us. The third is that violence does nothing to help and only adds fuel to the fire of this evil. So if we let the fire burn all its fuel, then it will die. I believe if we remember these three ideas, we will make significant progress. If we quench this evil, then we deserve it.

N.D. Moharo

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