Is It A Black Thing?
A few weeks ago I was having a chat with my 16 year old cousin about school. We were talking about his gym activities when he mentioned to me that he was one of two black kids in his class. No biggie there. Then he added that when they picked teams, the gym teacher would make sure they were not on the same team. Interesting and funny at the same time.
This is a perfect example of how we are programmed to see people by their color and culture even though we repeat the same rhetoric about not seeing each other as color but as people. That’s also why remnants of racism will always stay among us. The gym teacher did nothing wrong in separating the only two blacks in his class. It seemed the natural thing to do, like not putting the two tallest players on the same basketball team. He didn’t see the boys as just two people but as two black kids. Just like not seeing the tallest guys as just people but two very tall guys.
Now because we see color or race first, yes we do, when we see someone who is not one of ‘us’ our brain immediately goes into a type of racial profiling. For example, if we see a group of athletes with one black guy among them, we automatically think the black guy is superior. Maybe he is, maybe he isn’t. We still would place bets on the black guy. If we open our doors to find a turbaned guy standing there, our first reaction is fear. Our first thought? Terrorist. Would we react the same if a Chinese guy was standing there? Probably not.
So my point is, as much as we work hard and profess to work hard at tearing down barriers, we keep putting up new ones. And while we tear down the obvious ones, our own mental barriers remain intact and impenetrable. In my opinion, as long as we are humans, these barriers will exist. Can we end racism? Heck no! As long as there are different races, there will be racism. Tell them I said so. Our minds are racist. It’s how they are wired. Don’t bother with the “Oh I don’t see color, I see the man” crap. Unless you are blind, you do see color. When you do, your brain unconsciously feeds you data on the particular stereotype. Nothing is wrong with that. Now what you do with that information is what makes defines who you are. You could override this automatic stereotyping by letting the person influence what you think of him or you could allow your mind to dictate how you react to him because of his racial profile. That would be ignorant. Racism is a product of ignorance.
If you accept and embrace the differences in the people you share this earth with then you could say without any ill intention that ‘it is a black thing’. And it’s quite ok if you don’t understand.
Hey, it’s just my humble opinion. Don’t hate.
- You Call That Racism? Gimme The Fried Chicken! (myvuze.wordpress.com)
- Surprised About Black Twitter or Online Racism? You’re Late (theroot.com)
- What If I Told You Reverse Racism Is Still Just Racism? (uiowa.uloop.com)
- Racism (kblakecash.wordpress.com)
- Racism – we need to grow up (smh.com.au)
- “All Black Everything”- Lupe Fiasco (adilahmed786.wordpress.com)
- On Racism (benpeek.livejournal.com)