Does experience excuse our attitudes?

Posted by James, 09 Oct 08

hate-crimes.jpg

Racism has been with us since…you know when. The thing is, those of us still racist or against interracial relationships have some reason to give for our actions; history of slavery, it was done to me when I was growing up…I have lost the energy to go on. Don’t get me started on hate crimes here. And you know what, the perpetrators have an excuse for their behavior. How can someone have an excuse for torching an innocent interracial couple who are minding their business?

So it happened to you. So it happened to our grandparents. So people hurled racial slurs at me and my interracial love. Does this give me an excuse to do the same to someone else just because it was done to me? Does this mean we have to continue hating other races for slavery, something that happened eons ago…not to us, but to our ancestors?

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So you have had some experience we don’t know about. Seriously, should our racial experiences excuse racism?

13 responses to "Does experience excuse our attitudes?"

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  1.   fkoi says:
    Posted: 04 Apr 10

    Ages of hatred have plagued the human race. Maybe the real difference is that we are the only species that hates. Hundreds of years of English cruelty in Ireland doesn't excuse killing innocents in Belfast today. The same principle applies in Palestine, Kasmir, Indonesia, Bosnia or Mobile. Perhaps the greatest war of liberation was led by Gandhi without firing a shot.

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  2.   Smile4242 says:
    Posted: 31 Mar 09

    What is ironic is that most people in the world are actually mixed, especially in the United States. I mean, how many pure Germans and Irish are there in the U.S.? How many pure Zulus and Tootsies are there in the U.S.? How many pure Native Americans and Spaniards are there in the U.S.? Most "Blacks" in the U.S. are actually part White. Other parts of the world would actually call them Mulatos (mixed black/white) instead of Black, because most "Blacks" are not really Black (i.e. Compare an African from Africa with a Black from the U.S. and it becomes obvious most Blacks here are actually mixed race.)

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  3.   Smile4242 says:
    Posted: 31 Mar 09

    Where people mess up is that they assume that one experience equals the world. In other words, they had a bad hamburger at Burger Barn and therefore all burgers suck. What if it was a bad restaurant, or even a bad day at the restaurant? Maybe Super Burger down the road may have better burgers. But, no, we had a bad burger at Burger Barn and all burgers are bad. That is how many people approach race. They meet a a couple bad ones, assume everyone is like that, and don't even try to see if there is anything else out there different than what they originally experienced. Humans are way too diverse to make assumptions based on a couple experiences. Yet that is what we often do. The challenge is to see each human as who they are as an individual, acknowledging the culture and ideals and preferences they embrace, rather than stereotyping and assuming they are like everyone else of that race, color, group, haircut, etc. But, we are lazy. It is so much easier to assume and stereotype than it is to actually pay attention and get to know people. After all, that may actually require thinking and getting to know other people. The only hope is we become willing to get to know people for who they are, otherwise we cannot help but stereotype and assume, which is where racism comes from to begin with.

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  4.   eric_t says:
    Posted: 19 Nov 08

    Racism..., BAH! No need to sound intelligent cause I think that sylable says it all.

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  5. Posted: 27 Oct 08

    speaking out to counter racism (bias, hatred, stereotypes, etc.) no matter where it rears its ugly head is most definitely necessary. While it is true that "there is a time and a place for everything", we must keep in mind.....those that find the need to be hush-hush about these issues are usually the ones that will continue to support such racist views. Like "the Matrix".....they basically are part of the system. LET YOUR VOICE BE HEARD (every chance you get) peace and blessings tatted2death

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  6.   thekid47 says:
    Posted: 26 Oct 08

    Hi, good comments and to MariaMFA, ahh, that there were some members of a group who said something wrong, and I am the first to condemn what they said-if I were there I would have said something about it, these few people don't constitute 'the black community', any more than a single person, or persons who are white constitute the 'white community'. I think that one of the ways that we address the issue of racism, is not overstating a case-that is calling a 'whole community' when it in fact is not. I think that as much as there are people who are prejudiced and racist, the good thing is that it is not everyone is, and that there are probably more than we know, who are offended by the things that you heard-those things stated were wrong, straight up. If I had been there, I would have stood up and said that was wrong..

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  7.   MariaMFA says:
    Posted: 19 Oct 08

    "... Do unto others as you would have them do unto you..." We are all God's children. Having said that... It disturbs me that the black community and the media is not more vocal about a lot of the racism/jokes against white people or ANY people - I was at a city council meeting and a black person stood up and called the councilor "lily-white" and another repeated a familiar line of "I'm not afraid of Alquaeda I'm afraid of Al-Cracker..." - I was very offended by the comments. Yet nothing was said to them about their inappropriate statements and the police just looked on. Had a white person stood up and used the "N" word, they would have been kicked out of the meeting. I'm hoping that someday we won't even see color and treat each other with the respect we ALL deserve. Unfortunately, we humans do evolve very slowly... But we'll get there. PEACE!!

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  8.   W_Chocolate says:
    Posted: 18 Oct 08

    i think its stupid and we will always having people hating people no matter if we have a black president or not. i think it is all taught and is a difficult thing to swallow for a lot of people. my parents have supported me and my brother on whoever we date no matter their race and i love them for that. i love my gma and gpas, who have passed, but they didnt like black people and a few of my uncles dont like black people and we have actually got into an arguement because of it. i love me gpas and gma but i hate that they couldnt except who ive dated. you cant work with stupid or ignorance you have to work around it and keep moving forward

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  9. Posted: 15 Oct 08

    Racism comes from fear, fear often comes from ignorance, and as the old adage says, "Ignorance is bliss". Some folks are absolutely blissful to be racist, and no matter what anyone tells them, they rather hold on to their bliss. The USA is standing in a place it has never ever been before; A man of color may hold the highest office in the land. It doesn't matter that his mother is Caucasian. All that can be seen is the dark skin, which isn't comforting to some. All some can do is allude to the "evil" he will spread, as if a person with African roots has no skill, no intellect, no judgement, no education or wisdom. Do they think he's going to start playing hardcore rap in the Oval Office? He's going to attend a state dinner in baggy jeans and a white tee shirt with a rag hanging out his back pocket, and gold fronts on his teeth, and Lil Wayne is going to be Secretary of State?? Come to think of it, I really think some people DO feel that! I hope the above made some laugh, but the sad thing is, there are some folks out there who really think these things! Of course they won't come out and say it, but that's what their "experiences" of some African-Americans are. That's why that question makes no sense to me. No, our experiences don't excuse racism. Not every person in America KNOWS every other person. Some only see certain images and don't bother to look any deeper. People of several ethnicities are guilty of it too. A lot of people need to stop hiding and start learning.

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  10.   SWF68 says:
    Posted: 14 Oct 08

    Never in my entire life have I understood racism of any kind. In a small community here in the midwest, a family from Pakistan bought a store. The "haters" of this community refuse to do business in this store due to the new ownership. Yet, they go to church, look up to the picture of Jesus on the wall & pay respect to him. HUH??? Do they feel they are a part of the Lord, the Holy Spirit? - Of course they do... They take communion (body of Christ) They give hard earned money to the church, and they feel good about who they are for doing it. Here's the kicker... JESUS was NOT White!!! And better yet, he was directly from the MIDDLE EAST! Any type of injustice towards someone out of pure ignorance is exactly that... Ignorant!

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  11. Posted: 14 Oct 08

    I love the previous response here.....very well expressed. Morninflower....you are NOT naive at all...we ARE one....ALL PEOPLE....regardless of skin tone, ethnicity, religion, culture, etc... The differences should be celebrated not used as excuses for hatred. Yes, at this point in time humans, in general, have a certain "wiring" that makes them fear the unknown and for some reason that fear mutates into hate rather quickly in the mind of the ignorant/uneducated. But I see the dawning of a new day on the horizon....a time of "evolution". One day (maybe even within our children's lifetime) there will cease to be an issue of hatred based on superficial traits. All that will really matter is a person's "heart" and soul. If you can manage to keep those things relatively untainted (by the media, "society", or what have you) you should be well on your way to this "new day" and won't have such a hard time "evolving". These racists will go the way of the dinosaur (without the possible castastrophic ELE...LOL). Their views will be seen as archaic and ridiculous as the idea of the earth being flat or the sun revolving around us. I believe this with all that is in me and look forward to this day (for all the future generations). Peace and Blessings tatted2death

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  12. Posted: 14 Oct 08

    Here is my take on this sensitive subject. It is very ignorant and prejudicial for anyone to hate or treat another human being in a horrible way simply because of the color of their skin. It terrifies me that there are individuals out there that will not move on until they perform some type of act against another person to avenge what was done to them due to racism! it's absolutely scary! We cannot continue to hold on to such issues! it is unhealthy!! - I am by no means saying that we should forget - No - that would be difficult with all the race issues constantly getting shoved down our throats by the media. All I am saying (as naive as this may sound) - We are one - and should strive to teach our children and their children that they should never be defined by the color of their skin. We need to empower them to rise up above..this "Thing" ..this ugly, hideous "Thing" called racism. I have also learned that the F.B.I. is re-opening old murder cases from the 50's and 60's that involve the segregation period and hopefully some good will come out of it and the wounds can continue to heal. If and when God blesses me with children I will teach them what my mom and dad taught me - to always treat others as I would like to be treated ..no matter what.

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  13.   rebel1997 says:
    Posted: 11 Oct 08

    heres my side on it ,i am the product of the union of mixed parents ,although their barbadian their heritage is mixed and so is barbadian culture ,but straight european and african mix,thats what mekes barbadian and you can chuck in a little asian as there are strong influences in our cooking and culture as a whole chinese.i am mixed but appear as a black male in looks ok,we are all mixed at this stage of our generations ,how can we therefore adopt so called racist views,wouldn't we really be hating our very selves ,why would we try t divede ,is it only to conquer,i think things are far from the views of black and white as racism now ,if we get cut,no matter what colour we are on the outside, we all bleed the same colour blood red,so we are all the same each others brothers and sisters.i have had to deal with racism since being born and it has not made me adopt racist views myself from being ill treated ,i just feel sorry for the ignorant fools

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