RACISM AND WHY WE SHOULD NOT JUST FORGET ABOUT IT
Racism is a something we’ve all seen. Many people fail to consider that race isn’t a genetic class, but a synthetic classification of individuals with no scientifically variable facts. The term “Race” seemed to have stemmed from how people view other faces and ideas that we are not used or accustomed to. In U.S. history, the definition of the label “white” has modified over time, eventually adding groups.
Different groups, principally those that hailed from Africa, the ones we call Latinos, Native American, people from the Pacific, and the Asians, have found worldwide acceptance to be difficult. The irregular border of ethnicities touches instructional and economic chance, political illustration, also as financial gain, health and social quality of individuals of colour. This simply states how not being culturally “normal” can hinder the social acceptance of an individual in certain instances such as Africans being reduced to being slaves and how they are not allowed to be on the same level as the “whites” or how the Native Americans, the true founders of America, were treated as savages who only wanted to retain the lands their ancestors passed on to them.
Where does it all begin, you ask? There are several ideas thrown around on however racism began, although the reality lies within the history of man. Before individuals were ready to travel and had knowledge of the different kinds of “humans”, we had a tendency to preponderantly stay within the same reasonably space with pretty much the same individuals. As humans, we have a tendency to fear things that were totally different, and were lacked the ability to face those sorts of things. All this modified once we did, in fact, get this level of human advancement; however the worry never really went away. The reality is racism began as shortly as individuals faced those of various races. In this regard, humanity’s natural instinct is to fear the things it does not recognize as occurring naturally or is naturally peaceful. Humans have survived as the dominant species because of this instinct yet this primal instinct has now become the driver of human segregation or discrimination.
Contemporary racism is alleged to have been derived from several places; one among the foremost common ideas being is upbringing. As a child, you’re dependent on your folks to assist you become who you really are. Part of that involves their own, distinct opinions, that of which kids don’t have the maturity to create on their own. They have the assistance of their parents, and typically this is often where the difficulty starts.
Simply put, if a child is taught to fear a certain race, say African American, simply because of their history of being the usual culprits in the past, eventually that child will grow up thinking that all “Blacks” are criminals or would-be criminals. And even if we were told to not be racist about it, the thought of that fear, that foundation of a racist idea, is already engraved in the back of our heads which will always resurface in times we don’t expect it.
In this regard, Jonathan Rauch’s essay on “In Defense of Prejudice” clearly states that society is doing the backwards thing or the wrong thing of attempting to destroy the notion of prejudice or racism. He states how society is supposed to educate people away from prejudice. He stated “…stamping out prejudice really means forcing everyone to share the same prejudice, namely that of whoever is in authority.” He wanted everyone to know that society should not be focusing on negating prejudices but rather focus on neutralizing them with educated learning that would instead oppose those kinds of ideas particularly on racism. Rauch knows this is the reality of the situation yet this might be deemed impossible to realize because of the idealistic views of many of which they simply cannot accept the fact that everyone should know the negative of a positive. People would rather omit the bad news and make society believe that there is only good news and assume everything would be all fine. But it won’t. Society would end up facing a reality that is filtered. Society would refuse to talk about it not because it is the right thing but because they think it’s not something they should be sharing with anyone. And with this the freedom of speech is compromised.
Rauch is quoted saying “Where there is genuine freedom of expression there will be racist expression.” And freedom is not selective in truth. Once you limit your thoughts to what you think should be spoken out, your freedom is already false and you’re simply lying to yourself. And everyone will believe the lies fed to them by people who think they are free when all they can say is what they are allowed to say without being scrutinized by the general public. Rauch enforced this idea thru Salman Rushdie’s notion of what freedom really is saying “What is freedom of expression? Without the freedom to offend, it ceases to exist.”
Rauch also stated that “If you want to believe in intellectual freedom and the progress of knowledge and the advancement of science and all of those other good things, then you must swallow hard and accept this: for as thick-headed and wayward an animal as us the realistic question is how to make the best of prejudice, not how to eradicate it.” He wants the people to know that the best and most “free” way to educate someone against prejudice is to allow humans to know both sides of the story. It’s simply like teaching not just how to do things right but also how to do things wrong so you won’t repeat them. Rauch believed that prejudice is necessary and it is what humanity requires if we wish to build a strong community. He even took the chance to quote Charles Lawrence when he stated “Racism is ubiquitous. We are all racists.” Charles Lawrence, according to Rauch, believed that no matter how perfect you seem to society, someone out there will always hate you.
Rauch challenged the laws implemented by the government in an attempt to make the public forget about being racist. What Rauch believed in is that having laws like this will only pave way for racists to think of far more creative ways to be racists. And then more laws will be made and then more creative ways would come out of these laws. He thinks that the government would end up chasing each and every one of us should we have even the slightest idea of a racist remark. He stated that the government made these crazy laws to uphold the minority but will do whatever it takes to take down the opinion of the minority or those that are dissident.
Rauch also states “It is no solution to define words as violence or prejudice as oppression, and then by cracking clown on words or thoughts pretend that we are doing something about violence and oppression.” He firmly believed that even if words like faggot or nigger hurt, the real violence, the physical violence, never disappears. Sure, words hurt but they are only words in the end. Someone says them and you hear it and you are offended. It’ll pass soon enough. Being gang raped or the trauma of being severed a body part won’t be forgotten so easily. He also followed with “No doubt it is easier to pass a speech code or hate crimes law and proclaim the streets safer than actually to make the streets safer, but the one must never be confused with the other.”
This way of thinking can also be related to the academic world. In Alfie Kohn’s book “The Schools Our Children Deserve: Moving Beyond Traditional Classrooms and ‘Tougher Standards’” (2000), he quoted grade school math teacher Constance Kamii in her ideas of how to properly assess a child’s thinking pattern. Kamii (1985), a math teacher to children in grades 1 to 4 firmly believes that children at a young age should understand mathematic principles not just in their superficial form (such as specific sums and the meaning of signs and symbols) but more on the relationship of those symbols to each other. Kamii stated that “Wrong ideas have to be modified by the child. They cannot be eliminated by the teacher.”
In that regard, Rauch and Kamii have similar methods of educating people in the right way of things since they both believe that each individual should possess the necessary understanding and connections between two opposite subjects, such as racism, and derive by themselves on why racism is wrong than to simply be imbued, to be spoon-fed, the idea or notion that racism does not exist and everyone is equal. They both explained how this sort of idea will not result in an educated human being but a person that is customized to be blind to society’s realities.
Rauch, in the end, called for the upholding of prejudice and racism in a manner that contradicts them, not erase them. To know what is right we have to know what is wrong first. This is not ideal in anyway. If anything, this is the most practical approach at combating racism.