Racism via Inheritance

I am one of the most racist people I know. People who know me may agree. But even those people don’t know just how racist I am, because I keep so much of it secret. If my friends knew all the thoughts that were in my head, I would soon find myself without them.

When the awful thoughts arise in my head, I try to ignore it, but I know that those very thoughts affect how I approach people, and the nuances of my behaviour.

I think that a lot of my prejudices were learned from my parents.  I used to think that they were so uncouth for expressing their racist thoughts, but I think that they’re just victims of the environment they grew up in.  If you hear ideas, you will see actions that reinforce those ideas.  It’s really just a perceptive bias; you’ll discount the proof against your beliefs, and record exaggerated accounts of events that support your beliefs into your memory.

Anyway, although I credit my parents for the racism I hold today, I don’t necessarily blame them for it.

Where does this leave me?  Well, even though I have these thoughts, I know they’re wrong, and I would like this type of thinking to be eradicated from humanity in a generation or so.  All I can do is continue on with keeping mum about my wrong ideas, and try not to pass it on to my children.  It all starts with eliminating those racist jokes.  It’s everywhere, and people laugh at them, but the jokes let people laugh it off, while reinforcing those very words.

I don’t think that we have to ignore our differences.  We can celebrate them in a positive way.  Canada has come a long way in just that, but personally, I have far to go.

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  1. […] value multiculturalism in Toronto, and have tried my best not to learn the racist tendencies of my parents.  Here is a small sampling of some of the worse comments I’ve […]

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