Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Racism


*sigh* Where do I start?? Racism sucks. (Okay, that was profound.) And it's really stupid. (Better.)

I'm saying this because I have had conversations about race with two different people in the last 24 hours. One is an African-American woman, and the other is a Korean-American woman. My Korean friend was telling me about a woman at her job, when, she paused to tell me not to be offended (never a good sign), but the woman was very proud of being Black and wasn't doing her job. I failed to see what one had to do with the other, and asked her. After she fumbled around a bit more (realizing that racial issues can be sensitive), I surmised that she was trying to say that the woman was lazy and ghetto (my description, not hers). She commented that she isn't racist (which I know is true) and that this woman made Black people look bad. I had to jump in--she couldn't possibly make ME look bad because I'm not responsible for her actions. If she chooses not to do her job for whatever reason, it has nothing to do with me, and nothing to do with her being Black, and EVERYTHING to do with her being lazy and possibly incompetent. Those are qualities that come in all colors.

Then today I had a conversation with an African-American woman who was complaining about a very unpleasant (to say the least) encounter with a Latina (not sure of her ethnicity) at a health care facility. The woman had a bad attitude, and my friend was trying to draw parallels between the fact that she was a bee-yotch and the fact that she was Latina and that "Hispanics are trying to take over". *sigh*

So now we have a Black woman with animosity toward Latinos and a Korean woman raising an eyebrow at Black people because each of them had an encounter with people who weren't very nice who happened to be certain races. I fail to see how this makes any sense whatsoever. I wasn't born yesterday, and I am not without sin so I ain't throwing stones, and I KNOW how and why racism exists, but the more I hear about this stuff lately, the more it annoys me. Yes there are cultural differences, but that has nothing to do with race, and who says different has to be better or worse? Why do we still believe this mess? Habit? Conditioning? Yes. Do we really HAVE to make others "wrong" so we can be "right", or is it possible that sometimes there are many ways to be right? The longer I live, the more I believe that to be true. Besides, what we've been doing (hating each other) isn't working, so maybe we should try something different. I'm not there yet, but I'm trying. It's a journey.

Question everything.

Alright, I'm putting my soapbox away and going to bed.


--Nicole

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Sadly, we do have to put others down to make ourselves feel better. misery loves company you know. When we know better, we're supposed to do better, but, if you've heard all your life that white people run it, Chinese people ( whether Korean, Japanese, Cambodian, whatever,)are smarter than everyone else, Mexicans will cut you, Jews got all the money, Polish people are nasty, Cubans are all criminals, Indians (Native Americans) are all drunks, and Blacks are all lazy and on welfare,and eat watermelon on the front porch and just love fried chicken, then we can't do anything else but believe it because faith comes by hearing, whether positive or negative.
Once we have been enlightened that the things we've always heard ain't necessarily so , then we have to make a choice, but sadly our choice depends on who we're around at the time of decision.