Sunday, December 24, 2006

Racism

My family is pretty political, so any family gatherings often end up talking about politics and values related to it.

I walked into the living room to hear my youngest sister declaring that there's nothing wrong with racism, that it's human nature. After being taken aback by this, I thought that it must just be a semantic thing. So I said racism isn't just distinguishing race, but having overgeneralized opinions about a large group of people (based on race, in the case of racism) where no amount of contrary data will change your mind.

I was absolutely shocked that she went right ahead with her position: "I'm proud to be racist. I don't like Mexicans." Even now, I still don't quite know how to phrase my reaction. What?? How??

I tried to point out that, sure, she didn't like the particular individual Mexicans she had met, but she'd only met a certain subset that probably wasn't representative of all subsets of Mexicans everywhere. She didn't care about such arguments. She doesn't like Mexicans.

How can an intelligent, educated person think that way? How can believing such a generalization seem acceptable? How can it not be clear that this is classic us-vs-them psychology — which, while human nature, we are capable of overcoming.

I know my family reads my blog, but I'm just so flabbergasted by my sister's opinion that I have to write about it. I wish my sister good, varied life experiences in the future, so that her opinion might grow.

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5 comments:

John Cowan said...

I'm an only child myself, but I'm told younger siblings do like to shock the older ones, in the same way that children like to shock their parents, or try to.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for leaving things out. If you remember I did say that I dislike that Mexicans that move here and do not assimilate into our culture. While you've dealt with more Mexicans in Mexico I think I've dealt with more Mexicans in Northern California (Given my old circle of friends). And yes, I still stand by my statement of saying for the most part I tend to want nothing to do with them. If this makes me racist so be it. I'm not going to change my opinion based on you being shocked by this. You're intolerant of people being religious, I don't like Mexicans. Get over it. We're both intolerant of something. You happen to be intolerant of personal beliefs and I happen to be intolerant of a subset of the population.

So yes, I don't like them. I personally, think you have very little right to judge me when you spend next to no time around me. Do not judge what you don't know. You don't know the majority of my personal life besides what Mom tells you.

In all truth and honesty your opinion means nothing to me. And frankly at this point in time, I think it is too late to fix that.

Enrico said...

Hate 104.000.000 of people? is not easy, I guess.. Best regards from Mexico.

Arthaey said...

Es una lástima que tanta gente en mi país siente tan fuerte, sin razones lógicas ni siquiera pensar de verdad. Un abrazo a ti de una americana a quien le encanta México y su gente.

Giynlith said...

Your blog is lonely. Why don't you play with it more? It will become antisocial. Pobrecito. :(