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.