The picture in this post is a screen shot of the definition of racism. I share this so we can discuss a bit more about this topic....
First, a little background about me: I'm listed as a caucasian (white) male. I grew up mainly in Northern California in a predominantly white small town in the east bay of San Francisco. However, I have had an eclectic group of friends over the years from various backgrounds.
Personally I never understood racism. The concept that one group of people is 'better' than another based on skin color is lacking on so many levels, all it shows is a significant amount of ignorance.
If we look at History and the subject of racism, it's not always a black or white issue. Every 'race' throughout history has had a group of people that has had prejudice towards them in some way. I don't want to downplay any group of people, but just trying to put things into perspective when discussing racism.
When we look at the United States History... the Europeans who landed in the new world perceived the Native Americans as barbaric.
If one was an immigrant from Ireland - you were thought of as being a lesser person. Same if you were Asian origin and worked on the railroads.
There are indentured servants, and there is slavery. Although much of the population of slaves were from Africa, there were slaves of other origins as well.
I think society has looked at racism on such a surface level, and with media so focused on the color of our skin - we have lost site at what it's really about... 'cultural identity'.
Allow me to explain my thought on this before everyone goes crazy here...
I'm sure that my DNA will show that I'm predominately a white person - of european descent. Who knows what other DNA strands may show about my family lineage. When people ask what race I am, I usually say 'white'... or if I am really honest... I'm human. As last I checked, that's what we really are when we look at the big picture. For all I know, I may have african or native american DNA in me. With both sides of my family traced to the prior founding of the colonies - I'm sure that somewhere in my lineage my DNA has strands from various continents.
But we are so much more than the color of our skin. We are individuals who were born into different segments of society. These segments are the different communities that are around us, with each community having it's own cultural differences...thus its own cultural identity.
Does someone really choose where they are born and who their parents are? no, we don't have that choice. This is called life, and what we do with our life is up to us. We all have choices in this regard. We can either choose to live how our ancestors used to, or choose to change.
There is a significant amount of history with each community, and this history must be respected and preserved. We may not like what one community has done to another - but knowing what did happen so we don't repeat it is paramount of growing as a society.
So, when someone talks to me about racism - it's so much more than just the color of one's skin. It's about a group of people, about their history as a community. It's about infringement on someone else's rights to believe what they believe, and to keep the history of their culture available for all to learn from and understand.
We must not combat racism with another form of racism either, as that is similar to fighting bullying by being a bully ourselves. We must educate ourselves, and encourage one another to understand the differences.
In short, we must look beyond the color of one's skin, and focus on the content of one's character.
Sound familiar? It should. And we should by now, be living it.
It's our history, our heritage. Let's preserve it and learn from it.