Houston, we have a problem. Whether we want to admit it or not, we have a racial tolerance issue. Yes, we do. Let us stop denying it and let’s speak candid and clear about it!
Racism and prejudice are learned behaviors. We were taught, whether forced or willingly, to be racist.
There are three types of racists:
“Ignorant Racists” – Those who are racist because they don’t understand other cultures or environments other than their own. They grew up in an American town which mostly consisted of people from their own culture. They had little or no interaction with other races or culture and developed their opinions from media clips or word of mouth.
These types of racists are the most common and the most likely to change their views in the future as they interact with other cultures and find their view to be distorted and fueled by ignorance. This is a testimony to America’s diverse population and the prophecy of the “melting pot” finally becoming a reality.
However, in America’s embarrassing past, Ignorant Racists often became Stubborn Racists.
“Stubborn Racists” may have started off as Ignorant Racists, but over time found it difficult or refused to change. They KNOW their views are wrong and don’t care. They often stir discord, convincing others to join their cause of promoting a “Master” or “Original” Race.
My personal opinion of that action is, “Why do Stubborn Racists convince others to follow them?”
“Are they are afraid to stand alone when speaking their beliefs?”
Therefore, Stubborn Racists are often master manipulators. There are millions of FOLLOWERS who will follow a great speaker like lambs to the slaughter.
Stubborn racists are vital in an Ignorant Racist’s metamorphosis. Stubborn Racists were very common in America’s past. Racism was a widely accepted standard prior to the Jim Crow laws being overruled by the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. However, as the American communities and workforce became more diverse, more people, young people in particular, began to accept and embrace other cultures and beliefs.
Interracial relationships & friendships became more common. Technology & social networking made it possible to build relationships with people of different cultures who share a common interest.
This is the beginning of the end for Stubborn Racists, whose majority consist of Traditionalists and the elder Baby-Boomers. The lion’s share of them are, unfortunately, dying…and their beliefs and ideas are dying with them.
There is one other type of racist, in my eyes the most dangerous: The “Tolerant Racist” also known as the “Closet Racist.”
The reason I label them “Tolerant” is because they “tolerate” other cultures only to advance their agenda. They rarely show their true agenda because generally their position or status does not allow them to. For instance: If a Senator from the state of Vermont, a very progressive state, openly admitted he/she was in fact a racist, more than likely they would not be too happy when Election Day results began to roll in.
Tolerant Racists support minority causes and even donate to multicultural communities in order to improve or secure their status and position.
From a personal viewpoint, I can deal with a snake IF I know what type of snake it is. A tolerant racist is the snake in the bush you’re not aware is there.
Now that we’ve identified the types of racists, we ALL need to take steps on solving this problem. Its not enough to know that this problem exists. We have to begin dialogue that will promote common interests and respect of other cultures.
This could also benefit the economy! An example of how is the lack of investors in urban communities.
There COULD be a demand for many products sold by big business. However, due to high crime rates, many corporations have safety concerns about sending research teams into urban communities to collect vital statistics that are needed for marketing. One company that has been very successful at urban marketing is McDonald’s.
We have to use social networking and technology more aggressively in order to target the Ignorant Racist before they are cultivated by the dying breed of Stubborn Racists.
We have to demand that cultural respect is promoted on television and media outlets and publicly condemn those that don’t.
We have to encourage people to expose the Tolerant Racists and their hidden agenda.
We have to promote cultural awareness and educate each other about the aspects of other cultures that are different from our own.
Demographics are changing, and we have to change along with them. I, myself was once an Ignorant Racist until I worked alongside people of different races. Once I was exposed to other cultures, I learned a lot about myself. I had never considered myself to be racist when in fact, I was.
An important lesson I’ve learned is that people of different cultures have the same goals in life. That makes us all a part of the one race that does count: the human race.