Rambling about Nationalities and Racism
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02-01-2013, 01:46 PM (This post was last modified: 02-01-2013 01:53 PM by Vera.)
RE: Rambling about Nationalities and Racism
(02-01-2013 10:25 AM)Idlecuriosity Wrote:  I pretty much agree with you in fact. Your experience of living in different cutures seems to have helped / influenced / enabled you to more easily make the intellectual effort to think beyond the instictive fear of other groups. That's also what I understood from Leela's OP and what I have myself experienced. Where it gets complicated is that it's impossible to know how a person or group is going to behave before you get to know them, so we're left with the reflex of expecting them to exhibit common behavioural traits associated with that group, which brings us back to instictive (defensive ?) racism. If a person can't or won't make the effort to think beyond their initial sub-conscious reaction then they will never learn to understand others. Sad
I don't know which came first, though (acceptance or travelling. Actually, acceptance is not the right word, as there is nothing to accept, but still...). I've often thought that people who grow up in a multicultural environment are sometimes more prone to be racist, especially if it is an environment where certain groups are demonised or even just looked down upon and reduced to stereotypes. Growing up in a society where there is a lot of talk about such differences (even if it is trying to help us move on from these differences) can influence a person and strengthen the idea that "those" people are different from "us". And the things we pick up as kids are the most difficult to get rid of. The longer we harp on about this "differentness", the longer there will be racism. Because to me not being racist doesn't mean accepting those that are "different", but not thinking them "different" in the first place.

Yeah, we can't know how someone is going to behave when we meet them, but that applies to all groups, not just those that are different from us (be it racially, culturally or what have you).

Again, I can only speak for myself, but as a rule on meeting new people, my first reaction is interest and friendliness, not fear and defensiveness. So unless someone gives me a reason to be apprehensive, I see no need to fear those I don't know.

But you are right, a lot of people are saddled with prejudice and it's not always their fault. And that's okay. What's not okay is refusing to let go of it and not even making an effort. I know people like this and I have neither patience nor respect for them. You can't get much lower than that, at least in my book.

"E se non passa la tristezza con altri occhi la guarderĂ²."
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