Monday, August 16, 2010

The Inherent Racism

The Inherent Racism
by George A. Miu

NOTE: This is not a racist piece. It is a tongue-in-cheek piece. If you think being offended on behalf of these issues makes you more humane and upstanding, do not read on! If you are often the last to laugh, or cannot elicit a chuckle to save your life, please shut down your browser. Thanks.

It’s about time we admitted it. Certain prejudices are wired into the human brain; it is widely considered abnormal to lack any sort of a bias towards one race or another, the article I have attached to the end of the post suggests.

Here’s my little game: give a young girl or boy two pictures: one of a black boy, the other of a white one. Ask them: “Who is the naughty boy?” and watch them point to the child that does not belong to their race. According to my little article, the overwhelming majority of children seem to think more highly of their race.

Well that’s a relief. We have scoured the psychological terrain in young’uns and discovered that, on a deep, existential level, blacks and whites consistently accuse one another of being naughty. I could’ve gotten my favorite Chicago panhandler (a fine gentleman by the name of Jake, who opens doors for cab passengers by the Metra LaSalle Street Station) to attest to the same thing. Of course, Jake puts it a little differently:

“They look at me like I got some … infectious disease,” he tells me wisely.

In all honesty, you’re more likely to catch something terrible off those filthy hand-rails you so religiously use at all the CTA stops. But it doesn’t stop people from giving the African-American Jake a huge detour. In his turn, Jake accuses the white man of unthinkable crimes with every other breath. So it goes.

On a more troubling note, I must confess that I have seen many of my friends utter a lot of racially-charged nonsense, only to go out the next day and pretend to treat everyone the same, irrespective of skin color. The real problem is that children overhear and subconsciously understand the biases of their elders without necessarily being exposed to unprintable language. That, in addition to the natural tendency to profile by race, results in an incorrigible attitude that will not fade with time.

The Earth spins on its axis, still. White people will still fear nameless, faceless, very very black people are out to steal their stereos (or iPods, more appropriately). Black people will still assume that the corporate suit-clad white man is secretly supportive of the KKK and against affirmative action, while Hispanics will entertain the notion that blacks and whites alike are conspiring to build a wall around this country. Of course, all of these people will drop these phantasms as soon as they walk out of their front doors, only to revisit them late at night, before drifting into the eventual half-remembered dream.

1 comment:

  1. Yeah, I don't think it will ever stop. Sad, really.


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