I am ever surprised when I see racism. It seems to me that racism should be ancient, neanderthal, DEAD. Racism is juvenile at best, but then most racism I see is from fully grown men and women. In my city, we are blessed to mingle with very many people of Hispanic descent.
Racism, as defined by miriam-webster.com: : a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race.
Now, I never hear anyone say "that person is inferior because of his or her race." But that message is loud in the undertones of what I do hear. Stereotyping remarks like "they all just come here and use my hard earned tax money for free food," or "If I went to their country to live, I would have the decency to learn their language." Or "Mexican men are terrible husbands. They have to have hot wives who will do everything for them,"- such statements drip with a racist core. They are condescending, and separating- separating the speaker, the white, superior, natural-born American, from the subject- the inferior, system-conning Hispanic person, especially Mexican.
There is a difference between unintentional racism and intentional racism. I even think there's such thing as cultural racism. Seems like everyone around you is doing it, it's a learned opinion, so it's easy to just "go with it." I really believe that if some of us could hear the way we sound, and realized that we're hurting other people, we would change our words immediately. But many of us wouldn't. But regardless of intention, our words are powerful.
I hear around me so many negative comments about "illegals." I'm not saying I think immigration laws should be eliminated; I'm not saying that AT ALL. I'm saying that the things I hear about these "illegals" are so cruel, so loveless, so hateful, speaking about them as if they are criminals and that's all they are. But I don't think I know anyone here who knows for sure of a Hispanic individual who is living here illegally. So why assume it? I'm going to finish this post addressed to those white folks of you who say and believe things like "All Hispanics are lazy scum, and probably illegal, and should leave my country."
Who do you think you are? This is America, the greatest country on this beautiful planet! Who says it's YOURS? Who says it's for white people? Your ancestors immigrated here, too, you know, and thank goodness they were probably treated a lot better than you treat our Southern brothers and sisters. Maybe even your ancestors migrated illegally. You speak as if there is no room here. You act like you get to choose who lives where. Well there's plenty of room here, and you don't get to choose or decide who's "legal" or not. These are humans, like you and me, intelligent human beings who seek love and acceptance. Just like you and me. Rather than labeling them as "illegal" without knowing, or as "lazy" without knowing, why not see them as human beings who happened to have been born, or happened to have had ancestors born, outside the USA's boundaries? Instead of "illegal," why not "human?" Why don't we open our arms rather than judging immediately? You know, the famous poem in the Statue of Liberty does not say "bring me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses unless they're Hispanic," or "unless they don't know English," or "unless they're not white."
Racism, prejudice, bigotry, sexism-- these should have all gone to their graves with the Dark Ages. They are attitudes belonging to close-minded, ignorant humans. It still surprises me that we haven't evolved beyond such cave-man traits. Let us love. Let us treat people as if they were people. Let us let racism die.