What makes people think that certain things are okay?
Why are Americans so afraid of anyone who isn’t white? (And by that, I mean skin color over race)
Stereotypes. …or assholes…
That is what.
Why do people say racist or sexist things? It’s because that’s how we were raised. We were raised to believe certain things. Also for the lack of exposure can lead to mindless racists thoughts. If you read my last post, you discovered the cute/embarrassing story of how my little baby cousin made an unknown racist remark. He was never exposed to something. Never taught. He didn’t care to have a friend who was a different color than him. He just wanted a friend to play with because he was sick of the adults. It was probably me who was acting racist. (*laugh quietly to myself on how I realized this too late*) But I also was playing it cautious in case my little cousin presented the idea directly to the kid in front of the kid’s parents. Ugh. What a loophole.
The fact of the matter is that even though we are trying to not act offensively, that the action of not doing so may still be a racist act! That just sucks.
Now I have my moments. I’m sure we all do. I won’t say I’m not racist (I also won’t say that I’m an angel either) because of the shit I do by accident.
I am not part of the white culture. However, my skin color may say otherwise. I am first generation. And many people have tried to guess my culture because, as my name suggests, I’m not really white but I am still like white people.
I am like them because I was raised around white culture. Every single teacher in my elementary school was white. Most of my classmates were white (or Hispanic). But most of my best friends ended up not being mostly white. Other than a couple of friends, I’m not really close to anyone who isn’t a first generation kid like me. I just feel that they “get” me more. It’s what I have in common. Not really ethnicity. It’s something deeper. They grew up around white culture too even though they aren’t really white. They have similar thoughts and feelings towards many of the same things that I do. White culture is everywhere. Is it bad? Not really. Is it good? Not really. It just caters to people who look white and have lots of money is all.
Sometimes I hate the color of my skin. As though it didn’t really match my ethnicity or my strange name to other people. I didn’t really have much in common with the kids growing up. They seemed to live completely different lives than me. I just became a “Yes Man.” I tried to fit in as much as I could. It was hard because I was really shy and quiet. No one really encouraged me to be bold, outspoken and passionate. I feel like this is white culture sometimes. It’s kind of monochrome and passionless. Sure there are the kids on TV screaming for candy and going into time out. I wasn’t this child. Kids on TV were strange. They were the boss in some ways. Nothing like the real world. White culture is kind of like a kid without a bedtime. Always running around when it shouldn’t.
White culture tries to be encouraging of new cultures, others’ practices and sensitive to stereotypes. But it didn’t prepare me for that. How many times did I try to understand a black family’s way of life when I was growing up? What about Indian traditions? How about learning Spanish and trying it out on real native speakers? (Come on, California.) I just read them in textbooks. Maybe saw a few films. But real life is different. Life is really about experiences. I didn’t get many experiences from other cultures other than from school.
So I revisit the question: Why are Americans so afraid of anyone who isn’t white? The reason is: that they know what they know. Many Americans haven’t made Syrian immigrant friends before this immigrant crisis. They don’t really know the culture or perhaps even what makes a Syrian different than any other Arab. They can’t distinguish because they can only tell white people apart. (I can too) Media is a big foe. That’s what the eyes see. But sometimes visual testimony is wrong. Much of the time, stereotypes are wrong. They are cool people like you. Maybe even braver, because they have to go through hoops of fire.
I can only see the world through my eyes. Sometimes my eyes are smudged with wrongful assumptions. Sometimes my body does things that try to protect me in strange situations. Sometimes I am just ignorant and I just ask a million billion questions. But wanting to learn is better than turning you head away, right?
P.S. The man who owned this car was seemingly white and also wore a Disneyland work uniform. Awesome, huh? They have lives too. Maybe he borrowed the car… from one of the Disney princesses.