Racism: Erasing the social identities
Every time I look at someone, I pass judgement – quickly and swiftly, and most likely unconsciously as well. I can’t help but analyze what the person is wearing, doing, and even who he/she is with. I examine their surroundings and establish a basic stereotypical judgement. However because I have been taught better, I do not act alone based on these preconceptions. Instead, I slowly eliminate these identifiers that allowed me to think that way. Slowly, but surly I see in front of me, a man, or a woman just like any other person.
Still, whatever I decide to do with my preconceptions, does not change the truth and reality about a person, or situation. A person may be proud of themselves for being a certain color, or of a certain race – with or without arrogance. Would I truly be doing him/her justice by making them equal to everyone else? To better understand this, it would make sense to define equality.
Ms. Dorman, a 9th Grade American History teacher defines equality on her web site as:
The condition of possessing substantially the same rights, privileges and immunities, and being substantially responsible for the same duties as other members of society.
I can’t help but come to the conclusion, that we cannot all be equal, except with regards to the law, even then some laws might apply to some, and not to others.
We are still all very different. We take pride in who we are and where we come from. I don’t see racism as calling someone black, or white, or red, or yellow. I see racism as oppression of these attributes. If I belittle someone, regardless of color, gender, social status, then that is racism.
Now, I do not see people as the same anymore, or equal in every way. I see them as being different and unique, and recognize the pride they have in who they are, where they are from, and what they’re all about. Solving the issues of racism shouldn’t erase our social identities, but rather enforce our pride, without arrogance in who and what we are.