Blog

All new-born babies are atheists. In addition, no baby is born with the curses of racism or hostility toward any other group of people. All the animosity associated with those prejudices and the behaviors they motivate had to be taught to children, and the younger that education began, the more deeply its effects penitrated. Vilification or demonization of others are the curses of racism, and they were designed to make an impression on young minds that other people were different from them and not to be trusted. That education contained the implied message that “we are better than them,” or “we should be afraid of them.”
 
This process is so reminiscent of religious indoctrination, where those doing the indoctrination must reach children while they’re young and believe whatever they’re told to believe. Kids usually don’t question their parents or guardians until their brains have matured enough to reason on their own and have independent thoughts. So, when they’re young they’re easily trained, since their beliefs are still moldable, and also because they are natural followers.
 

I saw the movie South Pacific when I was young and there was one song that really made an impression on me. That was due to its memorable lyrics.

Any kind of negative emotion, be it hatred or envy, or another, is like a cancer that most likely hurts the carrier much more than their target. That is unless they act based on their hatred.
 
The closer the indoctrinator is to a child, the more of an impression their programming will make. For me, fortunately it wasn’t my parents that were racist, but another close relative. He tried to instill the right amount of racism in me, but because he didn’t live with me, and I wasn’t around him often, his message didn’t have its intended effect. I rejected what he was selling but still couldn’t escape the ever-present subtle curse of racism in our society. To some degree I couldn’t help being affected by that systemic curse, so I am not untouched by the cancer. I do try my best to resist racist thoughts and those who spread them because I know they are toxic. Everyone deserves compassion and respect until they prove otherwise.
 
In my research into the history of Western civilization, I’ve constantly seen the results of hatred. Those who don’t care about history will be content with what they know from their brief existence on earth, but never know what horrible things happened in the past. I am very disturbed by the fact that so many Americans today don’t care about knowing history. Either they aren’t aware of what persecutors did to the oppressed in the past, or still embrace the philosophy that persecution as a good way to live.
 
I wonder what benefits are gained by an adult who brainwashes someone he or she is mentoring and preparing for life. I’m not a psychologist, so I can only speculate, but I do believe that not giving a child a chance to think for themselves is a form of child abuse. This goes back to one of my first blogs
 
To me, an adult can gain several things by programming children to distrust and even hate. First, they may have had a bad experience with someone from that other group and have generalized that experience to the entire group. “They’re all like that.” Also, if someone has low self-esteem, it seems natural that they would want to put some other group beneath them on the totem pole of life and make that group seem less valuable than they are. “We’re more important than they are.” Another reason could be that the indoctrinator wants to gain something for his group that another group possesses, so they first must demonize the other group to make others think they don’t deserve what they have. “They’re only primitive savages, not sophisticated people like us. How do they know how to use their land properly?” Flipping that around, the indoctrinator may fear that his group has something the other group wants to take away. “Be careful, they are always after something of ours.”
 
That’s about as far as my reasoning takes me. Demonization of others seems to stem either from insecurity, fear, or greed. These traits can make people act in unpredictable and vicious ways since all three are powerful motivators.
 
Some say that humans are innately distrustful and territorial, like wild animals, but experts in the field of anthropology have drifted in the direction that racism is not innate in humans–it’s something that’s learned.
 
It’s my sincere belief that if someone allows themself the choice, it’s always healthier to be optimistic about life and find ways to make your enemies less of an enemy, or at least see them as human beings. If that’s the case, those curses of racism and the sense of superiority over others can be overcome. For our society to make that shift, it will take a long, dedicated effort that we will never see the end of in our lifetime, but from which millions of others may eventually benefit. It’s healthier to try to make the future something to look forward to instead of to dread, and the more ways we do that the better.
 
I’d like to close this blog with some song lyrics which I find very inspiring. They’re about a newborn baby and providing him the freedom to explore his new world and come to his own conclusions, rather than having someone force their beliefs on him.
 

Comments(2)

    • Michael Camp

    • 2 years ago

    Good points. I think the key to prevent racism (and any form of biased “ism”) is for parents to teach their children how to think for themselves, as you said. And for them to come to the realization that we are all in the human family and at the end of the day there should not be different tribes as we are all equal. Lots to think about.

    1. I totally agree Michael, but how do we teach bigoted people that they aren’t superior to others? That’s the conversation I want to listen to, because I don’t have any answers to that. Maybe somehow expose more Americans to people of other cultures to build empathy? But, that’s much easier said than done.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *