Monday, January 20, 2014

Can Racism be Eliminated?


Racism isn’t born folks. It's taught. I have a 2 yr old son. Know what he hates? Naps. End of list." ~ Denis Leary

One of the ugliest things on earth is racism. It is truly a terrible side of humanity. It's always been a concept that is extremely hard for me to wrap my head around - how someone can be viewed as "less than" simply because of their skin color. It's really a very sad thought isn't it?

What's even sadder, to me, is that it is taught. No child is ever born with a racist bone in his or her body. It is a learned viewpoint, and that is one most tragic things of all. I can't imagine anything worse for a parent to pass down to a child.

BUT the very fact that it is learned also means that it can be unlearned through education. It has been proven that there is a correlation between education and the lessening or racist attitudes. The more cultured a person becomes, the more their minds are opened through education, the more they realize the irrationality of racism. This is why I believe the key to someday eradicating racism is education.

Of course I realize this may be a pipe dream, but I definitely believe it's a dream worth dreaming.

Do you believe racism can ever be eliminated?

159 comments:

  1. Sadly there will always be someone to teach it.
    Roddenberry had a vision of no racial prejudice when he created Star Trek. Of course, it may have united the people of earth and some of the races, but it introduced new races to be prejudiced against. So it will probably always exist.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Racism is cruelty. No one is superior than anyone else. Sometimes its hard to register that fact to closed minds. I hope someday will come when the world no longer sees racism or any of its kind.

    ReplyDelete
  3. You are right, Keith: Racism is often learnt. But how to unlearn it? How to 'nip it in the bud'.
    I think racism is indicative of a lack of charity towards fellow human beings.
    To my mind it often arises out of perceived feelings of unhappiness at one's lot in life and after the cause for unhappiness has gone it is maintained by laziness and a lack of conscience (thus you get casual racism as shown in the occasional racist 'tweets' that become newsworthy…

    The practice of true charity could eliminate racism, as well as various other social ills.

    Bye for now

    Kirk

    ReplyDelete
  4. Racism will never be eliminated in this cruel world. You are absolutely right - - it is not an inherent behavior, it is taught in childhood. And, sadly, it is not an easy thing to reverse in adulthood.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I stay hopeful the racism will be readicated... it's sad and wrong.. you are right Keith... no child is born with those beliefs.. they are taught... that's the worst :-/

    ReplyDelete
  6. I hope so, but it might be one of those things like world peace.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Sadly, the world is, and I think always will be, a harsh, cruel place. There are many evils—racism being one of them—and I don't see an end to them.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Sigh, I wish I could be more optimistic. You ask all the right questions.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I hope so ..... but sadly I believe it's mostly in this country only -- Europe, Canada and other countries don't seem to teach the hate that the US teaches :(

    ReplyDelete
  10. I hold hope that racism can be eradicated, but I don't know that it will in my lifetime. I hope that as more people are educated and let go of racism, there will be less people to teach children to be racist.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I really hope that people will learn. But I am not sure...A world without racism would be great.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I have great hope that it can be eliminated. Great strides have been made since I was young but there is still such a very long way to go.

    ReplyDelete
  13. IK denk dat het even nodig heeft maar als ik om mij heen kijkt dan zie ik toch wel grote verbeteringen.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Even small unnoticeable or unconscious things/sayings/actions etc. can be perceived/viewed as racism...

    ReplyDelete
  15. I think any problem in society, any problem, can be fixed. It just takes a few generations. Most things like racism and homophobia are inherent in a way. All you need to do is teach your kids right, and they'll pass the lessons on to their kids. Eventually the people who still hold the backwards and wrong beliefs will die out, leaving only the ones who know better.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I'm afraid it is going to take a long time.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I think as generations move on we get possibly better about about acceptance. We are almost a scared nation to talk about racism. We're afraid to call a person the wrong term. Calling a darker skinned person a black person is offensive to some, and calling them African American isn't true for others. Not all darker skinned people are from Africa. We don't call white people European American. There's no denying fact that a white person's skin is different than a dark person's skin. Many are proud of their heritage. As they should be. We're ok to define people by their male/female characteristics. Even that is getting hazy. We have more and more transvestites and cross dressers than we did in previous generations. When it comes to skin color people don't know what to say. Should we not bring up skin color at all? Should we not bring up boy/girl titles? After all the color of someone's skin doesn't define what their personality is. It is however a way to point someone out that you are talking about. You could be talking about how smart someone is, not remember their name, and point out that they are the one that has curly hair and darker skin. It's not like you are being racist. The person you are talking to might see the way you are defining that person as being racist. It's difficult!

    A few funny stories.

    When I was in Bible School, when I was around the age of 5, we played Duck, Duck Goose. At that time there was mostly Caucasians that went to this church. There was one darker skinned boy. I was "it". I went around and around, over and over again. Why? To feel this little boy's hair that felt different from everyone else. I loved the texture! It didn't matter to me that he looked different. I was just intrigued by the texture of his hair.

    Mica was invited to hang with his friend Musin at a fun center. It was a Muslim event. 90% of the people there were really dark skinned. We went to sit down to eat. Mica looked around and said to Musin, "Why are you friends with me? I'm as white as can be." Musin looked up at Mica, shrugged and smiled. The whites of this little boy's eyes stood out. He is such a beautiful child. They both had this nonverbal communication thing that said, "Who cares. We like each other." They kept on eating.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Yes I do and I agree with Delores it will take a long time but we have to start with ourselves.

    ReplyDelete
  19. It's not a pipe dream, progress has been made already like no one else could ever have believed. It's not perfect, but it's well on it's way, and I have faith in people. :)

    ReplyDelete
  20. be the change (or the trouble) you want to see in the world.

    ReplyDelete
  21. only if we wipe out the human race and start over...even then there will probably be the desire to subjugate in action and thought...there is always ignorance and upance...sadly...

    ReplyDelete
  22. Races don't exist. But people can be discriminated and ostracized for many different reasons:

    Ethnicity
    Skin color
    Gender
    Accent
    Country of origin
    Life choices
    Political views
    Being a free thinker
    Profession/ occupation
    Religion

    ReplyDelete
  23. I agree that it is taught. I have lived in different cultures and I see how a great job people in the States are doing by teaching their children to accept that we all different and therefore equal.

    ReplyDelete
  24. I'm usually the eternal optimist, but this is one of those situations... I don't know. Do I think it is possible? Absolutely!! We as a human race, fulfilling our best potential, could absolutely eliminate racism! Do I think the human race as a whole ever will? Not really. That doesn't mean we can't keep trying!!

    ReplyDelete
  25. I don't know, Keith. There's part of me that has faith in the human race and its ability to learn from its mistakes and there's a part of me that feels hopeless because there are so many things that still exist that shouldn't - like racism.

    ReplyDelete
  26. My dad moved to a small town in MS 23 years ago. It has one stop light and a restaurant with an entrance for one color and another entrance for the other color. Could not believe that was still taking place. My dad said everyone was comfortable with it that way. Thankfully, the restaurant is no longer. So sad that one race feels superior to another. We're all human beings. End of story.

    ReplyDelete
  27. I think education is the key to most any sorry situation... but realistically how do you educate someone regarding racism? I think sex education was a pip when that was introduced... now we could have a 'love everyone' class. Certainly parents have failed miserably teaching their kids what's what.

    I remember Social Studies in school... is that still a subject? I was fascinated with that class.

    Tarzan was my favorite movie back then. well, Abbott & Costello ... hahaa.... we are heavily influenced by Hollywood. during this ol cold icy weather, I watched a lot of TMC ... great ol movies ... but the roles black people were cast in were... always as servants .. big ol bug eyes... oh, lord! anyone old enough to remember Jack Benny?

    Rochester? and Birmingham in the Carlie Chan movies? ... loved it… Amos 'n Andy … a hugely successful radio and TV show … taken off because it put black people in a bad light.

    Communication is, to me, key. ... which is educational. We need to learn to talk with each other. As Julia said above .... there's a list of people who are discriminated against... being female... is a biggie.

    You realize that there is still legislation regarding equal pay? for women? mind freakin boggling.

    Here's Bill Cosby ... we need more of this …. black, successful people need to talk to the kids… an excerpt from:

    http://www.americanthinker.com/2004/06/cosby_a_credit_to_his_race.html

    "'They are standing on the corner and they can't speak English. Black parents are not parenting. They are buying things for their kids — $500 sneakers for what? And won't spend $200 for Hooked on Phonics.'

    Mr. Cosby was admonishing blacks whom he said had forgotten what their ancestors had to go through to fight for an education. He noted, 'There were people who marched and were hit in the face with rocks to get an education. But now there are knuckleheads walking around who don't take their schooling seriously.' "

    I'm from the 60s... a southerner ... I fought for civil rights ... I fought for women's rights... I fought for men to be able to be vulnerable rights... they could cry and get custody of their children ...

    I fought for people to be people... and keep yer religious control by fear beliefs out of my uterus and government.

    campaign reform is needed ... a congress that will be truly equal ... mutli racial and more women ... being people together...

    I swear by all that's swearable... I do not see color ... I see rude and I see inconsiderate and I see scary ... if someone wants to be regarded with respect ... wearing yer britches to show your ass or showing your crotch while singing ... good gawd almighty...

    fought like hell for women to be treated as people and here... this young girl crowd think showing their crotches is... what…. I mean... to what.. what the hell ... why do they do that? so men will go yaaaaaay and want to have sex with them? so they can sell their music?

    don't get me started.... racism is a mindset ... a mindset that reeks of hate. if a person likes themselves ... they don't hate anything. nor want anything or anyone to look down on. … we need self esteem classes as well as love everyone classes … teaching kids to like themselves.

    jeeeeez Keith ... I was feeling pretty mellow this morning... ;)

    ReplyDelete
  28. Great choice of topics for MLK day! I think teaching children not to hate anything.. is important. I believe racism can be stopped if people are willing..to change.
    Have a happy week!

    ReplyDelete
  29. Power of the press. Media can make anything racial.

    ReplyDelete
  30. I hope with all that is in me that it can be.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Racism is ignorance, love and acceptance is peace. We all need to be different because we were made to be unique and not a carbon copy of each others.

    Cultures are different but people all have the same basic needs. It's a big earth we live on but it's getting smaller with instant communication and international travel and trade.

    I agree that Education is the answer but also communication. We have made progress and progress is scary for some mind set but good will win in the end. My thoughts in a nut shell.

    PS. I like your thought provoking questions Keith.
    JB

    ReplyDelete
  32. I am always hopeful that within the next few generation things will change, and racismo will have become a thing of the past. The quote is brilliant!

    ReplyDelete
  33. I believe so...but this is one thing u cannot change alone!

    ReplyDelete
  34. No. There will always be those who think they're better than others, for whatever reason.

    ReplyDelete
  35. No I don't. There will always be evil in the world.

    ReplyDelete
  36. Doubtful, unless you somehow get a mind wipe and wipe such thoughts from ever one across the planet.

    ReplyDelete
  37. I've had the privilege of traveling all over the world and meeting a variety of people and experiencing so many cultures. Some things you just can't learn from the classroom or by trying to be politically correct. Loving your neighbor as yourself is a tremendously rewarding though sometimes painful experience that requires personal participation.

    ReplyDelete
  38. This reminds me again of the song from South Pacific, You Have to be Carefully Taught. I remember some kind of study they did on babies that showed children are born with some kind of prejudice. However it's society that fine tunes the prejudice toward skin color, race, religion, sex, etc. I've been helping to record the individual stories of Japanese Americans who were imprisoned in Internment Camps and lost their homes, possessions, pride, lives even though there was not a single case of disloyalty to their country. I have African American friends who tell me terrible stories of their experiences with racism. And now there's prejudice against the Muslim faith.

    As educators, I believe we can make a difference, but it's an uphill battle. Thank you for all you do, Keith.

    ReplyDelete
  39. I hope so, and I really liked your post today. Thank you for visiting us at Red Rose Alley. Your blog is filled with beauty and kindness, and I think my favorite was your introduction.....the meaning of life is to give life a meaning. That's nice to hear.

    ~Sheri at Red Rose Alley

    ReplyDelete
  40. I think it's more than just racism that is taught. It's an us vs them mentality. If everyone on earth had the same color skin, people would find something else to mark "others" as "different" and "not worthy." I think its selfishness and competitiveness we'd have to eliminate first.

    ReplyDelete
  41. We have a real challenge ahead of us!

    ReplyDelete
  42. I don't know that it can be eliminated but we can certainly make strides in the right direction. It starts each day, with us. :)

    ReplyDelete
  43. Stomped out to a degree - yes. Eliminated - no, not in this life. Racism is truly a horrible, ugly reality.

    ReplyDelete
  44. I think the education has to begin at a very young age. I also think that having a fear of the different is pretty natural, it's just how we handle that fear that needs to be changed...I'm not sure it can be eliminated, but I think we could make it socially unacceptable more.

    ReplyDelete
  45. As has already been mentioned in the comments here, there was a study done at Yale with babies - http://pantheon.yale.edu/~kw77/Research.html - where they found that babies prefer those who are like themselves. I think there is something innate in our survival mechanism that causes us to dislike what is different from us. However, with education this dislike of the different can be changed by teaching that the inner person they see as different on the outside is much like themselves inside. And also, that there is much good to be found in what is different from us. I know that I see prim and proper women as people I do not want to know and I avoid them. However, their emotions are probably much like my own and I may be able to learn a lot from them. Yet, I can't be bothered. Now, why is that? (rhetorical)

    ReplyDelete
  46. Love......................that's what we can do it. That will end everything nasty.

    ReplyDelete
  47. I hope so, we've made strides, but sometimes I feel discouraged. I think it is learned too, and is fear based as well as taught. Picking up your cultural or familiar fears of the different.

    ReplyDelete
  48. I agree with the other comments about fear of different things. I did not see another race until I was in 5th grade! And yea, I was fearful! I didn't want to touch her, or go near her. I wasn't raised like that. I just didn't know the difference.
    I do think racism can be eliminated. We need to quit focusing on racism on TV. Starting with the news! If we ignore all the hate mongers, they will not have anyone focusing on them.
    When you ignore a child throwing a temper tantrum, they usually stop. They don't have an audience.

    ReplyDelete
  49. It would be lovely if it could be. In a way though I think t's sort of like asking "can war be eliminated" or "can crime be eliminated". Humans generally seem to have a natural leaning toward self-centredness, smallness, and negativity -- walking in love has to be a conscious, active decision -- definitely a habit to inculcated in childhood -- or we slide.

    ReplyDelete
  50. Hmmm. I'd put racism in with all other forms of prejudice and bigotry. I've been in the habit of thinking we as a society are more enlightened than we used to be, but then something happens and I'm not so sure.

    ReplyDelete
  51. I believe it can be eliminated but it will take much effort. Stop by our blog if you like we can follow each other on gfc and bloglovin. Let us know. Kisses from Kenya.

    ReplyDelete
  52. As a white man, I struggle with the concept of racism. Obviously, it exists and I'm not terribly confident it will ever go away. For instance, I saw on TV yesterday a story about the "first female black cast member" on Saturday Night Live in something like 4 years. Then a thought occurred to me. As long as we keep insisting on cataloging people as the "first black," "first Asian," "first Hispanic," "first redneck," etc. racism will never go away as identifying folks by their ethnicity will reinforce the idea that they are different and not just as "human beings." Older people will sometimes tell me of their "black friend." While I know they mean no harm, I ask them why they just can't refer to their friend as just their "friend." Color of skin is irrelevant. Or it should be. To paraphrase MLK, it's a dream I have.

    ReplyDelete
  53. First of all thank you Keith for this amazing post!!
    As German racism is heavily discussed for the last nearly seventy years. I think your idea that education is the key to overcome racism is the only way.
    What makes me sad are all the fights worldwide based on religion or beliefs. Why can't we just live freely together??
    I hope someday education will help us all.

    ReplyDelete
  54. Do I believe racism can ever be eliminated? Yes, obliquely as a result of solving some neuroses. Certainly, there's a statistical relationship between education and prejudice but that's not all of it. It is a mental illness.

    ReplyDelete
  55. I think it will take many more years, but I do believe it can be eliminated. It definitely is a taught behavior and that is so sad. But I am hopeful for future generations to get it right!

    ReplyDelete
  56. We have come an incredibly long way in my life time though not nearly far enough. There is still a fear on both sides of those who are different from ourselves. I usually damn the media but this time I think they are helping by quickly exposing the haters and making them unattractive to the young.
    Sadly not in my life time but then I am old. Hopefully in your lifetime or the generation just beyond you, racism and bigotry will only be words that have to be looked up.

    ReplyDelete
  57. It would be idealistic to say yes, but I would say this is something that has existed from the earliest of times. There will always be racists, religious bigots, sexists, homophobes, etc., people who in one way think they are better than others.

    As far as racism: When I look at the children in my grand-daughter's kindergarten I do not see a 'racist' attitude there. It would be nice if this would continue as the children got older. Unfortunately, as SOME children get older, this changes. Sigh.

    ReplyDelete
  58. Yes, I absolutely believe that racism can be eliminated. And although education does help to a certain extent, I don't think it's enough. I know a few very highly educated individuals that are racists, and I think it may be due to a couple of things: 1) Racism was taught at home and/or 2) They didn't interact with other cultures/races. I believe that one of the most important factors in ridding people of racism is interaction. If you live, work, play in an area with a diverse population, you learn about others, about each other, and discover just how similar we are.

    ReplyDelete
  59. Can stupidity be eliminated?
    I believe that those who are racists or hate minority groups were probably influenced by their families and negative things they heard at home. Sometimes the right kind of meeting can change that but I am afraid this is is very rare. As much as I'd like to believe education can change negative feelings, I am not sure things learned from a very early age within the home can be 'untaught'.

    ReplyDelete
  60. You hit the nail on the head. Not until people stop passing racism down to their kids. My brother-in-law (husband's sister's husband) frequently calls African Americans the N-word and homosexuals the F-word around all 3 of his kids. The oldest son is starting to emulate this. Makes it really hard to be around my inlaws because I want no part of it. Shame on them for teaching this behavior to their kids.

    ReplyDelete
  61. I think someday it will be gone for good.

    ReplyDelete
  62. I think it will take a very, very long time. Unfortunately...

    ReplyDelete
  63. Keith, I love that Dennis Leary quote. Makes me think I want to check out his stand-up again. Have a wonderful week, beautiful soul.

    ReplyDelete
  64. I fully agree. Sadly, my parents taught me lots of "isms." It was painfully wonderfully to grow out of and away from this ideology when I moved to the San Francisco Bay are. You're absolutely, right. Racism is taught and can be untaught.

    xoRobyn

    ReplyDelete
  65. Argh. Excuse my typos. "painfully wonderful" and "Bay area." =)

    ReplyDelete
  66. I do, I really do BUT why is it taking so long?? My parents taught it to me, with there words and with their actions. As I grew, I knew it was wrong and worked hard to be sure my boys did not see it or hear it.....that was easy for me as I have NEVER felt that way!!

    This was a great entry for today, I throughly enjoyed it......and your image as well!!

    And I must add that I adore the name of your blog!!

    ReplyDelete
  67. I'm a racist ... yes, I am ... but only I am of mixed race myself ... so much hard ship ... don't know who I am ... I think races should not mix ... period.

    ReplyDelete
  68. I agree with Debbie, I think it can be, but why is it taking so long?

    ReplyDelete
  69. South Pacific musical has a song about teaching your children, they must be carefully taught...how to hate...
    I don't know if racism can ever be eliminated. That would take a world without sin, anger, etc.

    ReplyDelete
  70. It might be difficult or even seem impossible, but I'm still hopeful for racism to be eliminated. Unfortunately it is taught...but I think with more exposure to different cultures...the fear or thought of the "other" being inferior or different could be erased or at least lessened.

    ReplyDelete
  71. I wish my answer could be yes....

    ReplyDelete
  72. I definitely think of the end of racism as a dream worth dreaming, however I don't know that would ever happen. I think people will always hold onto prejudices that are based on skin color, religion, financial status... for all different reasons. I don't know how it can be stopped.

    ReplyDelete
  73. An interesting aricle. Racism is a terrible concept, education is one way forward!

    Thank you. Love love, Andrew. Bye.

    ReplyDelete
  74. Over time it will continue to phase out of minds, but there will always be those few... Nice blog following!

    ReplyDelete
  75. I like your pipe dream. People also have to mix more and have some of their ugly thoughts exposed.

    ReplyDelete
  76. I don't believe it will ever be eliminated, but that doesn't mean it shouldn't be the responsibility of us all. I work with people from many different races, which I think has removed the racism that is inclined to be in many people my age and older, but I have also learnt that there is much truth in racial stereotyping.

    ReplyDelete
  77. I wish it could be eliminated, but I fear someone will always exist pushing for the opposite. the best we can do is eliminate it in ourselves and the ones we love. great post

    ReplyDelete
  78. I believe kindness and education are not only the key to the mind, but also the heart.
    Thank you so much for your visit and most kind words.. I hope they gave you a smile..
    fondly,
    Penny

    ReplyDelete
  79. As long as there are differences, there will be those who dislike or just plain those who are different. I also live in the deep South, and many urban areas seem like a typical America city. I had always been a very urban person, and for a long time I believed all the stereotypes about southerners weren't true.

    Then out of school, I started to meet the people who live in the rural areas of the county. Many of them are a bunch of bible-thumping racists with a very low IQ

    ReplyDelete
  80. I'm a cockeyed optimist, but yes, I do believe racism will one day be a thing of the past. I just hope I live long enough to see it. I've already lived long enough to see a HUGE improvement.

    ReplyDelete
  81. It is not a pipe dream...one day the world will wake up.

    ReplyDelete
  82. Racism can be eliminated, but discrimination of one or another kind cannot.

    This means that discrimination on the basis of money, or a person's height, or voice, or any number of such qualities cannot be eliminated. It just happens that right now, and since the last few centuries, racism has been one of the biggest, and cruellest, and uncontrollable (for the victims) forms of discrimination.

    ReplyDelete
  83. I'm totally with you on this one! The more you learn and travel and the more cultures you know about, the less racist you are...

    ReplyDelete
  84. Can racism be eliminated? Perhaps. Can discrimination be eliminated? Not until the need to feel superior to someone is eradicated. Not until we are able to look beyond 'us' and 'them' and turn it into I and Thou.

    ReplyDelete
  85. That is one of my favorite quotes! It can apply to all kinds of social stigmas. I don't know if racism will ever be fully fixed, but one day we will have such blended races that perhaps it won't matter.

    ReplyDelete
  86. I actually do. Here in the UK we have made tremendous strides to this end. I do think a bigger concern now is religious racism if I may call it that.

    ReplyDelete
  87. Hi Keith .. I would like to hope so ... but sadly too many people, both children and adults aren't encouraged to learn and improve themselves ... some do, but many don't.

    I would hope we can eliminate all kinds of discrimination ... there's way too much of it .. Hilary

    ReplyDelete
  88. There is invisible discrimination here in Japan; there used to be caste during feudal era and when they were banned only the bottom class wasn't solved out, and it still effects when they get job and marry. I really hope the dream that everyone is equal will come.
    Thank you for visiting my blog.

    ReplyDelete
  89. Keith, I'm with you!I know and am sure that the more people see and recognize other cultures, the less racism is around.

    ReplyDelete
  90. The post is very informative. It is a pleasure reading it. I have also bookmarked you for checking out new posts.

    digital video recorder in Boudh

    ReplyDelete
  91. It will take decades...but maybe never...there's always some sad sack out there protecting his "territory"

    ReplyDelete
  92. ~ Helloooo, thank you ever so much for popping into my little corner of blog land and leaving kind words from your visit!
    I LOVE your thoughts and writings...they did get me a thinking....
    In fact I struggled just what to write here, though...
    Racism makes me feel sick to the pit of my very being.. ...
    ~ and that's all I can add to the subject..
    Take time to dream,and live in the moment...
    With kindest thoughts..
    Maria x

    ReplyDelete
  93. I just read what Becky J. said up there. Ha! If that isn't the most perfect and accurate thing to say!
    It can be unlearned but I really don't think they are teaching about racism in grade school, where it all begins. That should be a requirement for all teachers, in all levels. Education is the only solution. But, it doesn't look promising, unfortunately.

    ReplyDelete
  94. I wish racism can be eliminated. I agree with you that it is taught and it can be untaught! We are not just a color, or a race we are all human beings.

    ReplyDelete
  95. Racism comes from fear. Fear and love can not be held in the mind simultaneously. Love is the answer again!!!

    ReplyDelete
  96. I'd like to think it is a possibility, but I'm fairly certain that I will never see it in my life time. I think a lot of it is learned from a small town narrow mindedness that people can't ever wrap their minds around. I was brought up in one of the most liberal and open minded places in Colorado...Boulder. My parents taught tolerance and sensitivity and that it was not ok to discriminate. For any reason. I will most definitely be teaching my sweet baby girl those same lessons.

    ReplyDelete
  97. I really do believe it can...it has already changed so much over the years since the beginning of our country...it's deep...so it will take time, but I believe it will happen.

    ReplyDelete
  98. I hope so ...someday but there are just too many fearful people with their own agenda of hate ~ and did you know that slavery still exists today in some parts of the world ? Its passed on from family to children & I agree with you that education is a powerful tool to eradicate it ~

    Thought provoking post ~

    Grace

    ReplyDelete
  99. Yes, I do..thank you for bringing up this complex issue...

    ReplyDelete
  100. I really, really hope so...it is the most pernicious form of bullying elitism...

    ReplyDelete
  101. Surely racism can be controlled if we defy our elders' racist ways.

    I wonder if every one likes only one kind of skin colour though. Even in India girl's with lighter complexion are considered prettier than with darker complexion.

    ReplyDelete
  102. Always loved that quote:

    “Racism isn’t born folks. It's taught. I have a 2 yr old son. Know what he hates? Naps. End of list." ~ Denis Leary

    Says it all. Education really is key.

    ReplyDelete
  103. And yes, I do think it can be eliminated completely.

    ReplyDelete
  104. I believe that all of our negative behavior is taught...by parents, media, the society and so many more.
    If we'd just start teaching our children to love, we could eliminate so many problems in this world created by ourselves. It actually is that easy, but we need to start doing it.....then racism can be eliminated.

    ReplyDelete
  105. No, sorry for being the odd one (I skimmed through the first few comments and most of them said yes). I don't think it can ever be eliminated. racism is based on discrimination. Discrimination is a natural human trait. We discriminate against smells, sounds and colours. But whe this discrimination is given a supposed theroy as racism was given in the early 19th century it then becomes dangerous and ends up blighting lives. I oppose racism but make a distinction between the overt racist and the racially prejudiced person. It's less difficult to change the former's mindset than the latter's, despite the fact that the racist is more likely to kick your head than the person with racial prejudices. In the long term, though, the person with racial prejudices will cretae more obstacles on the way to developing a more inclusive society than the over racist.

    Good question and post.

    Greetings from London.

    ReplyDelete
  106. Discrimination is always present. There is always a juxtaposition of status, color, religion, or whatever adjective you want to use, in society. And differences, while they make us unique, also segregate and separate. To some that is a challenge to learn and become, as you say, "cultured" and accepting. To others it is a reason to avoid and distrust. In short, no. Racism will never end.

    ReplyDelete
  107. I don't think it will ever be eliminated. Skin color. Color of hair. Size of your body. Size of your house. Your religion. People are discriminated against for all kinds of things. True, none of these things should matter. Also true we're all human. So they do matter to some of us. Which mean they concern us all.

    I love how your questions make me think.

    ReplyDelete
  108. Yes, I do think it can be eliminated. With education. With love.

    ReplyDelete
  109. Keith, dude,

    As long as folks are brought up with a racist mentality and don't change, the racism shall be perpetuated. If we choose to understand that we should rejoice in the diversity of an all different, all equal world, then racism will die.

    Gary

    ReplyDelete
  110. Well, today we have laws that protect people against discrimination, so we have come a long way with equal rights. What still exists, unfortunately, is prejudice that takes form in many ways from racial jokes to violence. I do think it can be eliminated with education and awareness both at home and in school.

    ReplyDelete
  111. I have a small glimmer of hope but latey so many things make me wonder.

    ReplyDelete
  112. Racism surely has to be eliminated ... there should just be one race uniting everyone - humanity.

    ReplyDelete
  113. My daughter-in-law is struggling with her family's religious beliefs which directly conflict with her own. Just before the holidays, there was a big family fight over her sister using the word "fag" and her brother-in-law saying that he hopes his son doesn't grow up to be gay.

    What was interesting to me, when she was talking with me about it, is that she said, with full confidence, "At least they aren't racist."

    I was flabbergasted. For one thing, her family constantly talks about their Black son/brother-in-law. Last time I checked, he was multi-racial and I can say with absolute certainty that I am white through and through so, unless you still abide by the "one drop rule" my son is not black ad to insist on saying he is dismisses my relevance in his upbringing altogether.

    I was also taken aback because, when we went to court with them all so my son could legally adopt her daughter, her step-father said something about the "Habib" behind the counter at the gas station. My son got this deer-in-the-headlights look but, fortunately for him, I actually was so stunned to hear anyone say this that it took me a moment to process. In my mind, I was thinking, "Did I just hear what I think I heard? No. No, yes I did. I did hear it. This man sitting beside me actually used that word."

    I know this didn't answer your question at all. I just don't have an answer. I used to hope we would be able to eradicate racism. Then I moved to the southeast and my hopes began and continue to dimish.

    ReplyDelete
  114. Unfortunately, I don't think it will ever go away. There will always be some ignorant person out there to teach such hatred.

    ReplyDelete
  115. Most decidedly it can be eradicated. Your post explains it all.
    It is not born with us. It is taught. Education, education, education.
    It is not only between people of different color skin..but of religion too. Cultural differences. But whatever it might be. Kindness , love and understanding, will better one's outlook. Unfortunately, parents hand their awful ignorance down the ladder and so the wheel turns.
    val

    ReplyDelete
  116. No, I don't think it will ever be eliminated. Like Carol above said, people will always find something to discriminate against. Since skin color is one of the first things we notice about someone, it is the easiest to pick on. Even some of the most loving families produce mean spirited kids. Those kids will keep spreading the hate.

    ReplyDelete
  117. Sadly, I agree with those who think not. There will always be those who are fearful of 'the other' and that fear will morph into mistrust and hate.

    ReplyDelete
  118. I'm a firm believer it can be eliminated, but it's not going to happen until all sides can forget the past and step into a new future. We live in a very culturally diverse area, and I think that's a big key to snubbing out racism--being exposed to real people from different backgrounds and cultures. It's easy to hate something you don't understand. It's difficult to hate someone you realize has the same needs and basic desires as yourself.

    ReplyDelete
  119. A racism-free society would be so much happier. Let's keep dreaming! :)

    ReplyDelete
  120. What a great quote...made me smile. Racism is indeed ugly, and I do think much has been accomplished to combat it...but for it to be completely eliminated will take a miracle, probably many.

    ReplyDelete
  121. call me a pessimist but as one reader pointed out, there is always something to discriminate against whether it's colour, religion, gender... whatever. We will find a way to label people and treat them differently. Often to justify our own actions. I don't see that changing.

    ReplyDelete
  122. I think we've come a long way since my growing up in a small town in the 50's. I couldn't understand why the one black man working in our town had to go to the back door of our one restaurant to pick up his lunch. When we went to the big city to shop and the blacks had to move to the back of the bus it shocked this little white, whited headed girl to no end.

    ReplyDelete
  123. Racism is still pretty strong in the south (surprise). I think that as long as we are taught that we are better than someone because of our skin color, the longer this will go on.

    Writing Through College

    ReplyDelete
  124. I'd like to think it could, but I don't think it will. Sadly.

    ReplyDelete
  125. I wish it must be eliminated! People have to come out of their circle of certainty and practice with diverse people. I think uniform education can make it possible

    ReplyDelete
  126. Thanks for visiting my blog and leaving a comment.
    To answer your question from my country - It won't be for many, many years if at all. We can only hope that it will disappear!

    ReplyDelete
  127. Our world evolves more everyday. As time goes on....more people become open minded and open there hearts to compassion. We may not see racism eliminated in our life time, but I feel eventually it will be gone.

    ReplyDelete
  128. I wish it could be eliminated. We all would be safer. Happier.

    ReplyDelete
  129. I hate to say it, but no, I don't think so. I think it's inherent in humans to divide people into "us" and "them". :-(

    Pearl

    ReplyDelete
  130. Not sure, Keith.

    My natural tendency is towards cynicism.
    The minute we need to feel superior, need to score over someone, need to hide our own inadequacy, we automatically look for someone ‘inferior’ to us.

    Not me, no, not me. I wish I could say this with conviction.

    ReplyDelete
  131. That is such a great great quote -says it all!

    ReplyDelete
  132. I think we should always be striving to unlearn those negative traits, and learn the positive ones. To continually evolve is what we humans are supposed to be doing.

    ReplyDelete
  133. i think there'll always be at least one racist person who'll pass their views to their children or other people around them. x

    ReplyDelete
  134. I don't know about "completely." All we can do is start teaching our little ones one family at a time, and see where that gets us. Love is always stronger than hate. Good wins - in the end - over evil.

    ReplyDelete
  135. One of the helpful insights that came up in the discussions on biculturalism in NZ during the 70s and 80s was this equation:
    Racism = Prejudice + Power
    Thus racism was more than ordinary prejudice, it carried with it the power to implement that prejudice in a manner which harmed and excluded. So, education can help with reducing prejudice. It requires something more systematic to reduce the "power" component.
    A very useful post, Keith. Thanks for making us think.

    ReplyDelete
  136. The racism always makeme feel sad and furious but sadly I dont think can be eliminated maybe some day!"
    Amazing post Keith!!

    ReplyDelete
  137. your are sharing interesting information. Thanks for your valuable thoughts. I like your blog.
    number recognition camera in bhubaneswar

    ReplyDelete
  138. I certainly hope so. My youngest daughter is African American. We adopted her when she was a baby. Right now, she is too young to think about racism, because like you said, people are born with that ugliness. The thought of people treating her badly hurts so much, I almost can't breathe. We are all the same inside. I don't know why people can't see that!!

    ReplyDelete
  139. Sadly I don't think racism can be eliminated Keith. Whether learnt or not - it exists around the world and is not only based on the colour of ones skin We are all 'tribal' whether we think so or not...
    Anna :o]

    ReplyDelete
  140. I don't know. But I will have to say that that it is just not race - it's all injustice and unfairness and both ways and all ways.

    ReplyDelete
  141. It is a dream worth dreaming. Racism is simply unacceptable. But it is often so subtle, and even some of the comments above show how deeply rooted it seems to be in some peoples culture. I met a person on blogger who was openly using the "n" word without even feeling remotely in the wrong about it. (told him blocked him end of story) Just an example. I do not think this subject can ever be discussed on blogger in any fruitful way, but I do like your post.
    I have never learned it and I am glad. But I do believe humans can “unlearn” something, or learn new ways of looking at the world. Accepting a condition because it is so common it what I call “Prozac thinking” aka nothing matters. Well, not my chosen path.
    Yes, not matter how one looks at it, racism is UNACCEPTABLE. Period.

    ReplyDelete
  142. Very good and timely post Keith! Here are my thoughts as a woman who grew up in a mostly white small town but, as a teen, attended an integrated church in the city and who now counts among her descendants 5 beautiful multi-ethnic grandkids:)
    I think the causes of racism are varied and that racism doesn't always have its roots in the parenting a child receives. In any case, it IS deplorable when people are judged based on their skin color rather then "the content of their character". Whatever the cause, racism can be unlearned though--if a person sees that it's wrong, 'repents' of it and realizes that we are all truly part of the same race -- the human one. Sadly, I don't think it will be eliminated though because people continue to ignore or choose not to follow the 'golden rule' of loving their neighbor as themselves:(
    Thanks for your recent visit and comment.
    Blessings,
    Aimee

    ReplyDelete
  143. Great, thought-provoking post.

    I'm not sure if it can be - but, we can only hope.

    (also, thanks for stopping by my blog! I followed yours. Happy Sunday!)

    ReplyDelete
  144. I am saying 'hopefully', yes.
    Thank you for the kind words you left on my blog too. ~ Diane

    ReplyDelete
  145. yes, we can achieve anything, and we will.

    ReplyDelete
  146. No, I do not believe that racism will ever be eliminated completely. I realize that if I were a more idealistic person, I would not be able to state this. But, I am a realist. There is dark and light in the world and the struggle is constant to keep the light larger than the dark. But, there must be dark for there to be light. And so it goes.

    ReplyDelete
  147. I'd like to think we can rise above racism. In the scheme of things, the one that suffers most is the one who hates.

    ReplyDelete
  148. This is a subject close to my heart as well. I sincerely hope it can be eradicated someday and I agree, education is key.

    ReplyDelete
  149. I sincerely hope so. I feel that we are in the midst of a shift towards greater awareness and acceptance. Looking forward to the day when fear and ignorance are phased out.

    ReplyDelete
  150. I was just having this discussion with a friend last night and we both agree that yes, racism will one day be completely eliminated. I do hope it's not so far in the future, though, that I won't be able to witness it myself.

    ReplyDelete
  151. I was just having this discussion with a friend last night and we both agree that yes, racism will one day be completely eliminated. I do hope it's not so far in the future, though, that I won't be able to witness it myself.

    ReplyDelete
  152. Thanks for stopping by my blog and I'm glad you enjoyed my photos. I grew up in Sweden in the 1940s and 50s when only Swedes lived there, so race was never an issue and I got to start out in life without the burden of racist teachings. I think racism in America is based on fear and guilt, a dangerous combination that has clearly taken over a part of our congress, and is holding our country back. I believe there are enough educated and sane people who are teaching their kids the right thing. And I hope that young people, who have been exposed to children of all colors throughout their young years, will overcome these generational fears and guilt. I read that 76% of kids entering kindergarten or first grade in Los Angeles are non-white.

    ReplyDelete