Conventional Wisdom on Racism

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Conventional Wisdom

I wanted to write this post to show a generational difference  that is being taught in some schools on Racism

I have had several arguments with my kids on this subject because of what they have been told in school. My kids went to the same schools as each other but were six years apart in age, yet both were taught exactly the same thing by different teachers. What is being taught in some schools about racism and what a racist is, is just plain WRONG

While I don’t want to start a race war, or generational war, or any other war, I do need to share something that I feel is important and needs some clarification

I was lucky enough to grow up in a world without racism.  Everyone was treated as equals, no one was discriminated against based on religion, race, gender, sex or sexual orientation . We were all brought up to treat each other with respect, with compassion, to treat everyone the same as we would want to be treated. Ethnicity didn’t really even come into conversations that much at all, because as far as we were all concerned, we were all equals and all the same, so there was no need to even talk about it.

Everyone got along.  I went to a multi cultural co-ed school and lived in a very multicultural society.  We had every nationality all living harmoniously together.

When we went to school and even at home we were all taught very early growing up that racism existed in the world but it wasn’t really a part of our society. It just wasn’t tolerated where we lived.

We did Geography at school and learned a lot about other nations and other countries and cultures and researched for hours on how people lived differently in other parts of the world, it was always interesting and we learned that some other countries were not the same as ours

We were taught that there were some people who were Racists in other parts of the world, but it wasn’t really a part of our community or the fabric of our country. Racists were people who had a vile horrible nasty hatred and disdain for those who were from other countries or ethnicities.  We couldn’t really understand why anyone would not like someone based on where they were born, it was dumb, it didn’t make sense to us, it was just stupid. We didn’t know anyone like that and didn’t really understand it

There was none of the vile bigotry and hatred that is sweeping the world today.  It was the same when I left school and started to work. I started working for an International airline, we had every nation imaginable all working happily together, under one roof, in the same cubicles, there was zero division or differentiation between anyone.  You either did your job or you didn’t, you were a nice person or you were a jerk. No one cared about race or ethnicity.

People were happy to share their cultural experiences, share their family recipes, talk about fashion or their upbringing or whatever.  Because we worked for an airline we all travelled the world and there was always someone flying to this country or that and coming back and talking about other cultures and all the amazing places they had seen and people they had met

It was fascinating to me to see how other people lived in general not because of their ethnicity, but because I was quite sure other families weren’t all as batty as mine.  I was curious and asked lots of questions and learned a lot about other people. I was genuinely interested in learning about other cultures, it is still fascinating to me. Some of my close friends were Filipino, Egyptian, Lebanese, Chinese, Greek, Maltese, Italian, we all got along well and were a fun group to hang out with.

It wasn’t until I moved to America that I really saw racism first hand and the vile hatred and ugliness of racism reared it’s ugly head.  I had never seen anything like it in my 35 years of living.  It was everywhere, on the news, it was taught about in schools, it was around us in our community.  I saw it first hand towards myself and my children (we were told we had the wrong school and needed to go elsewhere.  On another occasion the front office staff was given our permanent resident cards and her comment was, “great, this one’s going to be trouble, we don’t need any trouble here” because he was born overseas. My son was told he could not start school at the same time as his peers until they got this sorted out.  There was nothing to sort out.  He was a legal permanent resident with legal rights to start school with everyone else, we had to appeal to the board of education.  My husband is an American citizen. I also found out that all of the immigrant children were lumped into one class together regardless of their academic ability, both of my kids, AP students)

I saw and heard racism towards the sweetest nicest Asian lady working in the Restaurant down the road, heard it in the supermarkets, at the doctors office, at the pharmacy, it blew my mind that people could be this nasty and mean toward anyone.  I didn’t understand it or what was going on.

The thing that shocked me the most was the garbage my kids were being taught in school.

They were taught that anyone who even mentioned a person was Asian or African American, or black or Australian or English (or whatever, fill in the bank), was a RACIST.  This is simply not true. An Australian is Australian. An Asian is an Asian. An African American is an African American. Are they not? It does not mean you are a racist if you say “I met this sweet Asian (or fill in the blank ) woman today, she was so nice, I think she was from Japan” (or wherever).  It is no different calling someone an Aussie if they are Australian. There is no ill intent and none should be taken.  It is so ridiculous. If someone says someone is an Aussie, the person talking to the Australian usual reaction is “oh, I’ve always wanted to go to Australia” or they ask about something they were curious about Australia,….there is no ill intent behind any of it, zero.  It is curiosity. Nothing more, nothing less.  It is not what racism is

That is not being a Racist, yet my kids were taught if you refer to a person from another culture by their cultural name, you are being racist for mentioning their race, it is a bunch of nonsense.

I was dumbfounded that this is what they were teaching my kids.  I asked my born & bread American husband who was brought up in Ohio and he was taught the very same thing I was:

A racist is someone who has vile, vicious, malice and hatred in their heart towards someone from another culture or country or who discriminates against another based on their heritage

Some children today are being taught the wrong definition of what a racist is

It wasn’t until recent years I even learned about the Civil rights issues in America and it broke my heart

I have seen a lot in 49 years but the hatred and intolerance I am seeing and hearing today is sickening.  There is no need for it.

We are all God’s children.  We were all brought into the world equal.

There is good and bad in every race and creed. Just because one person does something, doesn’t mean the other 23 million people from that country are the same. It needs to be kept in context

It is family, school & society that teaches division and racism and some has been passed down from generation to generation.  It needs to STOP!

There is no reason why we can’t all get along and live harmoniously together.  Every man woman and child can choose to live with love and compassion and tolerance for others, it starts with you, it starts with me and what we teach our children.

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