Well, you ask the question but don’t really answer it. How many events in every weekly newspaper and publication do we have to see to begin to realize the truth: maybe the human race is doomed to be stupid. Well, maybe not stupid, but would you consider blind? If you ever ask yourself why you do the things you do then you can ask for a better reason than the ones given. You see, the answer or answers are right in front of us. In fact, they are within us. That is all there is to it! Let me explain and see if you can get it.
Since the very beginning of our history, or anything we know of it, we have asked questions like this but the sheer size and shape of the answer has eluded us. If you have ever taken a sociology, anthropology, philosophy, or psychology class in your lifetime you have pondered questions like these. But as human beings we tend to simplify the complicated and complicate the simple. In this example we see the latter. We human beings have it within us to be racist. There, I’ve said it!
Now, if you can stick with me you will see the truth in it. I warn you, though, I am not going to suggest that there is no hope or possibility of ridding ourselves of the nature of the beast. That comes with our nature as well. You see, in the natural order of things, we are no more than an animal species. Plants and animals are all forms of life, as we have been taught by our science teachers, and we are a form of “animal” life.
So that said, what makes us different or superior than all other forms of animal life? It is the ability to “reason”. The rational process of making decisions separates us from all others. When any other animal reacts to a situation it is usually an instinctive process. They do not necessarily choose from options; they simply run or fight. They hunt for food, they fight for their right to live, and they protect their young, their herds, and their territory. Sounds simple enough, doesn’t it? What human beings do, however, is similar in the purpose and outcome but different in the process.
We make our choices, and we then face the consequences. Our choices are not always forced upon us but sometimes they are. They is types of instinctive situations that we have in common with animals. But we can choose the way in which we defend ourselves, or run and to where. Any other species rreacts. We not only react but “think” about how we should. In that process we see the problem. Our decisions are not always made to benefit anyone in particular. We hope they result in good, positive things, but many times we make the wrong choice. So in our genetic makeup is our downfall. We have the ability to make the wrong decision.
Now for why we are naturally racist. Since the beginning of known history human beings have caused harm to one another. Why? Do we enjoy it? Are we naturally bad? Have we always made bad decisions? Well, we have to not only answer why, but what for? That’s the easy part because it is because we are human we have within our genetic traits another flaw. It can sometimes be a positive trait if used correctly and conservatively, but it is the trait of desire. We can think of it as an instinct perhaps because all human beings desire for something. It may be an object, or lots of objects, or it could be simply a better life.
No matter what it is, it comes down to one thing: we desire something and so we go and get it. Many times we get it by working for it, other times we just take it. This is where human confict occurs. When someone has what we want, we can either take it from them or try to achieve it in some other way. All of our existence has been based on this. Why do we work? Why do we play? What drives us to do the things we do is the desire to have something.
And we teach these desires, and the pursuit of them, to our children. So, in plain terms, our desires drive us to hate, dislike, and harm the other humans that have what we do not have, or those humans who try to keep us from having them. Confict is the very essence of desire, but on a grand scale. So what does this all have to do with racism? Simply stated, desire makes us see people who do not look like us or act like us as natural threats. The very creation, over time for instance, of European racism was caused by the fact that Europeans won and then conquered and subjugated entire nations through bloodshed and violence.
Racial superiority came from the natural ability of some to defeat and then enslave others. All of it stems from the desires of humans to have or take what others have. Land is an example, and gold is another, but it is all with the same goal. So if someone is different than you, especially in appearance, your ignorance of them can give you a rationale to take from them and put them in their place. Thus, racism is the result of thousands of years of human confict and desire.
Now for the possible solution. Humans also have within them the ability to “control” certain things, including human traits. If we are to survive our very hatred or dislike of each other, we must learn how to control what it is we don’t like about others. We teach self control to our young, although it is questionable about the success, but it is the true answer. Our species cannot survive if we keep choosing to destroy each other rather than learning how to tolerate the differences we face. The fact that a person’s skin color or the shape of their eyes or nose makes us despise them should tell us that we make excuses for how we are, and how we act. Racism is practiced in some form or shape just about everywhere on the planet, but in some places it doesn’t adversely affect how people live.
For instance, you see a person who is different than you but does it change who you are? Until you get to know the person you think of them as a lesser person in some way. How many times have you prejudged a person only to find, after you get to know them, they are really a nice person? The “control” of your feelings is what makes you finally get to know who the person is rather than what they are. How many of us are willing to try? So it is in each person’s control of their feelings that our success will be. No more, no less. It is like being tempted to eat a piece of candy: if you know it is bad for you can you keep from eating it?
Of course you can, if you try. Control can be taught and learned, as just about anything can. You see, it is also a human trait to “learn” from events, including mistakes and bad choices. We all hope that, for instance, Don Imus has “learned” from his error, as we have hoped in the past in many similar situations. But do we “want” to learn? If you truly want to rid the earth of racism, as I do, than you must believe, and you must practice what you have learned yourself. Otherwise, look at the options. If you beileve that racism will always exist, no matter what, than you may be right’; but if you beileve that it can’t be fought or brough under control, than you have proven the natural order of it all. Don’t let your ignorance justify or rationalize the existence of it, help keep it in check. It is the only way!