Racism is festered pride and ignorance

Xuebin Gu,
China

NPR’s Gene Demby report is telling of what racism has become to Millenials and now Generation Z (born the mid 90s to early 2000s) Pop culture, influences, social media, etc. are all major factors of the influences of the youth of the 21st century, and there has never been more of a convergence of ideas and cultures. The current racial narrative is one of peace, equality, and acknowledging as well as being okay with our differences. However, the problem with this issue constantly being in the limelight is that a huge aspect of it as become a form of social currency, where many kids may not actually care/think to care about racism, but simply because it is now “cool” to be inclusive, the jump this bandwagon. I believe this is the root of what Gene Demby describes as “colorblindedness”.

It is when the narrative of race becomes us versus them that racism becomes an issue, where people strongly define themselves by what they assume to be their innate racial culture and view other races as “foreign”. Pride is not a bad emotion, but when it is mixed with ignorance and contempt for anything outside of what is the perceived norm, it can become very dangerous. One believes that one’s own culture is the best and that everyone else would be blind to not see it that way. This is the school of thought of most racists and xenophobes today, as it was for most early anthropologists who tried to classify mankind. In the lecture “A history of Racism”, even Carl Von Linnaeus can be seen being partial towards “Europaeus” (of which he was a part of) as being Sanguine, while the rest were “melancholy”, “choleric”, or “phlegmatic”.

According to the lecture “levels of adaptability”, what we consider racism is just a small form of human morphology that made it easier for our ancestors to survive in their environments. The melanin pigment was more concentrated for people around the equator to protect them from the sun in a better way. Nordic Caucasian people are considered big but having shorter limbs, while people in the African continent are generally lean, and have longer limbs. Both of these are a result of Alan’s rule and Bergmann’s rule. I believe that we would be far better moving the narrative of racism as one where we acknowledge each other’s differences, and we approach them with curiousity rather than preconceived notions of a hierarchy.

 

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