Tuesday, January 11, 2005

I feel guilty sometimes

then I get over it and start to feel sad.

It amazes me how much hate and ignorance there has been in this world. I definitely think we've come a long way since the Jim Crow era, but I think we have a long way to go. I think most of the hate is pure ignorance now, but for the most part it seems racism (at least in America) is dwindling and we now are faced with clash of culture and un-familiarity more than hate. Like one culture not sure how to act around another culture. I think the most common is how white people generally act around black people, or most others of a different race.

I myself am more of the thinking that people shouldn't be defined by race anymore; but more by geographics. Well, actually, I don't think people should be defined as anything, but if you were going to define "people", define them by where they are from. I'm also not saying define = judgement, but more understanding where they come from.

There are so many different types of people in his world. There are trashy people, educated people, middle-class, wealthy, poor, lazy, energetic, difference makers, haters, lovers, peaceful, etc. Its interesting to see these different types clash, but I think its interesting how each generally stick with each other.

I wish we could break down the race barrier and just recognize people as people.

I bring up the whole race thing today because I've just started my History 2710 class, which focuses on history from 1850 to present day. The first section focuses on the "black holocaust". Basically: Slavery and post-civil war hatred for the black race.

Now, since I can remember I've always been sensative to race issues. I'm not sure if its something my parents instilled in me, or what, but I've always remembered to treat another person, regardless of color of skin, as an equal.

I actually have a funny story about when I was around 2 years old. I was at the mall with my two older sisters and I started playing with a little black boy. We had been playing for quite some time, when I'm guessing that curiosity got the best of me. I took my index finger and put it on his cheek. I then pulled it down his face as though I was trying to get the dark stuff off him (I'm guessing that I thought he was just dirty). I guess at that moment, I embarassed my sisters in front of my playmates sisters.

Ahh the innocence of a child. I don't see how anyone could have blamed my curiosity. I had white parents and likely had never seen someone of a different skin color at that age.

One of my first close friends was a latino kid when I was in kindergarten. When I moved to CA, my best friend from grades 2-7 was a native american kid named bear. Also, during that time I had another lation friend. I was drawn, for whatever reason to kids that weren't white. I mean, I had white friends, but I always wanted to hang with kids that were of a different race because I wanted to sympathize and relate in some way. I grew up in an area that was mostly white, so all my friends pretty much stood out. When I started High School, there were about 2-3 black people, a few latinos, and a few asian kids. One of my first best friends (and to this day) is Roman, who is of the FiliRican decent (Filipino/Puerto Rican). I dug him from the start because he was "dope" and we had a lot of the same interest (still do: Mac lovers UNITE!!)

Anyway, along the way, I made good friends with any of the kids considered "minorities" at my school. I was often persecuted by the so-called "hicks" of our school, for my association. One of my best friends (who was white) and hung with us, was jumped at a party by a bunch of stoner-red-neck combination guys (basically, ignorant biaches) and as they kicked him and beat him, they yelled out "WHITE PRIDE". Ummmmmm, who are you beating on man? Anyway...

....so I've always been sensative to the ways that so-called "minorities" are looked down upon, or some of the ignorance they have to face in this society. I don't want to "coddle" them in anyway, becuase I do believe that every person is created equal and makes the best of their lives, whatever they are given. However, with this first section in the class we are covering, I saw some of the most grusome and disgusting ways that humans can be. I was shocked. I had always heard about lynchings, etc. but to actually see pictures made me so sad.

In addition, learning more in-depth brought it so much closer. I can't even FATHOME what it would have been like to be a slave, working from sun up to sun down, 7 days a week. Getting whipped and beaten by a "master" and sometimes killed. I believe it was just as tough in the post civil war era, in that the south formed the KKK and had lynchings. The description of what they did to the men in these lynchings made my insides turn.

Anyway, if anyone is interested in some education, here are a couple of good sites that really teach about what has happened. The first site is pictures with a description, but is EXTREMELY grusome, so I warn you. The second site deals more with the Jim Crow era and what blacks had to deal with to try to gain some equality.



Anyway, as I browsed these sites, I felt a strange amount of guilt come over me. I have no idea why. I think I was confused though. I believe it was more sadness than guilt. However, if I was looking at these sites, or these pictures with someone that was black, I would hope that they wouldn't hold it against me for what people of my race did. I would hope that most of the black people of these times will obviously be thankful for what their ancestors did to pave the way for them to be where they are, and only focus on ignorance and mending relationships with EVERYONE, regardless of color. I fear that there has been so much hatred building up that the tides will somehow turn. I've heard of so many reverse-racism cases on innocent people. Just someone taking their frustration out over history. Its so scary.

I hope that white people can have an open mind as well. I believe that the media has done some harm and some good in helping to mend all this hatred. As much as I HATE MTV and the culture it creates, it seems that since its inception, it has helped to bring different cultures together, and that is a positive. I also think that education on the subject in our schools has helped as well.

Man, as I write this, I think of how scattered everything is. Sorry :).

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