Racism: Why is this Still a Thing?

WARNING: This blogger has not done one of her classic rants in a while, so she figured you’re all due for one. If you can’t hang, here’s your out. If you can hang, enjoy!

It’s 2016. We’ve made many strides as a society. We have marriage equality, medical science is making people live longer, and we can even access quality writing on the internet for free with great sites like WordPress! So, why are people still racist? I can’t possibly be the only person who finds racism completely abhorrent, morally wrong, and downright stupid. In fact I know I’m not because the people I choose to associate with feel the same way I do. Being racist is stupid. There I said it.  Nobody freakin’ asks to be born white, black, Asian, Hispanic, etc. So if you hate someone because of their race, you basically hate someone for being born. If that’s not stupid I don’t know what is.

Now if I dislike someone, note I didn’t say hate because I make a conscious effort not to hate because hate is poisonous to the human soul and I like my soul intact; unlike Voldemort’s which was split into seven pieces to create Horcruxes. What you are inside reflects on your outside which is why Voldemort has no nose. I’d like to keep my nose deviated septum and all, thank you very much. Besides I really have no use for Horcruxes. I don’t hate, I appreciate. I’m about the hug life, not the thug life.

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If I truly feel a burning distaste for someone, I don’t feel that way because of their race, sexual orientation, or any other characteristic they were born with and thus can’t control. No, I feel that way because that person happens to be an asshole. Being an asshole transcends race, sexual orientation, and a great many other things. It doesn’t matter what type of asshole you are. An asshole is an asshole is an asshole and if you’re racist, you’re an asshole.

Nobody is born racist. It’s learned behavior. If you hear from childhood that you shouldn’t play with this kid or that kid because they’re (insert race here) and (insert race here) people are (insert ridiculous and insulting stereotype here), it becomes ingrained. Then don’t play with this kid becomes don’t socialize with this person or don’t work with or for that person when you reach adulthood. However, there’s hope because anything that can be learned can be unlearned.

Don’t believe me? Smoking is a learned behavior. Nobody has ever come out of the womb with a lit cigarette in their mouth. If someone did, it would surely be a viral video by now with several detractors either arguing that it’s a fake or spouting hate and vitriol. No, you learned your smoking behavior and reinforced it until it became a habit, yet people quit smoking every day. Sure, they might need some help doing it through patches, gum, hypnosis, etc., but they still do it. So, even though smoking is a learned behavior, it can be unlearned.

How can someone who has been taught to be racist unlearn that behavior?  Well first they have to want to unlearn it. They need to have a reason to make that change. Think of our smoker. Despite being addicted to cigarettes, at some point something drove them to quit. It could’ve been a doctor, nagging from a child, spouse, or significant other, or maybe even social pressure. Regardless they made a conscious decision to quit smoking. That’s what needs to happen for someone to unlearn racism: they need to make a conscious decision to do it.

What would drive someone to make a conscious decision to unlearn racist behavior? Let’s go back to our smoker. Maybe every time they lit up, they would hear from one of their friends how terrible smoking is for you. Maybe their friends stopped hanging out with them because they didn’t want to be exposed to the second-hand smoke and hearing that nobody wants to be around them drove them to quit smoking. Now let’s go back to our racist. Maybe if their peers called them out on their behavior or their friends stopped associating with them they’d want to stop being racist.

That’s where we come in, people. If you hear someone saying something racist, call them on it. I don’t care if it’s a friend, coworker, or a total stranger on the street. It’s 2016! We can’t tolerate this crap anymore! Don’t just sit or stand there looking uncomfortable. Open your mouth and tell the person that what they’re saying offends you. They might get on your case and you may even lose a friend or two, but do you really want to associate with people who are racist? If you sit idly by and allow this nonsense to continue, you’re just as guilty as they are. Don’t be a coward. Stand up and do the right thing.

If you’re a racist, STOP IT! YOU’RE MAKING THE REST OF HUMANITY LOOK BAD! Remember what I said before about how people who are racist are assholes? You don’t want to be an asshole do you? Of course you don’t! Nobody wants to be an asshole. The only people who want to hang out with you are other racists, so not only are you an asshole but you’re also surrounded by assholes. Who wants to be surrounded by assholes? Nobody, that’s who. Come on, that’s enough. Stop it already. No excuses! Just stop. Return to some semblance of sense, sanity, and reason with the rest of us, k? Thanks!

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