If you’ve read much of what I’ve written, and most particularly if you’ve read anything I’ve written on the concept of “racism,” you’ve probably come across a disclaimer similar to the one I’m about to write.
In essence, I don’t really believe in the idea of racism. This is because I consider race among humans to be a largely arbitrary, entirely non-scientific distinction or set thereof. That doesn’t mean that people don’t discriminate and form prejudices on the basis of what they like to refer to as “race.” It simply means that I don’t agree to race as the true basis for their discrimination or prejudice.
Having gotten this out of the way, allow me now to proceed with the subject about which I intended to write this post.
I was having a generally amiable discussion with someone about the fact that a friend of theirs only “preferred” men from a given ethnic group. Who the person was, about whom they were talking, and the ethnic group are not significant (and, in fact, it would cause more harm than good to occur if I were to disclose them here).
A part of the conversation was how others had reacted to the “look of” the person of that group she had taken to an event on a “date.” I can’t say with any certainty, but it sounded like the folks were telling the young lady in question, that they “didn’t feel right about him because of his look,” and that what they said may have been a matter of his ethnic origin. If so, that would have been “racism.” I will say, that sometimes, regardless of how well a person “cleans up,” I’m able to look at that person, and decided I don’t care for their mannerisms or attitudes, and that those “come across in” their, “look.” That being said, I am not trying to excuse the bias since I can’t know what caused it to exist in the first place. On the other hand, I flatly refuse to find the statements made by the others irrational, discriminatory or prejudiced without more and clearer information.
The thing I find interesting is that the person with whom I was speaking, indicated that the person about whom he or she was speaking was not being discriminatory (read here, racist), by “choosing to be with” only men from the ethnic group in question.
I want to make something plain. I have never seen any ethnic group that didn’t have women in its ranks, that were not attractive to me. This includes—I should make clear—people of “mixed ethnicities.” And I have never had a mindset that I would restrict with whom I would or would not be in a relationship based on ethnicity. Don’t believe me? My first wife was Korean, the next was a “non-Hispanic European,” and the last (probably in every sense) is Hispanic. Just because I haven’t dated or been in a relationship with folks of other ethnicities, doesn’t mean—were it possible (it is not)—that I wouldn’t be in a relationship with somebody in that ethnic group; it only means I haven’t been.
You see, from my perspective, I am “about” the “person inside the skin,” not the outward appearance. In fact, the older and more experienced I have become, the more this is the case.
But I need to get back to the point—please forgive me for having “strayed,” even if what I have said is related.
When a person of European ancestry “lifts up” only people of similar lineage, can you agree that such a person is guilty of discrimination and prejudice? I can! The basis for “lifting folks up” ought not be the person’s parentage, rather it should be merit.
The point here is actually pretty simple. Whether you’re discriminating or forming a prejudice against some group, or discriminating or forming a prejudice for a given group, you’re still guilty of discrimination.
To be clear, that’s not inherently a bad thing. Yes, I do discriminate and hold prejudices against rapists and murderers. Is that wrong? I don’t tend to think so, most particularly if they done such things multiple times.
Discrimination and prejudice have—it can be readily argued—“gotten a bad rep.” I have said this before, and maintain it to this day.
You don’t eat moldy food as a rule. You don’t count serial killers good and proper by and large (if at all). These are examples of “acceptable discrimination and prejudice.”
That being said, when you hold one thing up over another as “better than” that other, if you do so on a basis like the amount of melanin in the thing’s skin, I have to wonder if you have really thought things through.
I get that one might like or support a given culture. Personally, I’m fine with that to a point. An example would be dating only people of asian heritage, based on cultural attitudes and perspectives. Where that begins to “go wrong,” is when people allow such things to affect choices with regard to things like work, or cause harm to come to people of other groups, based on that discrimination and prejudice “for” or “against” one more groups.
Personally, I have a hard time “limiting the field” even based on cultural differences. There are a few such limitations I have in place, but funnily, they do not tend to fall on such lines as a given person’s country of origin (or that of their family).
You must make decisions about who you will be and what you will or will not support. That considered, I truly hope you will think seriously about your prejudices and those things against which you discriminate and decide whether or not your choices are good ones.
As for me, I am constantly examining how I deal with people, what I consider reasonable and what I don’t. And I see no future in which I don’t “continue that trend.”
Okay, I think I’m ready to “call this post done.” As usual, may your time be good and thanks for reading.