Thursday, June 29, 2006

Racism Rant

Okay, I was thinking heavy duty thoughts again – racism, prejudice, bigotry. I was wondering what it is about human nature that makes us want to paint everyone with the same brush. It really is human nature, because it seems like no matter what culture or nationality people are there is this desire to use phrases like “All Koreans,” “All Americans,” and “All French.”

I was listening to the radio on the way home from work and they were talking about Iraq and Afghanistan. One of the people they interviewed said something about “those people” and I cringed. We are Korean, American, French, Christian, Jewish, Islamic… but we are all one people. Why is that so hard to imagine?

On the news, you see signs in other countries that say “Go Home Americans” and I wonder why is that when we don’t like a country’s policy we automatically blame the whole country. It’s not just other countries blaming the US. We do it here too. The French are all bad or “those Iraqi people” don’t want us there…

What upset me more than hearing all of these strangers say these things are when I hear families who are touched by Korean adoption say these things. We face various forms of racism, prejudice and bigotry every day – even when you don’t personally experience it or hear about it. Facing it personally has made me much more aware of it in the world and it makes me think about the statements that I make. I just don’t understand how someone who faces these things themselves can turn around and make the assumptions towards another group. Whether it’s a Korean adoptee who makes generalizations about all Caucasians, a parent who makes a generalization about all Mexicans…

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