Understanding Racism

Now here’s a subject that’s never had the nuance it deserves … because a lot of people would rather weaponize the word than understand it. (koff koff leftists koff koff)

A couple of months ago, I had this conversation with a Hispanic friend of mine. He told me he had only two non-Latino friends, myself being one, and the other friend seems to only be in his life so that he can get away with offensive Mexican jokes. Then, he told me, “But, what I really appreciate about you is that you never make those jokes at all. You don’t act like you’re friends with me just to get away with that.”

Then, I told him, “Believe it or not, I used to be racist toward Hispanics when I was a kid.” It’s true. I wasn’t raised by anybody who was racist at all, but I was. And I elaborated, telling him how the only bullies at school were Hispanic, namely a kid named Rico, and whenever school supplies, or once even a CD of mine was stolen, it was always by one of the Hispanic kids … like Rico, or Raphael. I told to my friend that I never admitted this to anyone before; not once. Then, I started to describe something very funny and strange. I told him that when I became an adult, my favorite group of people became Latinos, and for the longest time, I didn’t even remember that I used to be racist toward them. And once I remembered, I found it hilarious; hilarious to have forgotten entirely, then that same demographic became my favorite.

This experience taught me a lot about racism itself. Where it comes from, namely, but it also has me believing that it almost (almost) never says anything about a person’s character. I’ll explain.

When I was at that age, I didn’t even understand what races are, I didn’t understand why people spoke different languages, nothing. The only reason I felt that way toward Hispanics was simply because of the behavior I observed, coupled with the fact I wasn’t one of them. And it was never hatred, it was me noticing a pattern and not liking that pattern. I didn’t even have an opinion of why they seemed to act that way, I just simply didn’t like what I saw. It’s the whole reason I forgot that I used to be racist: The older I got, the more I saw Hispanics not acting that way. The older I got, the less and less I saw such a pattern. If I was full of hate, I wouldn’t have stopped being racist, and I certainly would never have forgotten having been racist in the first place.

I’m convinced all racism works this way. To dislike, or even hate, people simply because of their skin color is too stupid to be a thing. Maybe it is a thing, but honestly, I just have a hard time believing a reason that stupid can ever be a real reason. It’s got to be behavior. And belonging to any particular race doesn’t make that person behave in any way at all. It can, and often is, the people they’re surrounded by, and human beings often surround themselves with their own races (which I’ll get into). But no, without a doubt, belonging to any race doesn’t make you behave in any way. Ideologies do, but that’s another discussion entirely.

Also, many, many people make the mistake of trying to fuse culture with race. One’s feelings toward any particular culture relates back to the fact it’s behavior people judge, not melanin. Everyone, and I mean everyone, doesn’t like at least some aspects about certain cultures. Hell, I’m American and there are things about American culture I can’t stand. Feelings toward cultures is not racism, as much as leftists desperately try to stretch the word to apply to such.

One thing you have to keep in mind is that humans are social animals, and that makes us tribal. We cling to our tribe, and think less of those not in our tribe (however slightly or drastically). Tribes aren’t always based on race, but we are still tribal in whatever ways we value most. For some it’s religion, for some it’s geographic location (Oregonians overwhelmingly hate Californians, which isn’t racial at all). Everyone has some degree of some type of tribalism. We’re social animals. There’s security in numbers, and even more security when you’re surrounded by what you’re already familiar with.

It’s still true we’re all individuals, but we still like our groups. We’re drawn to people who are like us. Potheads hang out with potheads. Gamers make friends with gamers. Christians prefer to marry Christians. Sometime’s, it’s race we cling to. As much as that should be the one thing nobody cares about, sadly, humans overwhelmingly care about race, to at least some microscopic degree, no matter what your race is. Regardless of the circumstance, most people would rather spend most of their time with their own race. It’s not hatred at all most of the time, it’s just a preference. (I’ll never know what that’s like because I’m too mixed to belong to any one race.) So, when I was a kid and I had these ignorant feelings, I still knew it wasn’t all Hispanic kids. My favorite friend at the time was Hispanic (his name was Eder, if I remember correctly). Still, I noticed it was them a lot of the time. Which, again, means I didn’t like what I noticed, not that I was “wired” to feel negatively toward an entire group.

Nonetheless, it was still ignorance on my part as a child. Dislike or hatred toward entire groups of people, whether it’s race or sex or religion, is always based in ignorance. In literally (I emphasize: literally) every demographic out there, there are good and bad apples. That is also human nature. And I’ve always understood this, I just as a child didn’t quite understand it well yet. (10 years ago, when I used to bash Christianity on a regular basis, I still had a Christian best friend.) Bring enough people together, and every single time, some of them will be shitty. Remember the “Subscribe to PewDiePie” movement, and Pewds had to ask everyone to stop because some people were writing the slogan on memorials and such? Pewds made the same argument: Millions of people were involved in the “Subscribe to PewDiePie” movement, and inevitably, some of those people did some really shitty things, tarnishing the entire movement.

A lot of you might be wondering what made me so fond of Hispanics after I grew up. Honestly, it was also experience. It was especially after I happened to get a bunch of Hispanic friends, all at the same time. I became friends with one guy, and whenever I was around him, I was around all his fellow Hispanic friends, and they all welcomed me into the group no problem. I always wished I was closer to them, but I never pushed it, because the unfortunate truth was: I was never going to be one of them. I’m very mixed, but none of my racial mixture is Latino, and I don’t speak any Spanish. Reminds me of a line from Boardwalk Empire. “You’re Irish, Jimmy. They’re Italian. You’ll always be an outsider.” That’s always gone through my mind when I’m around them: I’ll always be an outsider.

But to be specific, I came to notice that Hispanics have such a strong sense of family. They really take their families and friends seriously. I admire (and envy) the hell out of that! Even when one of their mommas whoops their ass, they just say, “Eh, whatever, she’s my momma!” Not to mention how quickly my Hispanic friends accepted me. They weren’t the ones who made me feel like an outsider, I made myself feel that. Not sure if it was because I felt I had to, or because I just didn’t want to possibly ruin how close they were to each other. Maybe I just always felt inferior? My family and friends situations have always been in the garbage, since I was born, so maybe I just felt unworthy to be close to them? Oh, and also the food. I absolutely LOVE Mexican food. Last cause of my change of heart was because, in 2006 and 2007, I went to Mexico with my church youth group, and both times, I asked to stay, because those who lived there had so little, yet they were 100x happier than anybody in America, even while San Diego was RIGHT THERE in view. Still, they were such a happy people, and I loved that.

Another thing I’ve noticed (which I’ve touched on a little already) is how friendly they can be. Just the other day, I was waiting at a gas pump to fill up my work car, and the Hispanic guy ahead of me was not only friendly, he actually seemed … excited? … to talk to me. Then when he was done, he said, “Alright, there you go, my friend!” I’ve observed this kind of thing for years upon years. Like their sense of family applies to literally everyone, even complete strangers. (It doesn’t literally, but they act like it does.) I mean, that’s just so awesome, and you don’t get that from any other group of people; not really.

So, yeah, my ignorance as a child fixed itself and I didn’t even notice for the longest time. And it flipped to the complete opposite direction.

Something you have to keep in mind, though… I think it’s wrong and even ignorant to have a favorite race of people. Even though in this case such feelings are highly positive, it’s still a lumping-everyone-from-one-demographic-together mentality. It also, by the mere definition of ‘favorite,’ puts everyone else on a lower tier. I can’t help it, honestly, but that doesn’t mean I think it’s right. One can’t help how they feel, good or bad, but the least I can do is recognize I shouldn’t. Not everybody is the same, and that applies even when feelings are of admiration. We are all individuals.

There will be a Pt. 2 to this, where I will talk about how leftists are the worst racists of all and why they get away with it.