Race is an issue people tip toe talking about. After 4 years of school studying English with a minor in Women’s Studies, I have all but thrown out my fear about talking about race because I had to do it a lot. A lot a lot. However, in my last class of my degree a man made the following comment that shocked me, “I don’t think we can ever get full equality. And it is because there is just a trait, a gene, inborn in people that make them value lighter skin color over dark.” I always try to keep my cool and respect opinions but on this one I blurted out, “Well that is sad because you are part of the problem. If you think it is a trait someone is born with, then the only way to truly get rid of racism is to breed it out. I don’t think that is the answer. I think that is the same kind of dangerous thinking that motivated genocide in our history. The same kind of thinking that keeps people hating others. The same kind of thinking that makes change seem hopeless. I find it more plausible that after centuries upon centuries of cultures who valued one race over another for religious reasons, for status reasons, for stupid reasons…it is going to take some time to uproot that weed in our society. But it can be uprooted. Progress is slow, painfully slow.”
His response: “….”
Please. Honestly, please. Let’s not throw our hands up because racism is still alive, this is the time that we should be fervent in knowing that change is active…it is slower than I like…but it is active. Racism, prejudices, are not inherited by genes, it is propelled by ignorance and hate. That gives me hope knowing that we can make our future better.