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The Dry Grass of August
"A must-read for fans of The Help." - Woman's World
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How does someone become racist?

Created: 12/02/11

Replies: 9

Posted Dec. 02, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 503

Expert

How does someone become racist?

How does someone become racist? Do you have to be raised in that tradition or is this viewpoint inherent?


Posted Dec. 03, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
jeann

Join Date: 11/14/11

Posts: 42

RE: How does someone become racist?

I think it is a combination of things. How a person is raised by their parents, how their community behaves- i.e. whether the community is inclusive or close-minded, whether a person is respectful of people and views other than their own. Some people are intolerant of anyone who isn't like them- whether it is a different race, religion, economic status or sexual orientation. They are only comfortable being around "their own". Actually, this makes their world so small. We all have so much more in common than we realize. How a person becomes intolerant is one thing. How to become more tolerant is another question. Part of it, I would think is education. The more educated a person is- not necessarily traditional book learning- the more tolerant they are apt to be of people who are "different".

Reading a book like The Dry Grass of August really puts a human perspective on racial relations. It gives a person "food for thought" and can cause a person to really feel.


Posted Dec. 03, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
jeann

Join Date: 11/14/11

Posts: 42

RE: How does someone become racist?

I think it is a combination of things. How a person is raised by their parents, how their community behaves- i.e. whether the community is inclusive or close-minded, whether a person is respectful of people and views other than their own. Some people are intolerant of anyone who isn't like them- whether it is a different race, religion, economic status or sexual orientation. They are only comfortable being around "their own". Actually, this makes their world so small. We all have so much more in common than we realize. How a person becomes intolerant is one thing. How to become more tolerant is another question. Part of it, I would think is education. The more educated a person is- not necessarily traditional book learning- the more tolerant they are apt to be of people who are "different".

Reading a book like The Dry Grass of August really puts a human perspective on racial relations. It gives a person "food for thought" and can cause a person to really feel.


Posted Dec. 05, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
susang

Join Date: 04/21/11

Posts: 4

RE: How does someone become racist?

"You've got to be taught to hate and fear; You've got to be taught from year to year. It's got to be drummed in your dear little ear; You've got to be carefully taught.
You've got to be taught to be afraid, of people whose eyes are oddly made, and people whose skin is a different shade; You've got to be carefully taught.
You've got to be taught before it's too late, before you are six, or seven, or eight, to hate all the people you're relatives hate; You've got to be carefully taught." -- Rodgers and Hammerstein, South Pacific.


Posted Dec. 05, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 503

Expert

RE: How does someone become racist?

Great lyrics Susan, thank you for sharing! Here's a recording for anyone interested http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nHKzn8aHyXg


Posted Dec. 17, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
terrio

Join Date: 08/16/11

Posts: 41

RE: How does someone become racist?

I think an equally fascinating question is how does someone who is surrounded by racism NOT become a racist. It's easy to go with the flow and believe what others around you believe, without questioning those beliefs. Everyone else believes it, so it must be true. It's much harder to be immersed in a racist environment and yet not buy into the dogma. At what age did Jubie start to realize that she felt differently about "coloreds" than the rest of her family? And was her enlightenment due solely to her relationship with Mary?


Posted Dec. 17, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
bettyt

Join Date: 05/12/11

Posts: 117

Expert

RE: How does someone become racist?

It can also come from someone's experience with just one person from another race, religion, culture. If that person had a negative experience in that encounter then all people of that group are like that. I know I battle that constantly trying to remind people that the few do not represent the majority.


Posted Dec. 26, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
Terry R

Join Date: 12/26/11

Posts: 10

RE: How does someone become racist?

I agree with all these posts. It comes from your family, your community, and your personal experiences. I do believe, however, that it is entirely possible for people to change their opinions or to form different opinions than their family. I really look at racism as a form of insecurity and ignorance. A person must make thier own informed opinion. It is easier to blame an entire ethnic, religious,, or cultural group for the actions of one person or group than to understand that people are individuals with their own beliefs and ideals.


Posted Dec. 28, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
joyces

Join Date: 06/16/11

Posts: 235

Expert

RE: How does someone become racist?

I think racism is based in fear. I am referring to the fear of being forced out of our comfort zone. The things that are normal and particular to our own life are hard to change. In the segregated South this was very true and extremely hard for even the most educated and enlightened of both races to overcome.


Posted Jan. 03, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
carolj

Join Date: 04/14/11

Posts: 2

RE: How does someone become racist?

I think terrio's comment is interesting; how could you not be racist when everything around you tells you that Negroes were inferior, less than second-class citizens, to be treated as non-humans. Racist behavior also empowers the racist to be 'better' than someone else.


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