The Roots Of Racism This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   When one thinks of racism, one usually thinks of a KKK member with burning crosses, the prison camps of World War II or the Rodney King beatings. While all of these are extreme cases of racism, most racism is subtle and silent.

Racism results from being brought up with ignorance and intolerance. Most racism comes from the home or the home environment. A parent's views can get passed down or the media can affect one's thoughts.

In one case, if a white child is brought up in an all-white environment, s/he will see a black or Asian child and say "Look, this person is different from me. This person is not like me. This person is not part of my group." But if a child is brought up in a mixed and non-isolated environment, s/he will say "He is just like me; skin color doesn't matter." If a child is kept isolated from other races, what can one expect but discomfort and misunderstanding?

Have you ever said to yourself when you watch television, It seems like all those blacks are good athletes or Asians all have foreign accents and can't speak right? Have you ever thought All blacks are gang members or White people can't play sports? All of these stereotypes are because of ignorance. One has to realize that just because a person is part of a race, s/he is not the same as everyone else, and one has to realize that each is an individual, set apart from one's group.

The only way we can stop racism is to wake up to the world and realize that, yes, people are different, but they are no less and no greater than you are. Until this is learned by all people, about all races, we will never truly be free. n


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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