We’re all somewhat “racist.” We can’t help it. It’s not only normal, it’s natural. Racial profiling is an involuntary response, but until we come to terms with that fact, the ability to foster meaningful change remains limited. Knowledge (and honesty) is power.
Association is our brain’s first line of defense. Whenever we meet or see somebody new, our brain immediately and involuntarily creates a profile based upon a lifetime of positive/negative associations. It’s called “conditioned response” and it’s continually being influenced. Race is a dominant visual cue that our brain processes. Teaching tolerance and the reality of racial equality is imperative, but repetitive exposure to historical and contemporary news profiles involving specific races is highly influential. Everything we do contributes to individual and racial stereotypes and every race creates its own profile that education can only attempt to alter. Racial equality comes tantalizingly closer with time, but only as each race embraces and consistently demonstrates equal respect, tolerance and consideration to an observant world.
America fought its bloodiest war defending racial equality. We’ve led the world in the push for civil rights, leveling the playing field for all, regardless of race, color or creed. The rest is up to you ....
Michael Howard, Boise