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« Now, there are good laws, and bad lawsTo Eternal bracers and Save Dibbiners »

Racist by instinct...

  • By: Qwaider

  • On:Tuesday, February 27, 2007 4:49:04 AM
  • In:Thoughts
  • Viewed: (6472) times

    • Currently 4.4/5 Stars.
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    Rated 4.4/5 stars (137 votes cast)

    A recent post I made about an interesting incident that happened to me while visiting a restaurant got me to think about the whole matter. And since I have one of those intertwined minds one thing lead to another and I found myself drawing some interesting conclusions...

    Let me introduce you to two species, Homo-Neanderthalensis and Homo-Sapiens, both lived at around the same time...

    The two species eventually faced off, and we (homo-sapiens) won. Not only that, we drove the "different" species to extinction. The two species didn't marry, and there is no DNA evidence that shows that Homo-Neanderthals have contributed to our DNA. in other words, they didn't intermarry either

    Now, imagine that all of this ended 24,000 years ago way before any culture, religion or anything existed for humans. Which means, Humans killed anything that didn't look exactly like them.

    Another thing that jumped to my mind is the proverb, "Ignorance is the enemy". And anything we can't explain, or understand is considered an Enemy. Including humans that look different.

    We are afraid of unfamiliar things. We think it might harm us ..

    Positive and Negative discrimination.

    Can discrimination have positive and negative forms? Yes, absolutely.  A universally good looking race will be better treated because they're viewed in that way. That is still discrimination but it's the acceptable version, the pleasant one.

    This can also be symbolized with sympathy. For example when people sympathize with a wheeled chaired person. Little do they know that the "extra" help they provide is really another form of discriminating against that person. It might be positive, but it's not what people would naturally do

    Take another example. Men being extra nice to women, going out of their way to serve, help, assist, do their homework ...etc that is also a form of discrimination, but again, a positive one that is welcome, and you would never find anyone complaining that ... "Oh, someone is too nice to me"

    And the last example, is the example of pretty people. An attractive lady will have a much easier time even with women. This is a form of discriminating against beauty, but it's an acceptable positive one.

    It's HARD to keep an open mind

    With discrimination being an integral part of our instinct, upbringing, and culture. It's really hard to see the other side. (let's face it, if it wasn't that hard, people would have lived in harmony by now) but it's really hard.

    Fear!

    Fear is what makes us survive, it has served us very well over the past, over the course of human existence, fear distinguished between the people who lived on, and the ones who were a dead end and they're dead now and didn't leave anything behind them

    This instinctual fear makes us protective of the familiar norms that we grew in, and therefore view anything external as a threat. We might not totally annihilate it, but we certainly don't want our daughters to marry it!

    Discipline:

    The human mind, soul and behavior can learn, adapt and promote higher values. The more time that is spent on this, the greater the understanding and acceptance people have among each other.

    Children, unlike adults, have pure reflexes, uninhabited responses in the most innocent of ways, they need the couching and understanding of their parents to reach a position where they will not have racist tendencies. Unfortunately many parents instill the wrong values in their own kids.

    Conclusion..... What should we do...?

    Try not to discriminate against other people, either positively or negatively .... This might help...:

    Look at the person, imagine it was YOU in their position, don't look at their color, gender, beauty, and anything else. Just look at yourself and say, "Would I do this to myself?"

    At the end of the day, we're all human. And we all have these tendencies to naturally reject a person for some ill-reasons. We sometimes fight it, and sometimes, we just can't

    Other Memories Documented on February 27
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    Memories....

    Darwin Qwaider ladies and gentlemen :D
    Nice post Q, we fear what we don't know its as simple as that, and discrimination is never a positive one, would you be okay with a handsome man getting better service than you at a restaurant? or get a job just because he is better looking. its positive for the good looking people but for the rest of the world its negative ! I know that from first hand experience, as a woman I get things done in Ministries a lot faster that my male colleagues, I may say its positive but the poor dude who arrived three hours before me will not think its positive.
    • #3
    • Naryat
    • Windows Internet Explorer
    • Said
    • On: 2/27/2007 10:41:30 AM
    Aha...
    So you kept thinking andthinking untill you reached these conclusions :-)
    Good...
    I agree with you... its not racism or discremination as much as it is a natural human behaviour, to devide people in the background of mind into groups according to certain standards.. Like: ladys, gentlemen... misses and Mistresses... black people, white people... and your mind according to your previous experience sets certain rules to deal with each group... this is the usual case...
    And as you mentioned and explained before, certain themes might be attached in people's minds for certain groups, like "an arab looking person has tohave a name hard to spell", or like the example i gave you in our case "circassian looking lady will possess a name hard to recognise"...
    No doubt this behaviour can have bad reflects too!
    My dad used to live in italy for a couple of years, he was with a group of people, and yes, they were all treated as "they look arab, they have to be caotic"... gal ya3ni eltelyan elli kteer mgat3een elnizam! ;-)
    Maioush
    LOL thanks ;-)
    Tamara:
    Absolutely, it's all out of fear
    Now, I didn't say it's OK, I said, it's plausible, more acceptable, people tend to let it pass. Unless it causes them to lose something personally
    And that story you said about women getting the official business done much faster than men, that's absolutely true, just ask any lady who ever had to do it

    Naryat:
    I'm so glad you didn't disappear from the bloggosphere, it would've been a shame :)
    Yeah, I thought about it for a while. This is how I function, I get an idea, and think about it for a while, I let it sit and marinate in my brains, and then I try to make sense of it
    You know what I do when people expect me to do the "Arabic" thing?? I give them what they're seeking. I give the the nasty Arab in me... maybe I'll tell you later what that means :D
    • #5
    • laila
    • Windows Internet Explorer
    • Said
    • On: 2/28/2007 2:24:26 AM
    Interesting, I would say prejudice or forming an opinion about someone because of where they are from or their physical characteristics, circumstances or sex is natural. Actual discrimination is allowing these ill formed conclusions to translate to action. Mind you in combatting discrimination we must introduce a counter-discriminatory policy to balance it out. So in sweden a recent study showed an intrinsic discrmination in favour of male fellowship applicants, to combat it they may introuduce an active discrimination for women applicants... it is why statements like 'women are especially encouraged to apply' are not construed as 'bad' when the job is based in a male dominated sector.
    However these are well thought out policies to balance things out, and not implusive as is the case with individual discrimination... which is where I agree with you that it must be combated, and the best way to eliminate it is to NOT voice our prejudices.

    Thought provoking post!
    • #6
    • Khalil
    • Windows Internet Explorer
    • Said
    • On: 9/21/2007 10:10:14 AM

    Though I thank you all for trying to be honest and address the problems of racism upfront. However, the problems of racism, deserves much more entertainment, particularly the problems of dark skin and lighter skin. This issue is the fuel of the Arab world. Maybe there should be a blogsite created to entertain this epidemic problem.

    Unlike most bloggers who lived in the US maybe just a lifetime, my entire family and grandparents have likewise also. Most importantly, their years of combined experiences have given me much insight on racism. But not like in the Arab world, the US can boast the accomplishments of brown skin people. Yes there are considerable number or blacks  in ghettos, suffering from illiteracy. But you can see blond hair, blue eyed, whites sleeping on the streets of the nation’s capital Washington DC likewise.

    But Americans are exemplifying their progress in race relations why the Arab world is still stifling progress. For example, just look at Dr. Ben Carson (whom probably nobody has ever heard of though he is the world’s leading neurologist at John Hopkins), Condoleezza Rice (Secretary of State), Oprah Winfrey (one of the world’s wealthiest business women), Mae Jemison (astronaut), and not actor but instead leading producer Denzel Washington (that does not cloud his movies with sexuality, drug use, obscenities, etc.).  These accomplishments would be impossible in virtually every Arab country. Hmmm, to date I do not know just one person with complexion of Oprah that has reached half of her accomplishments in an Arab countrty.  Should I mention that Tiger Woods (having an Asian mother and brown skin American father) would be the brunt of jokes in the Arab world. Thank God for the golf world he was born in the US.

    Sadly, women like Nancy Ajran and Haifah Waheby (sorry about the spelling) can’t hold a tune in a bucket of water. Worst, their musical abilities are not even close to Whitney Houston’s, but just being light (not white how Arabs claim) push them into stardom. Maybe that explains why Beyonce’s talent (with her caramel skin) has actually propelled her to perform around the world and the former two have not. Yes, Beyonce has performed on the Australian continent e.g. Sydney, Asian continent e.g. Hong Kong, throughout the North American continent in the US, Middle East e.g. Abu Dhabi (2005 Destiny Child performance), European Continent e.g. Germany, etc and Africa soon. But visit Taiwan, Amsterdam, or the UK, and you won’t be seeing concerts tickets or CDs in every store being sold for Nancy and Haifah. Is the point made about the importance of talent and not color to other countries (with intelligence)?

    But sadly, no Arab girl wants to be Beyonce or Rihana. Instead, they idolized Haifah, Nancy, and of course Britney Spears who is short of ‘trailer trash.’ And should I mention her song “My Prerogative” was originally written, produced, and sang by Bobby Brown. Who you are asking? Oh, he is just Whitney Houston’s husband or should I say ex-husband now (and black!). But they love this song coming from Britney but would have dared to be caught with his CD (with a black man on the cover).

    My fellow Arabs, go to your local pharmacies in Jordan, Oman, Lebanon, Kuwait and count the quantity of skin whitening soaps, fading creams, skin whitening vitamins, whitening lotions, whitening creams, etc.  Maybe you will find a mountain of items. Paradoxically, you will just find one type of neo-natal vitamin for expecting mothers. Where else can you see this racist backwardness, except in the Arab world?

    Just as an FYI, according to a neo-Nazi group on the web (Stormfront), they specified ancestry outside of Europe, your country not being English or centralized in North America, Europe, Australia, or English as the primary’s language, or not subscribing to Eastern Roman Orthodox Christianity excludes one from being white. So even though some Lebanese were Christians, fluent English speakers, with “very light skin and even blond hair,” they were victimized in the Australian beaches for no other reasons than being ‘rag heads’ e.g. Arabs! Stupid Australians!

    But to continue, my complexion similar to Oprah (though I think I am very handsome and would dare desire to be a half shade lighter) and I know that if I wanted to marry a Saudi, Emerati, Kuwaiti, etc. it would take an act of congress. Okay we know you have ‘one-friend’ that is married to a ‘black-one” as if this man is inanimate but today this is still a detestable thing in the Arab countries.

    So if you as an individual that has ‘one black friend’ that does not nullify my point. FYI point 2. Yes I have seen very dark brown people, I have yet to see one person actually being black but I use black for the sake of conversation.

    But now here is the juicy part. Did I mention that I converted to Islam many years ago? Though I hear many Muslims elaborating on Islam being the religion of all races, though true. However, 99% of the Arabs would not marry their daughter to someone from the other races particularly if he was NBA basketball star Michael Jordan’s color e.g black.

    Not like most Westerners who speak negatively about Arabs or Islamic culture though they have never left the comforts of their sofas, I have studied Islam to a decent extent, as well as traveled to many Arab cities: Abu Dhabi UAE, Manama Bahrain, Kuwait City Kuwait, Doha Qatar, and I have lived in Saudi Arabia for many years. So I am not speaking on emotion and instead from degree of scholarship. The Islamic culture at the time of our Prophet (peace be upon him) has been hijacked and now the world laughs at the practices by the society of people who claim ancestry and lineage to the great figures of Islamic history. And I can ascertain none of them were buying skin whitening cream as we see today. Instead they were proud of their Islamic heritage.

    Just knowing how backwards, greedy, and especially racist some Arabs are today it is so fortunate that I accepted Islam in North America. Had I come and seen the Arab world at first, I would have never considered converting to Islam and remained a Christian.
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