Photo Courtesy of Nam Y. Huh
Rooted prejudice does well to unleash cascades of harm to all those unfortunate enough to be near the splash zone.
Racial prejudice is a complex disease to cure. One that’ll take variable time and infinite patience to nurture away. Because that’s where it all began. Not by genetics, not by birth, but by nurture.
This disease is heavily impacted by environmental factors, and usually does well to alter your rational thinking and perception. And eventually, inevitably, your actions.
Some recent symptoms I’ve logged include:
-An easily angered father, bitter to strangers you’ve never met. Peculiar, until you start to see a pattern.
-A prim lipped mother who casually remarks on the concrete “nature” of others.
-Slurs scattered in the media you uphold.
-Laughs, shared across like-minded friends.
“Great minds think alike”, yet how many are aware that the quote cuts out “but fools seldom differ”?
-A small mind, due to a small world. Bubbled in.
If only one could venture out of this bubble. See how humanity blends so seamlessly. See how the lines blur so messily. Beautifully.
Strictly speaking, different ethnicities rose and adapted to different lands. People come together, and things as small as a little family tradition, can turn into so much more. Culture is limitless. It’s only natural, for different groups to form.
If only one could explore all these differences.
For that would be the greatest cure of all, to combat the greatest affliction of all.
Knowledge, to ignorance.
Of course, there are some medicines to be considered, that can help speed up the process. The humility pill, is a rare item. One that many people, from every point of the moral spectrum, lack. To accept the fact that you’re wrong may as well be considered a superpower these days.
This pill will help prevent a situation where you feel compelled to defend your case till the scathing end, by bringing a peace of mind from the start.
Another closely related pill offers an open mind. To not automatically shut out anything that could possibly threaten the shaky foundations of your worldview. Pride, a dangerous thing, often leads patients to an avid refusal of all treatment.
Stubbornness, can quickly lose its charm, in the face of lost lives.
A final pill, most important of all, would be sympathy. The thing that compels us all to be kind to others, the exact thing that has survived humanity so far. Some of the diseased typically develop a lack of sympathy, and cannot comprehend the other side, unless they explicitly go through it themselves to garner empathy.
A combination of these pills would do well to heal the patient.
When asked about recommendations, I can’t help but first think of the doctors, rather than the patients. Because doctors, whether in person or online, are rarely certified or successful with their remedies. Sometimes it works, but often times, all it does is make the patient’s closed off state of mind worsen.
Harsh, accusatory statements are all justified and understandable. To be expected. But in order to truly get through all the walls and barriers put up in long stemming denial, one must use a little more tact.
Those afflicted with racial prejudice will block off any remedies if they think the person wielding the spoon to be an enemy. One needs to appear as a potential friend. A person to be at ease with. But most definitely not one who is afflicted as well.
One method I’ve employed before, was to feign nonchalance. As infuriating their claims may be, as heart wrenching their views may feel, one needs to remain calm and understand the consequences. They will either resume their ways, or they open up a little. If you jar the doors too wildly, they may shut ever tighter.
So I ask questions, pretending to be genuinely curious. To try and pick apart their thought process, until finally, something may click in their heads. Like how all those baseless statistics taken out of context, all of their choice experiences, all the words poured into their ears from their family and friend’s goblets… do not warrant for cruelty.
Sometimes this remedy works, sometimes it doesn’t and they cut you off immediately anyway. As the one administrating the shots, you also need to know when to call it quits. Some patients are too far gone in the disease, to any chance of rehabilitation. Focus your energy, if you feel benevolent enough, on saving those who still have hope.
But until then, keep on your masks.