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    • anitas9

      Its interesting reading what everyone is saying about racism in the past and how it was more racist back then and that people accepted racism more. It was more to do with the fact that beingaracist had no repercussions. So do you all really believe that racism doesn’t exist today?Ithink the face of racism is not flaunted for all to see like in the 70s, 80s and even 90s. Because now people don’t want to be sued or break laws because now there are repercussions. But it exists despite this, and in some ways its worse because its hidden and its hard to confront someone who is racist, who hides their racism in subtle ways…not hiring someone, failing to pass onapromotion, making assumptions about people (and yes, believing racial or other stereotypes is being racist and ignorant). Racism has always existed in Australia, with firstly the aboriginals used and treated like they were dumb animals by the whites and its beenaprocess of the government passing laws trying to make it up to them ever since, but not quite getting there!. In the 40s and 50s, it was the “spicks” and “wogs” who worked on the Snowy River Dam project and who brought amazing vegetables, fruits and foods that we all love today, and “nips” and “nazis”, the Japanese and German migrants who dared come here after WWII. Then with native title claims and what people saw as preferential treatment for aboriginals, once again it was “abo’s” and Sri-Lankan, Indians, Pakistanis and Malaysian-Indians who migrated here in the 70s and 80s to work when jobs couldn’t be filled were labelled “curry-munchers” and treated like they were stupid because they spoke English withastrong accent, and nowadays, its “blacks” and even “niggers” which includes anyone of African, Indian/Sri-Lankan/Pakistani origin and not least, there are “terrorist arabs/muslims” which includes anyone who has “Arab features” dresses in what the west views as traditional Arab style dress and anyone who isamuslim. And these are just some of the racist views held…but the whole world has prejudices/ Every country has prejudices against other races. Its natural to be suspicious of what you don’t understand. But its offensive and unacceptable when prejudices are acted upon…because that’s racism…such as when its the reason that someone is treated unfairly or differently to others.Iwould never sayIam not prejudiced becauseIam like everyone else andIdo have prejudices, butIwill never let treat someone badly because of it. That is the difference between having prejudices and beingaracist.Aracist acts on their prejudices and thinks their behaviour is justifiable because they feel superior. And yes, you can read books and watch movies that some people might find racially offensive, but any adults writing childrens books (e.g. Enid Blyton)and/or making childrens films (e.g. Walt Disney), have developed prejudices based on their own life experiences and interactions with influential adults when growing up.Iread Enid Bylton asachild and being someone who was called “black” or “nigger” constantly when growing up,Iactually didn’t find anything offensive about the golliwog characters, andIeven hadagolliwog because family and friends knew how muchIloved Enid Blyton.Ihad read all her books several times over by age 8. Likewise, watching Walt Disney films asachild,Ididn’t notice differences in skin colour, accent, appearance.Iwas just enthralled to be watching the story. The only thingIhave to say that was horrifying for me asachild, was reading the Brother Grimm. The original stories…not the adulterated versions. They were so terribly distressing to read thatIhad nightmares foralong time. The Brothers Grimm should have been called the Terrifying Gruesome Brothers. Their stories scared the bejesus out of me lol. So, as adults, we impose our own prejudices on our offspring and each generation seems to haveadifferent race or two to malign or whinge about.Ithinks its human nature to close ranks on outsiders. But usually, even if we havearacial prejudice, once we haveapositive interaction withaperson of that race (e.g. make friends or get to know someone at work, etc), we soon realise that they are just people like us who want the same things we want from life. However, we now live inaworld where political correctness has gone stark raving crazy. Police cannot racially profileasuspect. So, suspects can be caucasian or non-Caucasian, not African, Indian, Chinese, etc. There are places you cannot say blackboard or whiteboard or celebrate Christmas or Easter for fear of offending someone. Get real people…tolerance and acceptance means we should be able to celebrate our differences, not hide them away because some people think or act differently. As long as we are not condemning others in the process, or breaking laws, we all should be free to practise our religion, participate in cultural activities, dress as we like, as long as we are sensitive to others who don’t share the same views or beliefs. Why is that teachers cannot admonishachild for being naughty or correctamistake they have made and in childrens sport, there are now no winners and losers…because apparently they are all winners…because God forbid that we should scar them for life by letting them find out everyone else, aside from the one who came first, isaloser lol. Being reprimanded, being corrected or losingarace or game will make that childs life unbearable, right?. Wrong!!! Its preparing them for life knowing that you might not always succeed or win so that they can cope when things don’t work out the way they planned. Its teaching them that trying is important because if you didn’t try, you have lost before you even began, and if you lose, that’s just life, you put it behind you and train for the next race or game! Its showing them what is correct so they learn something, and preparing them to respond appropriately in social situations. Adults are now so politically correct that we feel it necessary to dissect childrens literature and other media…and its great to be able to analyse something objectively to “read between the lines” and although there are some things that might require changing, because children might be influenced to developanegative stereotype ofarace if something is blatantly obvious even to kids, butalot of what is negatively portrayed in books and films isn’t even noticed by children because they haven’t yet developed the prejudices that adults have. We should all be far more concerned about how parents, and other influential adults like teachers, are influencing childrens thinking and their development of what is acceptable to say and do in relation to different races. AsIsaid before, each generation in the past seems to have found it is justifiable to harbour suspicion and racial intolerance for whichever race was attracting negative media attention at the time. From Germans, Italians and Japanese after the two wars, to Arabs and Muslims after 9/11. What we should be more worried about is how our children are being taught by parents and the education system: will they develop skills like empathy and awareness and worldly knowledge which will make them less likely to develop prejudices, or are they being encouraged to be selfish, and less altruistic than previous generations, expecting reward for helping others, rather than helping for helpings sake, and will they be emotionally unprepared to deal with adversity and unable to interact socially with others who look different, disagree or hold alternate views…because that’s way more frightening than letting your kid read Enid Blyton or watch Disney movies. Will the next generation be just selfish and emotionally retarded and what kind of adults will they become if they think only of themselves and have no feeling for others woes or cares? In the end, with no prejudices, racism wouldn’t exist. But we must all care about the effect racism has, in order to change our own ways to be certain prejudices are not acted upon and that we don’t pass those same prejudices on to our children. Times change, and attitudes change. Intolerances exist for lots of things, from age, gender, sexual orientation, etc. We should all just try to be better people. Haveagood look at yourself. Be conscious of what you say and do, especially around children and teens. Try to accept others for who they are, despite differences, because isn’t that exactly what we want others to do for us. The world isn’t perfect, but that’s because humans are not perfect. But we can still try to be better people. :)

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