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Racism, Open conversation or sickening argument rant.
I recently spouted off about racism. I said "probably doesn't know he is a racist, he 'really" feels that way. We need to understand that legislation alone doesn't eradicate racism. Legislation is a crucial step but the more important step is open dialogue and discussion of the issues and roots. We have used legislation as an excuse not to face, not to talk about the ugly mental illness that racism is in this country. Racism is a mental disease, I don't mean it can't be helped but it is aberrant thinking. . The therapy is better understanding and open discussion, also action. We need to stand up against it and and recognize it." I really believe this, that open discussion and dialogue will fight racism. I feel we have to stand up to the dialogue. I have learned this to my advantage. We were all raised with cultural truths that may not be as true as we feel. I have had my mind changed in surprising ways by listening. Things I was sure of, when seen from another perspective were different than I thought. When I spouted off about how we need to talk more. I failed to realize was one obstacle is I hate listening to racists. I don't like to spend half the time disabusing them of the imaginary stands assigned to me. The seemingly endless, weary, accusations, justifications, emptying their preconceived basket about what I think and see, getting to the point where it isn't what they imagine what I would say, or I imagine what they would say. Getting to where I show I don't think, if someone takes one side or the other of an issue such as affirmative action , one is a racist or is not a racist. It is a side winding dialogue that is exhausting. I feel people should be looked at as individuals. When one paints another person with a series of stereotype attributes based on what color they are, to me it just is a false picture. The next step is often some sort of , but people of color have prejudice. Yup, all kinds of people are prejudiced, but prejudice and racism is not the same, but they are cousins. So first we start with definitions, then I have to be strong, to shut up and listen. to even be stronger and identify if it is not a conversation, either from me or from the other person, but two people just ranting off the other. not engaged. It is a lesson in humility, in perspective, and in courage. So my first definition is not what is racism but what is conversation.