I Am a Racist

...at least by American definitions

I recorded a video for Doubtful Solutions today about something I learned regarding culture. Here’s the video:

What it comes down to is this: different people grew up in different circumstances and cultures. There are a few universal facial expressions, such as anger and fear, but most of it we learn from the people around us.

Face-to-face communication is also the single best type of communication humans possess. So reading another person’s face is pretty important, and something we learn early in our lives.

The problem is that faces, like languages, vary from race to race and culture to culture. It’s much harder to read a face that speaks differently than you’re used to. And that, my friends, can very easily look like racism, even though in actuality it probably isn’t.

Do we judge too quickly?

Spoiler: why yes, we do.

Racism is marketed as this huuuge problem in our culture right now. There are sensational videos showing many people hurt by this scourge called racism.

There are a lot of problems with those videos, but the main one is that they have no context. They show the beat-up, but that’s all they show. We have no idea what happened before or after. Is it actually someone in pain just because of their skin color?

There’s no way to know for sure, but my opinion is that generally that isn’t the case. More often it’s just a communication error, something that comes simply from two people unable to understand one another. Culture bias, not racism.

So instead of pointing fingers and blaming other people for the rampant racism in our country, why don’t we just spend more time trying to understand other cultures? Why don’t we learn to communicate on a more generic, more human level? I think if we did that, we would be in a much better place.

Travel people: it works.

blog comments powered by Disqus