Saturday, July 12, 2008

Are People Really Racist Or Just Scared Of The Unknown Quantity?

Recently received this comment on the American political front: “I'm starting to realize now that the political season is well underway just how many people around me are racist deep down, though they won't admit it.”

That may or may not be true of America, I really can’t say! However, as an Aussie used to all Aussies being called racist, I wonder if most people being called Racists, are really racists but rather Isolationists with little or no real exposure to “other” people and thus by nature hesitant to accept “other “ people until those “other” people have proved themselves as individuals.

Last year, we went back to a rural New South Wales Town where we had once briefly lived, which, like most of rural Australia, has a bit of a reputation for being racist. While looking through their Daily Paper I came across a half page add for a certain Bank with a promotion for their Loans department of the whole Riverina District, with a largish colour photo of a man of obvious African heritage and an obvious African name to boot. (Ncube may not be as popular as Smith or Jones is here, but it is a common Zulu name in South Africa.)

Yes this bank was proudly; even loudly advertising that Lee Ncube was “Your Local Business Banker”. Now for this type of job, he would have to mingle with many of these local “so-called racists”, and I really could not imagine any Bank appointing him to this task, if they believed he would not get a fair hearing by the local people. It was quite obvious that Mr Ncube worked his way up in the organization and community and earned the trust and respect of the locals.

I have seen this same thing happen many times, in many different situations, where a new chum comes in and has to earn the old timers trust and respect, irregardless of colour or creed.

The problem is that many new comers come into a situation and demand respect and trust where they just have not yet earned it.

I won’t speak for all Aussies here but if you want this Aussie’s trust and respect, no matter what colour or creed you are, you have to earn it first and prove yourself worthy of it. Do that and you will “fit in” anywhere, no matter if in a photo you may look the odd one out!

Well that is my say! What say you?

1 comment:

Lynx217 said...

You know Walter, it's not so much about that as it is so many people's refusal to vote for ANYONE of a race or gender SOLELY based on that one characteristic. That is indeed the saddest part. After 232 years of wars and infighting for individual rights, we still haven't gotten beyond skin color. I'm not saying I'm pro-obama or pro-mccain. I'm merely saying that we as Americans (and anyone in a democratic-voting nation) need to judge candidates based on qualifications, not things they were born being. We shall see how this "competition" changes us as a country and the entire world before too long. I can only hope it isn't a step backward.
Now you are right though too. A lot of the more "rural" folks, especially those who have rarely if ever visited a big, culturally diverse city, are usually not as "racist" as one would deem them. They just don't know how to approach something or someone so radically different from them.