I have happiness in my heart and a thorn in my soul

Socially accepted racism

on September 10, 2013

My two daughters each have a vintage style cabbage patch doll. They like to take them out with us sometimes, last night i saw my pdoc and in the waiting room a woman reached over to me and said “good on you for getting your daughter a brown doll” – i simply smiled instead of getting into it in the doctors waiting room, but afterwards my daughter questioned it. she asked ‘mum, why did that lady say that’ and i told her it’s because she thinks mummy was making a statement about race equality by buying you a doll that is brown. my daughters big blue beautiful eyes looked up at me and said “i never even thought of her as brown, she’s just tasha” – this is because i’m teaching my children not to see colour in the same way that my generation was taught to see colour.

I’m 32, my mother and her husband are somewhat racist, my grandparents were typical australians, they would never discount a person on a one on one basis based on their race, but they did tend to generalize racial groups, which is something rife in australia. When it comes to “boat people” or immigrants, it’s very much us and them. A lot of people think these people are coming to our country and stealing our resources and getting government hand outs, they don’t pause for a moment to think of the situation these people have left behind them and that they deserve to be here, they deserve to live in a place where they are safe and don’t have to worry about militia or where their next meal will come from or any such issues.

The fact of it is, most middle class australians try not to be racist, but it’s hard when the media shows Aboriginals in the light that it does, when the stories that get reported on them are never positive but always relate to alcohol and substance abuse, incest or child molestation. True, in some areas these issues are rife, but it’s not something an entire race has to answer for, just as much as there’s a bunch of gross old white men out there looking at child pornography on their computers every day, as a caucasian person i would never expect to be held accountable for the acts of these men, yet a lot of people view the entire race of Aboriginals as drunk child molesters, it makes my heart sad.

I was in England when the London bombings occurred and suddenly anyone wearing a turban or a hijab was viewed suspiciously. I moved back to Australia not long after the bombings and found the same mentality here, most not even realizing that those wearing a turban are an entirely different religion to those they think they’re hating. I have worked with quite a few Muslims and have found them to be much like anyone else, sure they have different religious holidays but they laughed at jokes like anyone else, cried when they were sad like anyone else, treated me with kindness and if you look at the structure of their religion, it’s actually quite beautiful, much like most religions, their true point isn’t to segregate and alienate but to spread love and generosity amongst people. It’s easy to get caught up in the negative aspects of any race/culture/religion, all of them have negative aspects, but perhaps it’s time we look further into the positive aspects and try to respect each others differences for what they are, not a choice to be unlike one another but simply differences.

A school mum recently congratulated me on “letting” my children have play dates with kids from a vietnamese family, i told this woman i had spent time with the parents just like i would with any family before letting my children go to their house, found them to be very nice people, so why wouldn’t i let them have play dates? she responded ‘oh you know, they do things very differently’ to which i told her ‘different isn’t bad, it’s just different’ she hasn’t spoken to me much since then, but in my opinion that’s for the best, if a narrow minded person dislikes you, then you must be doing something right.


5 responses to “Socially accepted racism

  1. Wow! I cannot believe that other mom’s comment… It’s like when I have people say, “Good for you, teaching your kids to be accepting of same sex marriages.” Ummmmm… I’m not “teaching” them that, any more than I’m teaching them to “accept” opposite sex marriages. We just have friends from all sorts of families.

    It just blows my mind when people say things as if they are sure you feel the same way.

    • mckarlie says:

      Yeah when a person makes a comment like that thinking they’re being inclusive and understanding it actually stanks of ignorance, but it wasn’t the time or place for me to try and ‘educate’ her. I’m doing that with my children and friends, sharing opinions and raising them to not see colour or gender or sexual orientation as ‘issues’ but just as differences between us and others, and that differences are what makes life interesting.

  2. ztepf says:

    Quote Of The Day: if a narrow minded person dislikes you, then you must be doing something right. – mckarlie 🙂

    • mckarlie says:

      Haha thanks lovely, i used to struggle with being disliked especially by the school mum community but now i’m more focused on being myself and the best version of me that i can be 🙂

  3. Hear Hear! Racism is just plain stupid. Nothing but idiocy!

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