Last week, we read an article about the hidden brain,where Vedantam states that unconscious messages are actually far more influential than conscious messages and will always tell us people’s races, even from a very young age. I agree with his statement, but I think the recognization/awareness of races is not unconscious because it’s easy for normal human beings to tell the differences of skin color, white, black or yellow. It’s apparent, not hidden anywhere. People are aware of it, while they just choose to avoid talking about it most of the time.
Races are there. How about racism? From my own observations and experiences,I tend to believe that racism still exists even though racial discrimination has been improved, just as William Faulkner said, which is also cited in the Whistling Vivaldi’s book, “The past isn’t dead and buried. In fact, it isn’t even past.” As a Chinese, who came to US for graduate study about 2 years ago, I know that Chinese immigrants were banned from entering the United States until 1943. Also, Chinese were prohibited from testifying against whites and were often assigned more dangerous jobs at some points. Now, situations has been improved a lot, Chinese people can apply H1 visa and have a good job and also apply for green card or citizenship. However, did the racism against Asian disappear? I guess it’s very hard. It’s not something superficial, it’s something deep inside your heart. Of course Asians can work, talk, or have dinner with whites, but you can still feel the subtle difference. One of my old friend who have lived in US for more than 30 years told me that it’s impossible to eliminate racism. One of my other friend who had his son in US told me that even his son speaks native English, it’s still very hard for him to have good White friends.
Racism is of course bad. Nobody can choose which country to be born. Nobody can choose his/her parents. Nobody can choose his/her historical epoch nor the circumstances of upbringing. But, we can choose how we shall live, how we shall deal with different races. Let’s be fair to everybody and treat everyone equally.