Dear Ms. HeartBeat:
I am a 17-year-old female and I am Persian. I have never dated a Persian guy before either. I’ve dated a lot of races in my past, the majority of my ex-boyfriends have been Black though. I just wonder why people have to be haters… why can’t they just respect other people’s choices?
Girlfriend, if I had the answer to why people are evil, grudgeful, mean, hateful, jealous, stupid or prejudiced, I would be the richest person in the world, on all the television talk shows and in every magazine. I’d probably win the Nobel Peace Prize and every humanitarian and scientific award there is as well.
But to answer your question, I’d say that most racism is fear-based. Most people are extremely afraid of what they are unfamiliar with – the unknown. Actually when you think about this belief system, it is rather silly. I say that because we are born not knowing ANYTHING about ANYTHING. Every behavior and attitude, every taste and dislike we profess to have is learned.
So until someone has interaction with persons of other races or religions, s/he doesn’t know anything about that person and to be afraid of them is ridiculous. Same with different foods (and I have heard plenty of prejudices and negative comments when it comes to trying new dishes, or cuisines of other cultures as well).
People, in spite of allegedly being the most advanced form of animal, are actually quite foolish. Even people that profess to be solid, God-fearing Christians (going to church every Sunday and quoting from the Bible) have been known to be the same individuals that rant and rave about how they don’t like Blacks, or Latinos or Asians, how they should “go back to their own country” and form or join groups oriented around hating and separatism instead of loving togetherness.
I have no answer for you Amy. All I can tell you is to ignore those individuals as much as you can; tolerate them when necessary. Do YOUR thing and don’t really give a hoot about what others think about it.
Speak out against racism and hate crimes whenever you get an opportunity. Acknowledge that not everyone is going to have the understanding and acceptance of those that are different that you have. Feel blessed that you have parents that are not into hate but that taught you to love EVERYONE equally.
Hopefully, one day your schoolmates and neighbors will arrive at your level of social development. When that happens, the world will be a much better place for us all.