There are few subjects more likely to attract differing views, explosive comments and very different opinions than those of hate and racism especially when confined to America. These are subjects which literally split many areas of the world down the middle and unfortunately can often overshadow the real issues which need to be addressed in order to allow the vast majority of the world’s population to live together.
There are also varying degrees of hate and racism, different “reasons” behind various people’s thinking and third parties which often come into play to stir up resentment and possible conflicts. Let’s take a look at the opinions expressed in this particular thread!
Background to the thread
A simple question regarding any experiences of hate or racism in America and mention of the so-called “patriots” has attracted massive attention since the post began, around 18 months ago. There is a suggestion that some Americans are very much against foreigners moving into the country even if in some cases this is for the better of the American economy and America as a whole. So let us look at the issues we need to address.
Does hate and racism exist?
While this particular thread is centred upon America and hate and racism issues in that country there is no doubt that these two issues are commonplace around the world in varying forms and against varying groups of the population. If you were to ask 10 people their views on hate and racism and what exactly they understood by the term you would likely get 10 different opinions and 10 different interpretations.
Unfortunately, America being the size it is and the massive array of different nationalities and ethnic groups within always seems to attract derogatory headlines with regards to hate and racism.
There is no doubt whatsoever that many hate and racism issues around the world are purely and simply down to a lack of education or lack of understanding potentially on both sides. While on one side you may have a group of foreign nationals moving to America who are ignored and potentially abused by the locals, and you may have American nationals in a foreign enclave also feeling a “stranger in their own country”. There is a need to begin educating people and promoting harmony amongst different races, religions and nationalities.
A number of people on the post have commented that very often the views of the young and old alike tend to come from the beliefs and teachings of their parents. As a consequence, it may take many many years to even reduce the levels of hate and racism seen in some areas of America because the children of today need to be educated so that they can educate the children of tomorrow.
Seeing foreign nationals as a threat
Two areas which seem to attract a number of potentially hate and racist comments are the economy and employment. However, is it really racist to suggest that any one country should look after its own “nationals” before employing significant numbers of foreign workers?
This is a debate which has been going on for decades and one which will no doubt continue for some time to come. In reality there are pros and cons for each side of the fence with many foreign nationals offering skills which may not be readily available in the local workforce although ultimately where groups of foreign nationals get together they may have undue influence on the local employment market which can cause resentment. In many ways the main task is getting people to work together first of all and introducing laws which will effectively push these warring parties together in a controlled environment.
It is only human nature for people to be concerned about their own welfare and that of their families and in times of economic recession, such as we see today, a number of American nationals are in serious financial trouble and desperate for jobs. This has magnified instances of racism across the country and can often cause more problems when openly discussed.
America in particular is a country with very different and very traditional political beliefs and political parties. Due to certain rights enshrined in American law, although some would argue against this, we have seen a number of highly racist and highly offensive groups move into the political scene with limited success in certain areas of the country. Politics and the government of the day have a major part to play in controlling racism and hatred and also encouraging people of all races, religions and nationalities to work together.
Of all the issues involved in hatred and racism the media, and education, are probably the most powerful and potentially harmful. While we have covered the problem associated with a lack of education above, the media can and has in the past inflamed certain situations to provoke outrage across the country. Let’s not forget that certain media outlets in some cases create controversy and prolonged conflicts to make their headlines, something we saw in a number of court cases throughout America.
The media in America is a very powerful outlet and one which is very politically sensitive and funded by people who often have hidden agendas and their own personal beliefs. The likes of CNN have been accused of racism with regards to the Middle East while other countries around the world have been accused of anti-Americanism and giving incorrect opinions and information about the states. In simple terms, depending on which media outlets you use and which media publications you read you will come across a standard theme from any particular media company which could possibly become enshrined in your own beliefs over time.
While many people assume that racism is very much based upon the colour of a person’s skin this is not always the case and no act of racism should be seen to be any worse than another just because it is based on religion, skin colour or nationality. Hatred and racism are very powerful emotions and unfortunately in times of trouble, such as the recession we are experiencing now, it does not take much to inflame these potentially dangerous emotions with the potential for violence and worse.
Education, the media and the government of the day have a very big part to play in controlling hatred and racism but ultimately many groups of people and nationalities around the world have instilled in them a “tribal mentality” which could in many cases be very hard to crack.
Even though it would be wrong to suggest that racism is worse now than it was 20 years ago, 40 years ago or 50 years ago there is no doubt there is still much to be done and America unfortunately in the eyes of many epitomises the problems of multicultural societies of today. It is also disappointing to see that many of the more positive aspects of multicultural societies are overshadowed by a relatively small number of hate and racism issues cases which can undo many years of good work in just a matter of hours!