Racism, and just plain stupidness…

So, I just watched a documentary on racism in Canada, specifically as it relates to the aboriginal people of Canada. And… I’m still trying to absorb it all. I, I’m… I don’t really know how to put into words what I’m feeling right now.
 
The film was about a study done in Saskatchewan in which a bunch of blue eyed people were separated from the rest of the people and then spoken to and treated like aboriginals and other minorities are treated like all the time. It was an opportunity for white people to have the opportunity to walk in the steps of these minorities.
 
The thing is, a lot of what was said, was something that I’ve said, or heard said, or thought about. Now, before this, I would never have said that I was racist. But, I have said some pretty stupid and ignorant things. Things that are just assumptions, like “this group of people has shown itself to fit the stereotypes.” It’s so dumb, because I live in Canada, where a lot of people make fun of Americans. Most of it is just teasing, but there are some that genuinely think that Americans are stupid, and will make comments that are just rude. And I hate it! I can’t stand it, and if I can, I stand up for my country. Americans have done the same thing about Canadians at times, and again, I try and defend my country. The stereotypes are there and yes, you will always find someone to fit that stereotype if you look hard enough. But, overall, I love both of my countries and I love the people there. So, if this kind of attitude bothers me about my countries, why am I not bothered when I hear it other places.
 
The one thing that really hit me on this documentary was when one of the white people said, “I don’t look at you as different,” and the response was, ” But, that’s the point! I am different.” Often, what we do to fix the problem of racism is to treat minorities like they’re white, completely ignoring their ethnicity and therefore trying to erase what is an integral part of them. They don’t WANT to be white. Not acknowledging their culture and differences is an insult in and of itself. The answer is not to treat them like you, the answer is to treat them like they, as they are, are valuable and wanted in our society and accept them without question. At least that’s my opinion. And no, it’s not our job to walk in and fix everyone’s problems. But I think that I had an attitude check and it was valuable. And I really think it’s important for us to really evaluate our deep attitudes and see if there’s anything there that needs to be changed.
 
Prayer/Challenge: I would challenge you guys to prayerfully consider your interactions with people of all different ethnicities and cultures and ask yourself if your attitude has always been in the right place. Look for ways in which you can change your attitude and see if you can get involved in making a difference in the attitude of your immediate community.
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