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“Attack the Source”‘I have a dream that my four little children will one day livein a nation where they will not be judged by the color of theirskin but by the content of their character”(Martin Luther King Jr.) Throughout American History, racism has always been a major conflict. Racism is defined as any practice of ethnic discrimination or segregation. Racism hit its high point in the 1960’s and today it is still flooding society. Throughout schools in America, racism suffocates the classrooms, cafeterias, and hallways.
There are many programs aimed at stopping racism but teachers and socialization programs cannot sway the racism out of the children’s minds. The children are not the problem. They are the products of what their parents created. From the day a child is born, it is learning from his or her parents. Instead of trying to cram a child’s mind with anti-hate messages, teachers should attack the source of this problem, household, before it is too late.
It is not the teacher’s fault that they cannot help their students avoid racism.
Racism is everywhere and it begins in the home. If a child grows up in a racist household, he or she more than likely will take the traits of his or her parents. If parents teach their children that their race is far superior and other races are evil, that child will grow up believing his or her race is better than other races. Racism in the home is extremely prevalent on television.
Many talk shows discuss families that groom their children for the Klu Klux Klan and families that promote White Power to their children. Children don’t know right from wrong. They do what their parents do and say. If a father tells his young child not to play with the black boy down the block because he says black people are bad then that child will believe his father. Children are fragile and extremely ignorant creatures. Children learn from their parents just like animals do in nature. For example, a baby bear is taught everything by his mother. It is taught how to hunt, where to seek shelter, how to defend its self, and how to act around other animals. If this baby bear is taught only to socialize with the brown bears and stay away from the black bears then that is what the baby bear is going to do. The same exact thing goes with humans. If parents teach their children to only socialize with white people then that is exactly what the child is going to do.When I was a child growing up my best friend’s father was extremely racist. He did not want anything to do with black people.
My friend was told not to associate with black people. His father even tried to get me to follow in his beliefs, but my parents taught me different. My parents taught me not to judge people by their skin, just like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said. As time progressed I noticed that the beliefs of my friend’s father stuck in my friend’s head. Racism grew like a cancer in my friend. At first my friend would tell racist jokes. I figured he didn’t mean any harm with these jokes so I let them pass without question. Over time I noticed that he believed these jokes and took them seriously. It got to the point where I would just ignore him, but there were times when he couldn’t be ignored. I tried to talk to my friend, but it was like talking to a brick wall. The beliefs of his father were tattooed on the inside of his brain. I didn’t know what to do. I had no idea that the worst was yet to come. My friend started becoming extremely vocal in public. There was a time I was talking to one of my friends, who happened to be black after my high school’s football game and my racist friend pulled me aside and said, “Hey Nick why are you talking to him?” That might sound like an innocent question, but if you knew my friend, you knew what he meant. This was the beginning of the end. I was really getting aggravated with my friend but one the other hand I was getting worried for him. I was worried that he would say the wrong thing at the wrong time and end up getting seriously hurt. Another time, we were walking down the street and a black kid, no less than ten years old walked by, and my friend said, “I bet that nigger stole that jacket!” My mouth dropped. I couldn’t believe his latest ignorant remark. I asked my friend if he ever needed a liver transplant and that black kid was the only possible donor, what would he do? He replied, “I would probably die!” This was the straw that broke the camel’s back because a friendship of sixteen years ended at that moment.
Parents are the biggest influence in a child’s life. Children look to their parents for support and guidance. Without the proper support and guidance, children are headed on a road to nowhere. Racism is not something that will just disappear. But it is possible to minimize it if we keep it under control. Yes we can still teach about unity and equality in our schools, but if we don’t attack racism where it begins, then those school programs won’t be of any value. Not all children will fall into the category that my former friend fell into. Many children grow up in racist households. My friend was a prime example of someone who couldn’t climb the wall of racism but there are many children out there who climb the wall of bigamy every day. The problem of racism isn’t a permanent problem. Racism is like a cancer, if it is caught early enough it could be treated but if it is caught too late it could be deadly. Therefore we must attack racism from its source, the household, before it is too late.
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