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I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality…. I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word. ~Martin Luther King, Jr. In the Book “The Racist Mind” by Raphael S. Ezekiel, racism is examined and more closely explored to why people would join hate groups. Ezekiel, who is Jewish and never attempted to hide it from the people he studied, vividly paints readers the results of seven years of research among America’s racist rights.
Despite his Jewish religion, Ezekiel’s respondents surprisingly cooperated with him and allowed him to study them. He did his research with different groups, including the Ku Klux Klan and the Neo-Nazi’s. He was interested in understanding the world that these racist leaders lived in and what caused them to feel and hate the way they do. In studying these groups thriving on hate and racism, Raphael Ezekiel would attend get-togethers, rallies and group meeting and observes and interacts with them. Through attending these events and with his observations, Ezekiel learned many things about these groups.
First, he discovered that for these white racist leaders and groups, there was absolutely no grey area. Meaning, you were either Black person or you were White person, with nothing in-between. “A truck is a truck, a car is a car, a cat is a cat, a dog is a dog, a black is black, a white is white” (Ezekiel). Then going deeper, he dissected the minds of their leaders and their beliefs. The leaders believe that the world is made up of distinct racial groups and preach to their members that life is war and life is all about the war.
The sociologist also revealed that these leaders in a sense live in a made up world. “It does not matter to him what others say… He lives in his ideas and in the little world he created where they are taken seriously, (Ezekiel pp. 66-67). Nothing you could say or do could taint or distract them from what they believe is right and how they feel the world should be. Ezekiel then begins to zoom in on the members of these hate groups and what magnetizes to join and be a part of it all. Through his many field studies, he discovered that many where seeking a purpose.
Many are looking for some type of activity, a reason to fight, especially living and working so poorly in a competitive world. In these groups, members find some sort of sense of community and comradely. Women were also interviewed, many belonging to the KKK and Aryan Nations. Through interview, most women revealed that they were recruited by people already into the groups. Many of the women actually learned racism after the joined these groups, and many only initially joining because of someone they were already interested or liked that belonged to the group.
After reading the article regarding The Racist Mind, I believe that education and economic policies can reduce hate group memberships. From personal experience and my own studies I believe most hate as a direct result of ignorance and of political manipulation of ignorance. Informing yourself and others may be the most important step. With the mass media and dozens of social networking sites, it also helps to get the world out but me must use our voices and speak up and make people aware of how all this hate will only destroy the world as a whole.
Also, through policies, bills, and petition, the government can also assist in put some kind of restrain on groups acting out of hate and violence. My other solution would be is to use the class room. Not only to promote non violence and speak against racism, but to in general, educate our youth on all races and cultures. Personally growing up in the NYC public schools, in history we were mainly only taught Europeans and if we were lucky in February we learned a little of Black History. Miss education is just as bad as not teaching them at all. There is more than just “white” history, “black” history and war.
I believe that bringing a positive light to all races would only teach students to be tolerant and supportive to all human beings regardless of race or color. This short article has educated me and enlightened me that Racism is still very much alive in the world and that we as a people must step up and do something about it and stop letting the hate build. We must be more tolerant to others really send the message that racism and hate will get us nothing but death. As a people we must stand strong and fight together against groups like the Ku Klux Klan and Neo- Nazis to end their hate missions, not pretend or hope that they will go away.