The Hypocrisy of Racism

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"The Hypocrisy of Racism"
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Imagine a world in which we are all a beautiful uniform golden tan. Everyone's black hair is slightly wavy, and everyone has an identical tilt to their almond eyes. Men are five foot seven, and all women are five foot four. Assimilation has reached its extreme, and the hypocrisy of racism has finally been bred away.

There are a couple of problems in this world: no longer do families eat the special foods that grammas cooked for the festivals because no longer are warm and solemn holidays sprinkled throughout the year. No longer do children learn the particular traditions of their families and feel that that they, they in particular, belong among the loved.

And perhaps racism hasn't entirely died in the beige world of 3509. Now, children are picked on if their eyes show a faint flash of green in bright sunlight, or if their hair is too wavy or not wavy enough. Perhaps they are too dumb or too smart, too agile or too clumsy, too friendly or too shy. Even if we all become "mutts" in some distant century, we will still need to learn tolerance.

Not hypocrisy, genuine tolerance. If you want to maintain your folkways, and still have peace, you have to allow everyone else theirs. That's just logic. For this reason I say (and I say it uncertainly) no more missionaries. No more of this, "Hi, I've come here to bring you the truth." Let each people seek out their own truth, and believe that truth will prevail of itself.

We have to learn not to compare. We have to assume equality. Not merely know it, in the ways that hard science and countless examples prove once we reason, but assume it from infancy. How do we teach our children to assume equality?

We should give our children a wide enough experience of the world that they learn the pleasures of change and innovation. This way, they will overcome their childish fears of the strange and new. We need to expose our children to all the good in the world that we can find for them, and even, I think, a little of the bad, too, so that they will learn compassion.

We have to give our children a strong enough sense of themselves, of their own value, that they need not base their self worth on being like some superior hero, or being better than some inferior being. Children do have heroes, and should, and models for behavior, and should, but the core of their self-worth should be based on what they themselves think and do, not on the perfections of some imagined other. And they should not build their self-image by contrast. Children should be taught to meet their own standards, and not worry about what other people do.

But we are social creatures. So children are taught good manners and tolerance, and even a little hypocrisy, so that they do not have to live in this huge world isolated and alone.

More about this author: Janet Grischy

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