This essay discusses about an important social problem of nowadays society, about the roots, beginnings of racism. During this essay you will found that racism is taught, not genetic, and all this beginning from child’s early ages, you could find some statement which influence in a bad way you’re your child’s life or why white parents avoid black children adoptions and in final you’ll find also an important solution, for me, the most important in solving this problem.
So, you could find some interesting things about Romanian racism in general and some other facts you should avoid, in order to offer you’re child a better life without discrimination.
Even now after all the racial disasters (like Auschwitz), race remains a big moral, social and political problem of our world used by political system, in order to make distinctions between whites and people of color. And this problem has a very bad influence in our children’s life, as Gerald Pine and Asa Hilliard stats: “Racism, prejudice, and discrimination are shamefully sabotaging our nation’s efforts to provide a high-quality education for all children” (1990:1)
First, we should talk about racism in general, in order to have a good view on what we are going to talk forward. Racism is a bad combination between prejudice and discrimination. Prejudice “consists of unjustifiable negative feelings and beliefs about a racial or ethnic group and its members. It is characterized by preconceived opinions, judgments or feelings that lack any foundation or substance. Discrimination consists of unjustifiable negative behavior toward a racial or ethnic group and its members. It expresses itself in distinctions and decisions made on the basis of prejudice.” (Pine & Asa 1990:2)
Racism is a psycho-social problem which exists for centuries and people, even if they know is not good, they continue to be racist, and their biggest problem is that they deny being so. There are many definitions of racism, but here are two important ones. Laszloffy and Hardy in Uncommon Strategies for a Common Problem: Addressing Racism in Family Therapy states that “Racism is an act that denies a person or humane group treatment or a fair opportunity because of racial bias. While it may occur on different levels (individual level or institutional level) and in different ways (overtly or covertly, intentionally or unintentionally), all expressions of racism are rooted in an ideology of racial superiority/inferiority that assumes some racial groups are superior to others, and therefore deserve preferential treatment.” (35). Another definition would be: Racism, also called racialism, represents “any action, practice, or belief that reflects the racial worldview- the ideology that humans are divided into separate and exclusive biological entities called races, that there is a causal link between inherited physical traits of personality, intellect, morality, and other cultural behavioral features, and that some races are innately superior to others” (Audrey 2010). So, from all this, we can realize that racism is an act of cowardly, which is adopted by people with bad intentions and who don’t really have arguments for being racist.
Racism has its original roots in history, and this because of wars, another example could be the “New World”, conquered by Europeans, when they forced black people from Africa to go to America where they became slaves, or other example, more recently, the Jewish from Auschwitz which were killed because of their religion, and the examples could go on, but we are not going to talk about this anymore. But, even knowing all that, people aren’t aware of the negative aspects of racism and continue being racist and denying it, with words like: I’m not racist, but Chinese people are the ugliest faces I’ve ever seen, or something like that. We have to admit that whatever the reason, we are racist, but things can change. We can improve our lifestyle if we have wish, and we should have in order to offer our children another vision of life.
On the other hand, we must admit that racist people are those with lack of education, but this is the education we use too, in order to teach our children what is good or bad. We hear every day on television anti-racist slogans but we pretend we didn’t hear it as we pretend when we hear bad accidents having place, in schools, because of racial problems. Our society has became very indifferent on taking into consideration other’s problems, and they weak up only when they are in trouble and blame the others for not advising them before. This is a message for everyone who wants to take it into account, and this would be: Racism in not genetic, it is learned from childhood until forever. So, parents should take into account the life they want for their children.
Nowadays, children’s life is full of racism; this thing is learned by different ways and by different people from their life. We should start with the baby’s first steps, when he is taught the basics, and here we can found many racist things. For example, many parents use different statements in order to reflect the bad influence of gypsies in white’s world. Statements like: Do not spit like gypsies!, Those moneys were touched by gypsies and you stick them into your mouth! What disgusting! or even worse If you’re not good I’ll sell you to gypsies are used in everyday life in order to break children of a bad habit and with or without intention, parents also promote and approve racism, by teaching those that gypsies are bad. By this, the bases of racism are well constructed by parents and since children are taught racism before getting to school, parents should be more careful on what they say and what they do and ask themselves if racism is the best solution in learning their children basics and behavior.
If we go forward in children’s life, at the time when they go outside to play with other children, we see that they are taught another racist rule very known in everyday’s life of whites in Romania and this rule says something like that: Do not play with gipsy children!. This is a very popular rule of moms and also an unbreakable one. This statement was once even mentioned in a television and radio campaign named: “The discrimination of gypsies is taught at home! Know them before you judge them!”(Banescu 2009). The spot of the campaign is about a Romanian kid who goes outside to play with his friend (a gypsy kid) and after he comes home is asked by his white racist mother about what he has done outside, and he answers that he had played out alone. So, we should thing a little about the gypsy’s life, because “today all children have the right to be equal, but gypsy children still have to try hard in order to find themselves a place in societyâ€¦.their hopes would be the same as the hopes of white children when Romanian moms won’t threaten their sons that if they aren’t good, they would be thrown up at gypsies, and when gypsy moms won’t tell their sons that it has no point in dreaming to follow a university because they don’t have how to face Romanians.” (Banescu 2009).
Another imposed thing in children’s life is related this time with the teachers. After giving their sons at school, moms become hysterically on hearing that their son is placed in the same seat with a gypsy child. And because of this type of people, racism grows faster and has many other negative aspects for non-white people like the elimination of colored children from sport clubs, and other extra-school activities. And very often you find examples of children saying to gypsy children that “they are not allowed to talk to him because he was a brown kid”. (Wallace 2008 b)
Those are only a few of the basic racism things learned by white children at home, which are rotten in childhood and are never forgotten, because they only grow faster and faster. And this happens because almost all white children are taught at home how to be racist in a conscious or unconscious way and after they go to school they put in practice everything they learned at home, and because of this children make groups and make jokes of different children, like colored children or they would even say hurtful thing about the others, in order to be funny. But what is also interesting is that even if exist one white child that was not taught to be racist at home, he will soon be learned by his other colleagues how to be so. And some of the parents would blame teachers for the racism which exists in schools, but once the children are taught to be racist, the teachers can’t do anything to break them from this habit if parents do not cared about this when they taught them.
Another interesting issue about children racism would be the adoptions of a colored child by white parents. This is a big problem of nowadays society, because the cases of gypsy, blacks, yellow or other racial adoption are just a few. This happens because of some ideologies or preconceptions of adoptive parents which put some conditions when they adopt a child, and those conditions would be: first the child have to be healthy and the second, the child must be white, there are few cases in which the adoptive parents ask for a gypsy child. Those type of parents which avoid the adoption of a gypsy child are afraid of the others reactions in doing it, thinking that their friends or their relatives would criticized them or would not accept their son in their group, or other reaction would be that they are afraid for little child to not inherit their parents bad character. “Gypsy children deserve a chance, but they have to deal with mass-media, which is often condemning. We hope people would become more sensitive and tolerant in understanding that they have the same rights as the others.”(Stoler, 2008 a)
From all this we should remain with the fact that racism is learned and not genetic and as we can learn to be racist we can learn how not to be racist, and we should improve our behavior not just for us, but for our children’s education and for their and our future too. And all this comes because some people just abuse of their rights in an almost free world, were they start bravely discriminating someone else’s human rights, and this breaking of rule has no direct or legal punishment on those who are consciously racist.
Some solutions for this problem, in which before school children become racist, exist, but they stay in parents hands, by this they should understand that depends of them if they want a racist child or a good and well educated one. In what follows it will be presented only one of the solutions, the most important one.
This solution would be communication, a very important issues in the relation child-parents, because of whom, other, even worse, problems appear in child’s life. Communication means everything when you try to educate you child, and it must be made the distinction between good communication and order, or command, which is the worst communication, because is not the same to tell you child: Do not be racist! and when he asks you why, you respond to him: because I said so as to communicate to him and tell him which are the positive and negative aspects of racism and make him understand and also let him choose what he thinks is right or wrong. Children always have the intention and want to be brave by breaking the rule, so, if you give him orders, you won’t get any results. Parents should communicate with their sons in order to improve their education, and they should tell their sons that different isn’t necessarily wrong and people just need variety, but no matter how different we are outside or what color our skin has, our souls do not have to be bad.
What is also important is that not only white children must be taught not to be racist, colored children must also be informed to not listen to others jokes or hurtful word, in order to not become a victim. They should be learned how to protect themselves and how to they turn respect the other children, which are not the same color as them. Communication about those problems we can find anywhere: in mass-media, school, social meetings, but neither one has a big influence in children’s life as communication in family. Communication about racial problems means also that parents of colored children should get involved in their child problems and lifestyle. Parents need to discuss early on with their child about race and should even be aware that their son would found out from his classmates or other strangers what is racism, and is better to prevent this before is too late.
They are a lot of other solutions, but this is the most important, because you can do all the rest, but if you, as parent, do not communicate with your child, nobody would do it for you, and most important, the problem would never disappear and your children would have to face this problem alone.
In defense of colored discriminations come those people which say that they do not have anything with other races, but they hate gypsies because of their attitude, behavior and because of those who beg on streets. Maybe some would even agree this statement, but we have to put a question: Do we choose our family, race or nation before we get birth? Well the answer is negative, which means that gypsy children have no fault, and we must judge them for their behavior and for what they are, not by race or religion.
Racial problems are very popular in our country and this because of mass-media, which presents a lot of facts and