Okay, brutal honesty here.
I find myself becoming more and more racist every day. However I can honestly say I've not always been this way. Let me explain.
Growing up in life I lived in a rural part of southwest Virginia which was fully and admittedly primarily white. This was not to say there were not minorities, in my class in high school we had a handful of asian, black, hispanic, and middle eastern individuals and there were others I knew within the community in various ways let alone just running into such in day to day life. However I honestly never thought much of any particular minority as a "minority", perhaps beause they were few and far between and generally just felt like another person.
This persisted as I entered college and moved to the coast of Virginia in Newport News, with the one difference of there being a significantly larger number of african american individuals around as well as a general increase of a variety of other races.
I can not remember having overly racist thoughts or views or feelings during these times. People were essentially people and I can't remember ever thinking let alone voicing a rant about "black people" or "hispanic people" or anything of the such. I can never remember myself simply getting angry at the very thought of such.
Then I moved to northern Virginia.
In the vast majority of service positions of any kind up here, white and even black individuals are far and away the minority.
In the 3 years I’ve been living up here I’ve found myself becoming more and more frustrated, angry, and simply prejudice against Hispanic individuals. Unlike any other time in my life there’s been moments where I’ve ranted about the ethnicity of people, annoyed if not angry, concerning it. My distaste has increased over the past three years more than I really realize at any given time unless I stop and think about it.
I’ve tried to think “Why has this happened” and the only thing I can think of is that a frustration about generalized things have extended out into a distaste based on race due to the connecting string between these incidents. Since moving up here the frustration from various incidents that I had never experienced in either of the two places of Virginia have been overwhelming.
I will try to explain the things I’m talking about and preface it by I know they should simply be minor things. However its stuff such as repeatedly having to come to a complete stop half in the street half in the parking lot of a 7-11 that was near the original place I was living whenever I was trying to stop there during the day because 10-25 hispanic individuals would be loitering in the parking lot with seemingly no care for the traffic coming in. It’d be repeatedly having to slam on breaks as one or multiple Hispanic individuals would randomly decide to cross the street at various locations other than the dozens of crosswalks that lined it. It’d be having to give an order at a fast food place 5 different times only to come around to pay and get the food to have it completely wrong. It’d be asking someone working at a Lowes where to find hollow plastic tubing of some kind to have them look at me like I’m speaking a foreign language (possibly because I was) and lead me to 3 different aisles as I try to explain again and again until I finally give up.
Or, the most recent, as me and my fiancé are trying to check out at the super market we notice a single jalapeno pepper ring up as being 2 pounds. We were using the reusable bags and the woman ringing us up had set the bag on her counter in such a way that it was leaning on the scale and thus affecting the weight.
It took us, literally, 5 minutes of trying to explain to her what happened (during which at one point she rang the jalapeño up again, another point tried to pull the green pepper we had previously had scanned back out to scan again, and finally decided to look quizzically at the bag itself for a few moments after we for the 5th time explained “I think the bag was sitting on the scale when you weighted the jalapeno”) before she finally managed to get a manger over who we then had to slowly explain what happened to twice.
(As a note, at about 2 minutes in I had got to the point where I didn’t give a crap about the few dollars the jalapeno [and what we discovered after it all finished was also a number of other vegetables scanned right before it] cost us, I was just frustrated and wanted to let it drop. The finace wasn’t having any of it though)
I know these are little things, I know they shouldn’t matter much, but they’re repeated over and over and over again. The latter ones are what truly get me, as there seems to be nothing that gets me hotter in recent years than people in a service industry who can’t provide service because they can’t understand the language that’s being spoken.
I’ve given rants about how if you can’t f’ing speak or understand the language don’t get in a service industry. I’ve cheered at the notion that I finally “found a person that speaks English” when last time in Lowes 50’s-ish black gentleman was the first guy to help me (and got me almost immediately to the three various items I needed including making a suggestion for what to get). I’ve specifically taken longer lines at various retail places because the shorter one has a person that appears Hispanic.
And it all makes me start wondering…
Is my annoyance and frustration at all of this turning me into a racist? Is it truly that I’m just annoyed with regards to service or common courtesy, and because it happens to primarily be occurring with a particular race that my venting is going towards them….ala people bitching about “damn teenagers” or other such things? Was I somehow deep down always like this and somehow the previous 24 years of my life were all simply a lie? And what does the fact that when people, including friends and family, make comments that to me just seem over the top racist do I feel embarrassed to be around/associated with them and chastise them for the action?
This is an honest question here and trying for a discussion. Can someone “become” racist due to circumstances and actions that occur around them or is this something you feel someone is simply born or predisposed into feeling and is simply bottled up until it comes out?