View Poll Results: Can a person "Become" racist due to events and circumstances?

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  • Yes, its possible to "become" one due to an event

    31 83.78%
  • No, someone is simply racist or not

    2 5.41%
  • Other

    4 10.81%
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Thread: Can you "Become" Racist?

  1. #1
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    Can you "Become" Racist?

    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?

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    Re: Can you "Become" Racist?

    I think you are bigoted (and rightly so) against things that hinder the smooth progression of your daily tasks.

    The fact that many of these things can be directly tied to poor communication skills and/or understanding of the environment leads you to a dislike of the persons who lack those communication skills and environmental understanding.

    You may or may not have irrationally connected the overall Hispanic look/style/whatever with the specific Hispanic (or otherwise) individuals that have hindered said smooth progression.

    In short, you are not racist against Hispanics, but more at incompetent Hispanics.


    So no, I don’t really think you are racist.
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    Sometimes I think we're alone. Sometimes I think we're not. In either case, the thought is staggering. ~ R. Buckminster Fuller

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    Re: Can you "Become" Racist?

    I had a post, then, swoosh, it was gone. I screwed it up.

    You cannot become racist. I felt the same as you 25 years ago. When the impatience of your youth tarnishes and you slow down, everything will be just fine. God willing, you will be incompetent, slow, and in the way in due time.
    Quote Originally Posted by Northern Light View Post
    The systems that ensure freedom and liberty are breaking down and fundamentalism is growing. Nobody is righteous anymore.


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    Re: Can you "Become" Racist?

    Quote Originally Posted by Zyphlin View Post
    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?
    This is why we need a national language (English) and require every damn person that wants to work here to speak it.

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    Re: Can you "Become" Racist?

    I chose "Other" on the poll, because I do not think either of the other options are correct.

    This is likely because I think the only thing that can make someone truly racist is a conscience choice.

    An uninformed or misinformed person can exhibit racist-like thoughts and actions, but that doesn’t make them truly racist.
    Education.

    Sometimes I think we're alone. Sometimes I think we're not. In either case, the thought is staggering. ~ R. Buckminster Fuller

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    Re: Can you "Become" Racist?

    I don't think you're racist or have anything even remotely close to a racist belief. Do you think hispanics as a race are inferior? Somehow I doubt it.

    You're just [rightfully] frustrated at the ineptitude of many in the service industry. I'm guessing that if it were asians that were heavily populating the same service industry jobs, and were incapable of speaking english well enough to actually DO their job, you'd be just as frustrated.

    When one experiences unpleasantness with something and can identify a commonality with each unpleasant experience, it's completely logical to make a connection and begin to avoid that identified commonality.

    Look at it this way... if you went to Mexico, or similar country, would you be all aghast with the 'latinos'? Would you feel such frustration with inability to speak english? Would you feel such frustration with the differences in their social customs if you were in their country? I'd think not. Because YOU would be the one not speaking THEIR language, not adapting to THEIR customs.

    Your frustration doesn't stem from them being latino, it stems from them being inept at their jobs, unable to speak english, and not recognizing or caring about, the social customs of the country they are living in now. You would feel this way no matter WHAT race the people were. It just so happens that in the area in which you live, it's hispanics that exhibit this unwelcome behavior.

    I feel the same way as you, about ALL immigrants who refuse to learn our language and insist on working jobs that require it. I'm even more frustrated with employers who hire people who can't ****ing speak english. It really is THEIR fault. I don't care if they're indian, asian, hispanic, or whatever. It's just ****ing annoying as all get out.

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    Re: Can you "Become" Racist?

    Quote Originally Posted by Goshin View Post
    This is why we need a national language (English) and require every damn person that wants to work here to speak it.
    I'm canceling your vote.
    Quote Originally Posted by Northern Light View Post
    The systems that ensure freedom and liberty are breaking down and fundamentalism is growing. Nobody is righteous anymore.


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    Re: Can you "Become" Racist?

    I don't think you're racist at all, actually. I think you are "I don't want a bunch of inconvenience ****ing up my day"-ist. I am the same way. It just so happens that hispanics who refuse to learn the language and obey traffic laws are the biggest inconvenience to your day where you live. Mine happens to be asians that make driving a nightmare. It's not because they're asian. It's because they're bad drivers that happen to be asians. They can't even drive a shopping cart in the grocery store, I've noticed, without causing a pile up in the cereal aisle. Why it is, I don't know. Great people when not operating anything with wheels though.

  9. #9
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    Re: Can you "Become" Racist?

    Everyone is racist, or at least has racist thoughts.

    Racism is the natural human tendency to categorize other human beings, and to ascribe negative attributes to those who are different from themselves. Educated people are more able to understand their own racism and not act on it or actually believe in it.

    Your description of frustration with Hispanic individuals is a good example. If you analyze it, your feelings are really directed at stupid individuals, not at a particular ethnic group. Your tendency to ascribe stupidity in general to an ethnic group is a natural human tendency. Not all Hispanics are the same, of course, and you understand that. We all know that the guys hanging out in the 7-11 who seem not to understand the need to get out of the way of cars don't represent any particular ethnic group, just stupid or lazy individuals.

    You're no more racist than most of us.

    The real racist is the guy who firmly believes that his or her group, whatever it happens to be, is superior to all of those other people out there, then acts on that belief. Racism of that description is based on ignorance. Since no one becomes ignorant, no one can become racist.
    "Donald Trump is a phony, a fraud... [he's] playing the American public for suckers." Mitt Romney

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    Re: Can you "Become" Racist?

    You are being conditioned to associate an obvious trait with negative behavior. For example, many people get pissed about Indian accents because they associate them with the frustration of having a broken computer and dealing with tech support. The feedback loop effect makes it even worse, you are more likely to notice and remember every incident where you have a crappy Hispanic clerk because of your attitude, continuing into a downward spiral. My advice is to break the pattern. Find the Hispanic guy who doesn't fit the mold and notice the contrast. Or to make it even easier, find the idiotic store employee who isn't Hispanic and make note of what they look like. People may complain too much about how TV portrays a certain ethnicity or Gender, but you can alter someones perception by controlling their environment. Reinforce a stereotype enough and it can seem like the truth.

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