Racism has caused mental problems, chaos, conflicts, and

Racism

 

            If there is one single problem that
could be solved in order to bring world peace into reality, it would be racism.

Racism came from the word “race” which has become a sensitive topic lately.

Racism, as defined by many dictionaries, is a belief that race is the main
determinant of human traits and capacities. It can also be defined as hatred
from one towards another due to race difference. Racism seems to be just a
simple word, but in fact, this simple word has caused mental problems, chaos,
conflicts, and much more, since racism does not only affect individuals, but it
also affects society and even country. In the worst case, it can even cause one
person to kill another, in wars. Racism has turned from just a simple word to a
nightmare for each and every one of us. Up until now, even scientists are
wondering, why could it happen? Why could people become racist? One of the most
famous revolutionaries in the world, Nelson Mandela, states that no one is born
racist. He emphasized that no one is born hating other people because of their
skin color, background, and religion. People are born neutral; the major cause
of this kind of belief that people should hate others with different skin
colors comes from the society. Another person agrees with Mandela’s quote, she
is no other than Jennifer Richeson, who is a social psychologist at Yale
University. According to Richeson (2017), people learn to be who they are
mostly not from what their parents teach them to, even though we often make
that kind of assumptions. People learn to be someone through their society and
culture. She also states that being a racist does not come from the evil inside
our hearts, in fact, it comes from the environment we live in. There are three
main types of racism, which are individual, institutional, and also cultural
racism.

            The first type of racism is
individual racism, this happens when the actions, believes, and attitudes of a
person are judged according to his/her race. Without looking for examples out
there, racism can simply be found in our daily life, for example, when a person
chooses his/her friends based on their race, it is already classified as an
individual racism. Usually, there are some people around us that only want to
hang around with people that have the same background as them, whether it is
their skin color, race, and even religion. For example, some Indonesians refuse
to get along with Chinese, and some Moslems refuse to get along with
Christians. In Indonesia itself, this type of racism has been happening for a
while. There are some words/phrase that some of the Indonesians use daily
without even noticing that those words/phrase are considered racist. For
example, some Indonesians use the word “bugle” so often they do not even
realize that they are actually being racist when they use that word. This word
has spread widely among Indonesians and sometimes some people use this word as
a part of their sentences without feeling guilty at all. This could happen
probably because they do not know the meaning of the word itself, or because
they are just being ignorant of the fact that they are being racist. Another
common example comes the word “cina” which simply means Chinese. A brief
information about Chinese, most of them live their life in such a way to reduce
as much money spent as possible, because most of Chinese are traders, so they
probably value money more than any other people (Fera, 2015). Some of the
individual racists in Indonesia think that most of Chinese are stingy, again,
without even noticing that they are being racist. However, this statement
cannot be proven scientifically, because while some of Chinese are saving their
money in such a way, the others are living their life glamorously. Another
example comes from a real-life case that happened around three years ago in
Boston. According to Jacobs (2017), there was a black police officer that was
discriminated by a white lieutenant. This white lieutenant was asking about how
could a black person become a police officer in a rude gesture. Apart from the
fact that it was offensive and threatening for the black police officer, it
might also lead to another problem at work. The black police officer was
worried about his job, he wondered if the white lieutenant will be willing to
work together with him next time when they are attacked on patrol. From this
real-life case, we can conclude that this individual racism could be a bad
thing because it can lead to another type of racism, which is institutional
racism.

            Institutional racism, which is the
second type of racism, happens when laws and organizations/groups put
regulations to be racists towards a certain group of people (Socyberty, 2011),
and in the most cases, people do this kind of racism unknowingly. This
institutional racism might starts from individual racism because usually in an
organization there is a leader that makes decisions, and when this leader is
racist, he/she tends to teach his/her organization members to become a racist
as well. For instance, when an owner of a company refuses to promote his/her employees
that come from certain communities, it is considered individual racism. But
then, when other employees see this kind of situation, they will instantly make
it a policy of the company. Therefore, when the company actually follows this
“unwritten policy” of not promoting employees that come from certain communities,
the situation is considered institutional racism. However, institutional racism
cannot lead to individual racism simply because institutional racism comes from
one person (individual racist). While individual racism is focused on how
people treat other people from different backgrounds negatively, institutional
racism is more focused on how policies/laws treat people differently. Another
example, many companies in Indonesia only want to hire people from specific
backgrounds. Sometimes, some of them will put specific requirements such as;
“only Indonesians” or “only Christians”. These kinds of requirements are also
considered as institutional racism since the company itself decided to not
accept just anyone from any backgrounds. For the real-life example, one of the
professors at Temple University has done a research in the U.S. about the
homeschooled children. According to Mazama (2015), the reasons why white
children and black children are homeschooled are quite different, in a negative
way. White children are homeschooled mostly because their parents want them to.

On the other side, black children are forced to be homeschooled due to the
circumstances in the normal schools. Her research shows that black children are
treated very differently from the whites in their schools. Black children tend
to be harmed by the whites, and even some of the schools give harsh schools
punishments to the blacks only. This situation is considered as institutional
racism because it does not come from only one individual (for example, a
teacher). It is not that only one teacher is being a racist, it is the whole school
that is already being racist.

            The last type of racism that can be
seen clearly in our society is cultural racism. Different from individual and
institutional racism, this kind of racism is more focused on the cultural
stereotypes. As stated by Brice (2015), cultural racism can be defined as the
use of symbols and elements of certain groups (most likely to be minorities),
by the majorities in a negative manner and also in an ignorant attitude. In
simpler words, cultural racism allows people to think about certain communities
in an inappropriate and ignorant way. The easiest example of this kind of
racism is the use of religious statues. Almost all of the religions have their
own statues that are usually used in various spiritual ceremonies. But some
people use these kinds of religious statues in such manner without knowing that
they are being cultural racists. For example, nowadays there are many people
that are putting Buddhist statues in some areas of their house in order to make
it look pretty, even though they are not even Buddhists. They probably do not
know about the real function of the statues, or some of them maybe just do not
really care about this misbehavior. Another example, when there is a
Mexican-themed party, some people often use poncho, sombrero, and maracas to
make their costumes more appealing. But in fact, maracas are actually an item
that is used by the native people of Jamaica and Cuba when they are doing
spiritual ceremonies. Thus, using maracas in parties roughly means that the
people do not really have respect towards the religion. Through these kinds of
actions, cultural racism can be a very disrespectful thing to do even though
most of the people who do this kind of racism do it unknowingly.

            In conclusion, racism is a simple
word that carries a very deep and sensitive meaning. Many people are hurt
because of racism, and even some of them are dead because of racism. In the
most common case of racism, people that are classified as “racists” believe
that white people should be separated from black people and that the whites
hold more power and are dominant towards the blacks Smedley (n.d.). The blacks
should have different schools and hospitals than the whites, and even for the
blacks, it is very hard for them to marry the whites because the racists think
of it as “unnatural”. The most common racism case that almost everyone knows is
about Donald Trump, the President of the United States of America. According to
Leonhardt (2018), Donald Trump recently said that Barack Obama, the former
President of United States of America, was born in Africa, just because his
skin color is black, whereas most of the people know that only a person that
was born in America can be a president. This proves that Trump is really a
racist. Another case happens when he describes Mexicans as rapists, this is
classified as individual racism that might lead to institutional racism since
he has more than thousands of people listening to him. Some people might
actually believe in what he said, even though it is not necessarily true
because up until now, all of his racist statements cannot be proven
scientifically, meaning, it is just an opinion. These kinds of situations are
actually really unhealthy because some people might become racists just from
hearing what Trump has said. Through all of these manners, racism can be
started easily from everyone’s mouth. And clearly, many people are already sick
of racism since it is not just a simple case. In order to make our world a
better place for everyone to live in, racism must be stopped, regardless of
whoever starts this unpleasant and ignorant belief.