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Racism, Stereotyping, or Racial Profiling?

Laura has an academic and personal interest in politics/ social issues. Her hubs are well researched and informative. Always entertaining.

Definitions

Wouldn't it be amazing and a much more civilized world if we could only see one another in shadow? Growing up in a diverse community during the disco generation will always remain one of my greatest assets. Long before such phrases as Racial Profiling reared their heads after the incident of September 11, 2011 stereotypes existed.

Stereotyping, as defined by the American Heritage Dictionary, is: 1. A conventional over simplistic opinion or image.

But is this not also a definition for Racial Profiling? Racial, in the American heritage dictionary, is defined as: 1. Determined by race 2. Between or among distinct human racial groups i.e. racial discrimination. American Heritage defines Profile or Profiling as: 1. A brief biographical essay.

If you marry the two words, what do you get? American Heritage defines Racism as: 1. The belief that a particular race is superior to others.


Fear or rather fear of the unknown is a tool used by not only terrorists but by our own government. Fear and lack of true information about a specific person, place, or thing is a slippery slope. Many Americans have and still do navigate through a ton of conflicting information on a daily basis. Having had a diverse community made up specifically of African American/Hispanic and Arabic descent was empowering to me growing up. As a young child, the teenager than as an adult. I had the opportunity to read, Breathing-Books with a multitude of various covers. For this, I owe deep gratitude not only to my immediate family but to my former community as a whole.

The values, morals, and impressions made on me while growing up were my seeds of change. Non-judgmental acceptance allowed those seeds to take root. A Caucasian female a minority in a diverse community for me equaled an opportunity to enrich my life. All of us co-existed in my old neighborhood. Shared poverty made us color and culture-blind. If one suffered injustice, we all suffered injustice. We shared food, clothing, ideals, and dreams. Our children played together regardless of skin color burka or braids. In bonding with each other discoveries were made. With discovery came the realization that there were no differences. Regardless of background, dress, or religion, we all share the same fears, desires, and ability to love.

As I've grown older I have come to believe that the enlightenment I had while living in my old neighborhood was a mirage. Now living in an area where closeted racism is the norm on both sides of the racial fence has me deeply troubled and concerned. What future are we leaving for our grandchildren? Are we going backward, toward crosses burning on lawns and people of darker skin hanging from trees? It starts with burning and ends with burning as well. Closed borders and closed minds may not be the answers but might be the true death of change or hope for us all.

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.