I am gross…I am exotic…I am a bat-eater…I am a walking disease. I am Asian. Those are all the things they say.
When you hear the word “racism,” what comes to mind? Of course, discrimination of people based on cultural differences. But if you’re a person of color, there will be another meaning that pops up in your head. Life.
But why is it “life” for minorities and not for non-colored people? What is the difference between knowledge and wisdom of racism? Well, how many times have you witnessed a person trying to educate people on how systematic racism lies deep within the government? Trying to educate. How many times have you seen someone reply with “that’s not real,” or, “made up”? A colored person has to teach their experiences while a non-colored person can only listen. And in most circumstances, they refuse to listen and choose to stay ignorant. “Wisdom that a wise man attempts to impart always sounds like foolishness to someone else.” -(Siddhartha, by Herman Hesse).
Racism is part of our lives. It’s always been that way, and it’ll stay like that for a long time. But not for those who’ve been privileged for generations. They can live life without the inconvenience of skin color differences. It’s a fact. However, Asians and other minorities do not get to roam around the streets without the single thought of “I hope I get home safely today.” The African American children, running, and hiding from police sirens. The adults that they’re supposed to feel safe around the most. Muslim girls, who are banned from wearing their hijabs in peace at school.
“We live with fear every day.” -(The farmers, Seven Samurai)
What happened to playing peacefully with friends during childhood, when skin color and culture didn’t matter?
And what if you’re not discriminatory? What if you treat every person fairly and respectfully, regardless of appearance? What if you listen and try to learn? It’s great that you acknowledge the harm of racial bias, but none of it affects you, and you may ask why don’t we learn self defense? Why don’t we avoid eye contact? Why not just be calm? The typical ideas for solutions, however, none of these have ever successfully stopped or prevented racially motivated attacks. And when it’s too late, the damage has already been done, and the people with power do not care. It shows how people that do not truly understand will never see it as a big deal. “It’s odd, isn’t it? People die everyday and the world goes on like nothing happened.” -(Kyoko Kirigiri, Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc)
Non-colored privileged people can be aware of racism, but they won’t ever go through it once in their lifetime. They can’t be oppressed while in the oppressor group. They cannot be a victim.
The clear difference? Knowledge is the intellectual level of understanding what racism is, while wisdom is experiencing it firsthand…where it affects your entire life.