I mean, the title says it all. We all look different, and as similar as our preferences and tastes are, there’s no way we can act the exact same. Even identical siblings have enough differences to identify as completely different people. So, therefore, when we generalise a group of people, it’s very important to point out the fact that we aren’t talking about every member of that particular community. Because, not everyone is the same.
Something this fits very well into this subject is race, and racial prejudice. My parents, growing up black at a time when black was not completely acceptable, were subject to a lot of racial abuse. They weren’t the only ones; so many other people of different ethnicities were, too. This abuse mostly came from Caucasians. And despite this, my parents can still say that not all white people are racist. It would be so easy for them to say that they are, given the way the world was, back then. But they can recognise that, despite the majority, there are some people that were more advanced than others.
From the prospective of a black girl with a lot of white friends, the world is a scary place for all ethnicities. If you wear a hijab, you are labelled a terrorist. If you have black skin, you will be targeted a lot by authorities, who have false and stereotypical beliefs. If you have white skin, it seems, you are automatically deemed “racist”. It genuinely hurts me, the way they are so cautious, when they want to ask me questions about my culture. If people want to be educated, they shouldn’t be put down for it. To be racist isn’t to ask questions out of curiosity and willingness to learn. To be racist is to abuse and belittle other people, solely due to the colour of their skin. People need to get it right.
To the people of my culture: Obviously, racism is far from over. We take abuse from people of all races, yes, including white people. But to say all white people are racist is not the way to end racism. Neither is “reverse racism”, which, by the way, isn’t a thing. Racism is not subject to us- it applies to everyone. So, if we wish for racist people to treat us with the respect we are still fighting for, we have to beat them with education, rather than ignorance. I’m not saying kill them with kindness, because that doesn’t work. But, when we do have conflict, we need to be the smarter ones.
So, what I’m trying to say is, it’s okay to generalise people, as long as you make it very clear that you do not think all members of that community are exactly the same. Not all white people are racist. Not all people are the same.
Teenagers With Experience is an organisation created to provide teenagers with a platform to share and help others from their own experiences while also educating others on different topics. We aim to provide a safe space to all teenagers around the world and support others. You can contact us via email, social media or our contact form found on our home page.