Today’s topic is hatred. In my mind, racism is one of its ugliest children.
Not a day goes by where I don’t see or read someone calling somebody a “racist.” But what does that word entail? Maybe I should start by using an official definition of the word, let me Google it.
Racist: a person who shows or feels discrimination or prejudice against people of other races, or who believes that a particular race is superior to another.
Interestingly enough, nowhere in that definition, or in any that I found, was it mentioned that racism is considered a mental health disorder or disease. Also, I couldn’t find any link that would determine that the two are somehow connected, or that one results of the other.
I think this is interesting because I hear a lot of people justify the behavior as a mental health issue.
For example, in the shooting at El Paso, Texas, a shooter drove 650 miles in 10 hours to shoot specifically at a group of people, of a specific ethnicity, that he knew would gather at a specific place. He is being called by some mentally ill. Well in my eyes, he is not. He is a racist. By definition, he fits that description as well as the profile.
It really aggravates me to hear people justifying his behavior as a sickness. I find it extremely offensive to the people who actually suffer from mental illness and will now, as a consequence of this and other attacks, be labeled as dangerous and a potential threat.
It’s truly disappointing, and very irresponsible, that we choose to use language that incorrectly accounts for the events we are currently experiencing. Words matter. Precise language matters. And it’s extremely important to label things what they are. This person had an agenda, and it was a race-driven one.
What’s truly more disturbing than the lack of precise language, is the fact that racism is a choice. No one is born a racist. Children at the playground do not discriminate against other children their age because they are of a different color. Why? Because they don’t see race, they see another person with whom to play with and be entertained.
So, how does one become a racist? When does that even happen? I’m sure people do not want to become one, right? Or do they?
I honestly don’t have any answers to these questions. I do know that since one is not born a racist, the responsibility of transforming people into racists lies with the person parenting them, or helping their upbringing.
And we’re all left to deal with it.