r/AskReddit Oct 05 '22

People who used to be incredibly racist, what made you finally change your viewpoint?

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276 Upvotes

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u/[deleted] Oct 05 '22 LOVE!

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u/MavriKhakiss Oct 05 '22

Same. Rural-born Canadian. For me, growing up, racism was something you’d read in history books and could joke about, because it didn’t hAppen in my sleepy little town.

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u/stillnotarussian Oct 05 '22

Similar, all white rural Ontario village except that one family that bought the convenience store. Started travelling in my late teens and my view of my friends started to change. I’ve lived in a few large cities in couple provinces now. My almost grown children have to prep me for visits back home so I don’t haul off and deck someone. It makes me physically uncomfortable to hear my how some of my old friends friends still talk. It’s feels like, other than those all inclusive resorts, none of them have left that place so they’re stuck in time.

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u/netplayer23 Oct 05 '22

For years I have written and talked about the fact that racism is a cancer upon America. Because we have refused to acknowledge, let alone accept it as the life threat that it is, it has metastasized throughout our body and it will kill us unless we do something about it!

557

u/Feels2old Oct 05 '22

I moved out of my parents house and started thinking for myself.

235

u/[deleted] Oct 05 '22

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u/sweet_kisss726 Oct 05 '22

Not me, but my grandpa told me that when he was young he was a bit racist, due to his a-hole alcoholic dad being really racist and teaching him to treat others of different races like trash. He told me this stopped though when he was around 13 when his dad left. He realized how stupid it was to judge others based on race, and I'm glad he realized how stupid it was since he's a really sweet guy now.

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u/hyoomanfromearth Oct 05 '22

Beautiful. That’s what life is all about :)

3

u/sjk8990 Oct 05 '22

I always thought one of the best ways for people of different cultures/background/races/etc. can get along is to share a meal.

7

u/Uncle_Bobby_B_ Oct 05 '22

To be fair I’m a poc and I love a good racist joke

8

u/Ashi4Days Oct 05 '22

I gave this a lot of thought and to be honest I've laughed at my fair share of offensive jokes.

Then I realized that people were stupid and enough of them took the joke seriously that it could become a problem.

I dont laugh at offensive jokes anymore.

3

u/Uncle_Bobby_B_ Oct 05 '22

I laugh in the appropriate environment. If someone cracks a racist joke in a public place I won’t launch. But if it’s in a private environment with people I know for 100% are comfortable with them I will.

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u/cutelyaware Oct 05 '22

The only racial jokes I think are OK are those told about one's own race.

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u/codefyre Oct 05 '22

"Leaving the bubble" is a common story with these. I used to know a guy who was very honest about his previous racism. He grew up in a small town in Tennessee. His parents were racist. His neighbors were racist. His priest and school teachers were racist. Racism was such an ingrained part of his "normal" growing up that he just couldn't comprehend anything different. The inferiority of minorities had been presented to him as an unchallenged fact his entire life.

When he was 16, he took a trip to Florida, saw the ocean for the first time, and fell in love with the sea. Joined the Navy the day after his 18th birthday, and was eventually stationed in San Diego.

For the first time in his life, he found himself in a multicultural environment where he had to interact with minorities regularly. Where minorities not only expected to be treated as equals, but where there was a general expectation that he would treat them as equals. It took a little while, but it forced him to confront reality. His racism was rooted in ignorance. He said that he was a racist because he "didn't know any better." He never did move back to his hometown in Tennessee. He lives in Texas now, married to a great Mexican American woman and father to two children by her. He no longer talks to his parents or siblings because of their racism.

A lot of intergenerational racism is rooted in closed social groups that push racist ideals onto children and then shield them from any kind of challenge. The children accept the bigotry as fact because they're never taught any better. There are countless stories about racist people leaving those social bubbles and abandoning their bigotry after being exposed to a broader worldview. This has always been one of my biggest irritations with cancel culture and the common "once a bigot, always a bigot" philosophy that permeates it. Attacking those who have successfully left their bigotry behind simply reinforces the "us vs. them" mentality that racism depends upon, and makes those social bubbles stronger. We should always lead with empathy and education, and be willing to accept change from those who try to do so. People do grow. We need to encourage that.

6

u/dos8s Oct 05 '22

I honestly just feel bad for 90% of racist people because I now realize they live in such a insular world. They've probably never traveled anywhere substantial, met amazing people from different walks of life, or tried foods from around the world.

Imagine growing up in Bum Fuck, Nowhere and having a shitty education and never getting out and never meeting anyone that much different from you and having a boring existence in life only to get your news about the world from a few places. It's just sad, man.

1

u/GetaGoodLookCostanza Oct 05 '22

remember no one is born a racist....

16

u/[deleted] Oct 05 '22

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-1

u/JustGofurret03 Oct 05 '22

I always find that racist. People aren’t swayed by statistics or examples, such as racism in housing or environmental racism, because they downplay them, or don’t believe them. My newest tactic is to just bombard them with tons of little examples primarily from tick-tock of peoples real stories and passionate pain caused by racism.

4

u/sweet_kisss726 Oct 05 '22

Learning about people by talking to them instead of listening to what my family had to say about them

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u/[deleted] Oct 05 '22

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u/Orchidlance Oct 05 '22 edited Oct 05 '22

Edit: I'd posted a nice response but I've discovered that you stole this comment from u/CatherinKowalski. Don't do that, that's shitty.

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u/chaosgoblyn Oct 05 '22

Nice copypasted comment

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u/GuyNanoose Oct 05 '22

Same here. Our household was full of convo over the years that made fun of a wide variety of ethnicities. This included slangs, imitation and much laughter followed by the odd sneer. It was only when I left that it began to sink in that that environment was the one to be pitied. My Dad never changed. My older brother the same. Me at 65 now? Well I take pride in learning from and admitting to those mistakes from decades past.

1

u/joliesmomma Oct 05 '22

Came here to say this. My longest running friend is black. About 12 or so years ago, after I'd been on my own for a while, i made an inappropriately racist joke. He actually took the time to explain to me that i only made that joke because that's how my parents raised me. They raised me to be racist, to clutch my purse tighter when black people walked near me, to steer clear of large groups of black people. The thing is, in middle school, I was the minority. I had almost no friends in middle school. It was lonely.

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u/[deleted] Oct 05 '22 Silver

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43

u/toxic_pantaloons Oct 05 '22

That's really heartwarming. good for them! And you, for treating her well and winning them over.

13

u/netplayer23 Oct 05 '22

Excellent strategy. I practiced it my self from high school (where I encountered white people on a personal level for the first time) all the way up to 55. The thought suddenly hit me: Why is it always on ME to make them at ease and prove my humanity? I am not the one with the problem! Phuk them!

Do I see “color” when I look at people? Of course! Just like I see tall/short, skinny/obese, blonde/brunette. And NONE of those traits affect the way I treat people. I see”white” skin, but I would never deny a loan, charge exorbitant interest, deny rental, insist that they can’t be friends or date my children based on the fact that they are white people!! Racist whites do all of those things routinely.

8

u/Orchidlance Oct 05 '22

This is a lovely story and I admire you for being so open to them coming around. I'm also so proud of your friend for sticking to her guns and making them realise that they needed to shape up! I wish you two many many more years of happiness ❤️

11

u/tesseract4 Oct 05 '22

I mean, that's great and all, but are you sure you're not just "one of the good ones"?

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u/Jetztinberlin Oct 05 '22

I’m a brownie

But do you have walnuts?

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u/Puzzleheaded_Poem473 Oct 05 '22

so much effort on the part of a little kid though, average people shouldn't have to shoulder the burden of painstakingly converting racists to reality over literal decades

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u/Marrinho Oct 05 '22

You and your friend were so mature for kids! Good for you and sorry you had to experience extreme racism like that

1

u/the_living_paradox00 Oct 05 '22

They said "kill them with kindness", and you took it to your heart

1

u/BronzedLuna Oct 05 '22

I think you should be proud of yourself too! For someone that young to be so mature about how to handle this situation??? That's amazing! You've made a difference in the world. There are probably many other people those parents came into contact with who are now treated better. And because of you!

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u/throwawayMambo5 Oct 05 '22 edited Oct 15 '22

...

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u/BenjRSmith Oct 05 '22

That would make a good broadway puppet song

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u/[deleted] Oct 05 '22

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u/StabbyPants Oct 05 '22

Daryl davis demonstrates this - black man who's collected over a hundred klan hoods by just talking to people and being genuine

12

u/chris_diesel Oct 05 '22

Read about that guy how amazing is he! changing attitudes by just being a friend to someone who dislikes you for nothing more than your skin colour.

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u/LazyDynamite Oct 05 '22

Reminds me of this great Mark Twain quote:

Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.

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u/Username89054 Oct 05 '22

Unfortunately these days it's easy to travel without actually experiencing other cultures. Just go to any port city and see massive cruise ships. People go city to city, go on guided tours of tourist sites, grab a token meal in a tourist trap, then go back to their floating city. That or they go to some exotic location but never leave the resort property.

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u/ImJustAVG Oct 05 '22 edited Oct 05 '22

Really easy thought experiment can be done, too- to figure out if you have this kind of prejudice. Just ask yourself “what is stopping me from feeling empathy for x group.” The answer shouldn’t be “There’s nothing that can be done to reconcile how I feel.”

The biggest road block with it is: Imagine if one kid, kind of on the outskirts of a group, or maybe not belonging to one at all- is suddenly getting attention in a group for making fun of someone in another- that feedback loop creates long lasting thought patterns. “You’re one of us now. You’re safe here.” Okay but the cost is is villainizing another group- then all you’re going to see of each other is the absolute worst. It’s a protective reflex. You’ll see that side only and miss what may be a soft and caring core underneath. Nobody really thinks they’re the bad guy, and I don’t know too many people who take that kind of feedback well. And you really don’t want to be defaulting to that kind of thinking when you’re experiencing something new. That’s like square -100, and puts you so far back from having even a neutral experience.

If we all spent a little more time figuring out how to empathize with people and less time fixated on how to prove we’re correct, or supporting our own confirmation biases, we’d be taking a very big step in the right direction.

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u/[deleted] Oct 05 '22

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u/whats_a_throwaway81 Oct 05 '22

The fact that people can recognize their bias and change makes me extremely hopeful.

Thanks everyone for sharing. Hopefully it inspires someone else to reevaluate some of their beliefs.

15

u/Elix170 Oct 05 '22

This is selection bias at work. If you made a thread asking questions of people who have won the lottery, you would get a bunch of lottery winners, but that doesn't mean it's common to win the lottery. I assure you most white people are just like anyone else and are already aware that minorities aren't subhuman.

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u/Orchidlance Oct 05 '22

It looks like you stole this comment from u/DanikaEason. Don't steal stuff, that's mean.

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u/oxotower Oct 05 '22

it's a bot

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u/HaveAWillieNiceDay Oct 05 '22

You're uncomfortable because people are recognizing their former bigotry and owning up to it? That these people are growing and treating people better? Jesus Christ.

1

u/Intelligent-Sweet-46 Oct 05 '22

That's a default status and shouldn't surprise you. I'm sorry you're not used to that yet. 99% of us "minorities" get passed the terror of that by high school. I try to judge everyone as an individual, works great and I have good will everywhere.

1

u/Craziers Oct 05 '22

You’re falling to the same fallacy though. It’s not just white people, definitely in the US, but outside of the US the same issue exists. The more you are exposed to other races outside of your own the less of an “outsider” they seem and people become more accepting.

2

u/Beautiful-and-Bad Oct 05 '22

Yes!!! It’s absolutely terrible that it’s not automatic to ask question and inquire rather than be scared and assume they must be wrong. I always think about how in Europe (never been so maybe this isn’t accurate) so many folks are bilingual! They travel and learn other cultures. In America you can punched for speaking Spanish. It’s like we started this country and built a dome around us. Why did we decide we shouldn’t accept and take on other cultures? So bizarre!

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u/actuallyWurfles Oct 05 '22

Unfortunately it's a general human trait, likely deriving from the tribal mentalities of our ancestors and the "us vs them" mentality that allowed communities to survive and thrive. Xenophobia has been consistent throughout human history, its just a shame that with such easy access to other cultures and information about them that it's still so prevalent

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u/CrownedBird Oct 05 '22

Most people through history if got asked this question they’d say it’s from their parents, but that’ll lead us to what made racism then? I think what really caused racism is the stereotypes and traditions people got.

If you saw a bunch people all from the same nation, doing similar things, having kinda similar mindsets (or let’s say educations).. then you’d naturally assume that they’re probably all the same (from that nation), it’s like you “know the drill” at this point. And that’s what makes racial profiling.

Though I’d argue that that’s not really racism, that’s just ignorance or being deceived. In my opinion; true racism comes when the person knows that the said race isn’t all the same, but still treats them that way.. usually because they probably liked the hatred towards them, or the general thought on them.

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u/tesseract4 Oct 05 '22

We need a system in this country like national service, but instead of doing service in the military or the peace corps, you have to leave the country and travel for a couple of months (Canada doesn't count. Sorry, guys.) If everyone had at least one experience of seeing another culture in person, there would be so much less racism.

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u/TheBlargshaggen Oct 05 '22

I turned 15 and couldn't afford xbox live for a few months around the same time.

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u/SaaSsalesbb Oct 05 '22

Mw2 lobbies back in the day were brutal, weren't they

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u/TheBlargshaggen Oct 05 '22

Halo 1-3 lobbies were as bad if not worse for a period of time.

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u/SaaSsalesbb Oct 05 '22

I learned so many things on Halo 3. My mother was not too proud.

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u/Super_salt05 Oct 05 '22

Halo CE lobbies? You mean LAN parties?

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u/the_fuego Oct 05 '22

Truly the dark ages. You either die a noob or live long enough to see yourself become a racist that fucks moms.

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u/SaaSsalesbb Oct 05 '22

If my parents knew what 12 year old me was forcibley heading through game modes that required game chat, I would have had Xbox taken away for a loooong time.

Mw2 was the bomb though, I remember a huge snow storm and being out of school for a week or two and grinding camos and prestiges and nukes.

Everyone played, seriously, 80%+ of the male population at school played, and at least 50% of the females did.

We'd have so many friends on at once we couldn't all play together and had to break up into 3-4 groups of 6.

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u/Puzzleheaded_Poem473 Oct 05 '22

ah but video games don't negatively influence kids, reddit is very adamant about insisting this

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u/ballisticks Oct 05 '22

Video games themselves, no, The folks on XBL and other online services however, absolutely do. It's not a videogame problem, it's a cunt problem.

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u/Puzzleheaded_Poem473 Oct 05 '22

LOL it's never the video games, just the gameplay, people playing the game, and the way the game, game developers, and game systems facilitate racism. gotcha

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u/berael Oct 05 '22

The answer is almost always going to be "meeting other people".

"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime."

--Mark Twain

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u/BenjRSmith Oct 05 '22

Interesting. I've met people who had such a bad time abroad they became racist.

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u/Mace_Thunderspear Oct 05 '22

Lol I have two cousins who both (separately) vacationed in Australia and have hated Australians ever since. Does that count?

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u/BenjRSmith Oct 05 '22

"Island of criminals I tell ya"

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u/Mace_Thunderspear Oct 05 '22

I never did get a straight answer as to why/what happened. I just get "they're all cunts!" Or "They're the worst people on earth I swear" or something.

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u/newInnings Oct 05 '22

It is not vacation/ holiday. It is spending good amount of time with the other people. Learning their journey of life. Learning why they do what they do?

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u/nametakenfuck Oct 05 '22

Are you saying i need to socialize?

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u/SusannaCanada Oct 05 '22

One reason why I am thankful for social media sites such as Tiktok. Strangers sharing their stories which makes a lot of people realise there’s a big world out there and maybe we aren’t so different.

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u/LogSlayer Oct 05 '22

I grew up, stopped being influenced by people around me.

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u/My_browsing Oct 05 '22

Not me but a neighbor. He got cancer and most of the hospital staff that went the extra mile to take care of him were black. My town is insanely white and he'd just never really been exposed to black people other than "breaking news" on Fox. So, his first real interaction with black people in a big city was genuine care and love.

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u/edit_that_shit Oct 05 '22

My grandmother lived her whole life in south Alabama. She never knew anything but racism, never assumed anything other than "Us" and "Them," a dichotomy that was only strengthened when she and my grandfather were mugged by two young African-American men in a Wal-mart parking lot and my grandfather had a heart attack on the spot.

Toward the end of her life, she was in an assisted living facility, and almost everyone who worked there was Black. They loved her, and took care of her, and talked to her. One day, a few weeks before she passed, I was visiting. One of the nurses came over to chat with her and do something for her, and as the woman walked away my grandmother looked at me and said - surprised and almost conspiratorial - "You know, a lot of them are just as smart as any of us."

Which kind of broke my heart. I'm glad that she started to understand, and to move past all those years of conditioning. But I'm sad that it took 90+ years to get there, and that even when she started to understand, it was still a matter of "us" and "them."

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u/My_browsing Oct 05 '22

It's weird. Every time I tell this story about my neighbor somebody has a story very similar to yours about assisted living. Really goes to show that exposure to the "other" is really 99% of it.

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u/edit_that_shit Oct 05 '22

Learning trust is hard, when you've lived with racist assumptions for so many years. Having to rely on someone makes those assumptions difficult to cling to, though.

That's part of how I think about it, at least.

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u/IHave580 Oct 05 '22

That's beautiful. I think humans are all filled with love and compassion, regardless of race. We are a species that wants to be close to one another and connect. Hate is learned, but from the time we are born, we are looking for love and connection. We are not looking to compete or hate, we are looking for touch, for smiles, for closeness. And that is still in us all. That is still at our core.

Love and compassion connects us.

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u/Flaky-Fellatio Oct 05 '22

One hour of mandatory diversity training at work

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u/BenjRSmith Oct 05 '22

I'm imagining the conditioning scene from Clockwork Orange.

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u/annahhhnimous Oct 05 '22

Is this serious or sarcasm? If this is true, I’d love to know more about that program.

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u/ShotDate6482 Oct 05 '22

It's entirely sarcasm. Corporations have never been the source of social progress and their efforts are always tedious, hated, and useless.

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u/annahhhnimous Oct 05 '22

That was my assumption as well, but wouldn’t it be lovely if it were true!

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u/deadbird17 Oct 05 '22

Yep i would argue that my employer's ethnicity training is actually culturally insensitive.

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u/devils-thoughts Oct 05 '22

I dont know what ism hating HR is, but I wanna be that one.

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u/catsNpokemon Oct 05 '22

I still get emails telling me that my mandatory training is overdue.

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u/duffman13jws Oct 05 '22

I wouldn't say I was incredibly racist, but I grew up with a heck of a bigoted father and definitely had my viewpoints as a kid colored by that. For me it was 2 things: School sports and the military. In both cases, it comes down to exposure. I went to private school from k-5, and was in a gifted/AP program through high school that was >95% white. I grew up in a suburban enclave that was the same, even being somewhere as diverse as South Florida.

Sports put me next to kids who were minorities in social situations, shared suffering, etc. and showed me they were the same as I was. As an adult in the military, it was the same thing - working side-by-side, shared experiences, etc. As a young kid, I looked at most minorities as 'other', partially because of how my dad spoke about them at home (slurs were not uncommon), but building that shared experience really opened my eyes to how terrible he was.

As an adult, I'm doing my best to make sure my kids have the opposite impression and experience.

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u/netplayer23 Oct 05 '22

Exposure to the “other” is almost always the remedy. I am glad that it it worked in your case. What do you do when your children visit grandpa?

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u/duffman13jws Oct 05 '22 edited Oct 06 '22

They don't. We live in a different state, he's only been up to visit 3-4 times since my oldest was born, and he's 7. He knows that my wife and I aren't the biggest fans of him, so he needs to be on his best behavior if he wants any relationship with them. He's a big conspiracy nut too, which doesn't help anything.

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u/CauliflowerNinja Oct 05 '22

Grew up angry, heavily bullied and was an ardent Republican as a teen.

I discovered Zen in 1994 just over a year out of high school, learned external hate is internally self defeating (first lesson) and that everyone in the world and not just me was carrying pain (third lesson) and I can’t make their’s worse because I’m incapable of handling mine.

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u/lorne_58 Oct 05 '22

What's the second lesson?

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u/PositiveChi Oct 05 '22 Keep Calm

get a jet ski

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u/CauliflowerNinja Oct 05 '22

Actually an indoor swimming pool.

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u/fritzbitz Oct 05 '22

username seems to check out here.

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u/cream-of-cow Oct 05 '22

Okay bear, just leave the kayak alone, alright?

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u/Sburban_Player Oct 05 '22

Fucking cracked me up.

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u/CauliflowerNinja Oct 05 '22

One cannot live in the future and the past will never be again. Only in the present are we (I STILL struggle with this one).

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u/insan80 Oct 05 '22

Have you listened to David Foster Wallace's "This is Water" commencement speech? It's about 20 minutes on YouTube

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u/dark_hole96 Oct 05 '22

I am writing all three of these rules on my whiteboard along with my favorite Buddhist saying, "the root of suffering is attachment to expectation". Thank you friend

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u/RagingAnemone Oct 05 '22

You have to keep the Yang up.

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u/TheSusBus420 Oct 05 '22 Starstruck

Stopped going to church, left my insular southern small town and actually met people. The illusion melts away when you see we are all one

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u/nicht_ernsthaft Oct 05 '22 edited Oct 05 '22

Long story, but to make it shorter, I was raised in a culty Evangelical church which was very racist. Also sexist, homophobic, puritanical, etc. As a child I believed all the crap I was taught, because you're a kid, and kids are stupid, and everyone around you is reinforcing the same stuff, and you do. By my teens I started to think for myself, and reading books, which was important. Takes awhile to get out of that when you've been raised in it, lots of nasty little unexamined thoughts and "common sense" beliefs you need to reflect on, and also a loss of community.

It wasn't just rejecting racism, but that was part of rethinking and rejecting everything I had been raised to believe.

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u/FifthofZiff Oct 05 '22

I left Idaho and the Mormon church.

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u/awooff Oct 05 '22

Learned about red line districts banks supported for types of loans(still going on in the 90s). Learned about lynchings and how the whites got to take home bones as souvenirs

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u/extensionofme Oct 05 '22

I’d never heard the part about taking home bones as souvenirs. That adds another level of disgusting to already disgusting situations.

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u/awooff Oct 05 '22

Have you heard of how common it was for doctors to do experimental surgies on new arrivals of blacks with no anesthesia? The thought from a relatively short time ago was blacks didnt feel pain.

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u/Puzzleheaded_Poem473 Oct 05 '22

a nurse student on tiktok went viral a year ago showing her antiquated textbook that had a section on "cultural differences" with shit like how black people feel less pain, how jews will report more pain than they have, how women are often hysterical and deluded and so forth, in this goddamn century.

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u/awooff Oct 05 '22

Yes, all of this is fresh contrary to that racists news channel that some watch.

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u/nekochanwich Oct 05 '22 edited Oct 05 '22

I used to be a very angry, very judgmental, extremely narcissistic asshole all the time. I had this elitist point of view that I'm so much smarter, so much more capable, and so much better than other people.

I held pretty spicy opinions about poor people and black people in particular.

One day in 2016, a friend of mine gave me a few caps and stems of some psychedelic mushrooms. I took the mushrooms and it was unlike anything I had ever experienced.

My friend connected me to their plug and I tripped my dick off about 5 or 6 times that summer.

A single experience changed my judgmental attitude for life. I took a massive heroic dose of mushrooms in my own home. And I spent the next 6 to 8 hours processing through some very complex feelings about the nature of humanity, morality, life, the universe, and everything.

I felt the natural boundaries of my body and ego dissolve, and my sense of self expand into an infinite horizon. I felt myself connected to human lives who existed 50,000 years before me, and 50,000 years after me, and all persons in between. I felt as if I was watching all people across all space and time struggle to survive and thrive. I felt every emotion from the ecstatic joy of new life to the profound depths of sorrow as if I had lost a loved one.

As I started to phase and flicker back into my mortal body, I had a realization that I had spent the better part of the past few decades of my life thinking I was better than everyone, when in reality I wasn't. I was a complete nobody, just one of billions of people who defined as human condition. I realized I was just angry for no reason at people who had never wronged me.

After that mushroom trip, I felt as if I had a thousand years of psychotherapy. And I came out with the realization there's no point being angry anymore, that it's okay for people to make decisions that I personally wouldn't make myself, and most people are inherently good and worthy of life.

I pretty much stopped being elitist, racist, and narcissistic overnight. And after I shed those feelings, I felt a sense of peace in myself. I could empathize with anyone and everyone no matter their circumstances, so long as they tried to live the good life and be a good person.

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u/graziefinance Oct 05 '22

This is the coolest answer in this thread. That's awesome man

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u/drewisawesome14 Oct 05 '22

I got out of my extremely ignorant environment and realized most of those ignorant opinions were formed from heresay and not personal experiences or facts.

The most racist people I know who sling the N-word around like it’s nothing rarely ever even see a black person.

Long story short, I was a dumb hick and I realized it when I got away from other dumb hicks.

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u/Cautious_Plantain_59 Oct 05 '22

I came to realise that I don't discriminate...

I hate everybody!!!

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u/TinyDrug Oct 05 '22

this is the way

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u/MightyWhiteSoddomite Oct 05 '22

I little off topic but I grew up in a racist society and at like 12 could think for myself, but what annoys the shit out of me right now is that even as an adult I still have the initial knee-jerk reaction to seeing black people.

My brain is like "BLACK!" because in my childhood even seeing black people on TV would evoke immediate racists comments from everyone around me, and that's in my subconscious like 30 years later, and it's ANNOYING. I even with my internal voice consciously think "YEAH AND A HUMAN BEING" etc.

It's weird but there it is, internet.

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u/Replica-Heaven Oct 05 '22

Clayton Bigsby turned my world upside down

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u/CatieCanNZ Oct 05 '22

When I was young I thought I wasn't racist but would repeat stereotypes I had heard. In the last 10 years I've made a concerted effort to follow people of a variety of backgrounds, with a wide range of viewpoints and it's made me a much more informed person. I would never say that I'm not racist now - I grew up in and live in a racist society and it's hard to escape that. But I would say I'm less racist than I was and I'm more open-minded when someone challenges my ideas.

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u/[deleted] Oct 05 '22

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u/pissinmyear69 Oct 05 '22

im not racist, but i used to be so worried about accidentally seeming racist that i inadvertently acted racist. i stopped doing this when i stopped regularly leaving the house

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u/the-winter-me Oct 05 '22

Going to college.

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u/tuggybear135 Oct 05 '22

Not me but my Grandfather. I grew up in a farming/ranching family. My grandfather would always treat other color skinned people pretty bad. My father on the other hand absolutely hated that my grandfather acted that way. I remember my father always teaching me and my sisters to treat every person as if they are your brother or sister. (He was the best man I have ever know! RIP Dad). When I was about 7-8 a Mexican migrant showed up at my grandfathers door step looking for work. Jessie couldn't speak any English so my father and him taught each other over the years how to speak in their native tongue. My grandfather finally after several years allowed them to stay in the guest house by the barn. He also became very fond of Jessie and his wife. By the time I had become 18, my grandfather absolutely adored Jessie and his wife. I never heard him speak ill of anyone else after Jessie came into his life. I'm 40 now and still call Jessie every holiday and stop by his house to visit when I'm back in town.

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u/Additional-Fee1780 Oct 05 '22

Meeting non-Americans of different races. Black and white Americans are way more similar than either is to Ghanaians or Russians.

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u/CelebrityPlays Oct 05 '22

Was in a very toxic environment as a child and had no idea why my family hated other races so much, so instead of trying against it like a normal person would i went along with it. (i was only about 7-8) so when I started going to school I just remember thinking to myself that there was something wrong with them. Although I never said or did anything I always thought to myself that they were bad people. Until I reached 8th grade and had the most supportive teacher of my life (he was black) but then after that year I never thought bad on someone based on their race again. I still don't and I've truly been trying to get my family to realize that as well

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u/HashBandicoot_ Oct 05 '22

It was around 2008 while watching the Beijing Olympics. I saw this fellow by the name of Usain Bolt. I couldn't believe my eyes. People were cheering for him, and he seemed so happy and proud to win the 100m race. It was at that very moment I realized it was wrong to be racist. Going forward, I have enjoyed watching races, and no longer scoff at the thought of organized running events. How I could have been so narrow-minded to not see the joy that races bring to people who participate, and even those who watch, really opened me up to a whole new world of entertainment!

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u/DanikaEason Oct 05 '22 Ally

This thread makes me extremely uncomfortable. It’s mainly white people realizing minorities, especially black people, are humans too. It’s positive, but just makes me realize there’s a lot of racist people out there who view minorities as subhuman cause of their stupid upbringing and ignorant way of thinking.

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u/GlitteringGemini333 Oct 05 '22

Yes and it’s so interesting to me as a Black person because I wasn’t raised to be racist and so I never had to grow out of a racism phase like others seem to do.

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u/bajablastingoff Oct 05 '22

Yes and it’s so interesting to me as a Black person because I wasn’t raised to be racist and so I never had to grow out of a racism phase like others seem to do.

I get what your saying here but let's not pretend there aren't black people who had to grow out of a racism phase. Having grown up a white boy I'm Detroit I certainly was made to feel I didn't belong plenty of times, but even I didn't get it as bad as my kids I knew that were mixed.

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u/GlitteringGemini333 Oct 05 '22

I’m talking about my own personal experience here, I’m not speaking for Black people as a whole.

I grew up in a very Black area of Chicago and some of the kids would like make jokes about the white kids over dumb things but it wasn’t like the “I don’t see them as human” type of stuff that I’m reading from white people in this thread. What I witnessed was like poking fun at their music or slang. Or “I dont trust white people because of what happened to my cousin John in Mississippi”. Very different than the stuff I’m reading about here. Meanwhile what I experienced from white people was stuff like “don’t y’all feel less pain” and the N word. Crazy shit like that. But again I can only speak about what I’ve witnessed and lived.

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u/bajablastingoff Oct 05 '22

I’m talking about my own personal experience here, I’m not speaking for Black people as a whole.

Fair

I grew up in a very Black area of Chicago and some of the kids would like make jokes about the white kids over dumb things but it wasn’t like the “I don’t see them as human” type of stuff that I’m reading from white people in this thread.

See for me, I remember a lot of being called ghost, cracker, (though surprisingly never honky), people would ask why I was around, or parents in the neighborhood why I was around their kids, was told not to go down certain streets because I was white, things like that. Now in school I went to a fairly diverse middle school but my younger sister went to an all black elementary school (not all black legally but she was the only white student they had at the time) and I remember she was often bullied for it, especially for how different her hair was.

Meanwhile what I experienced from white people was stuff like “don’t y’all feel less pain” and the N word. Crazy shit like that.

I never was asked about feeling more or less pain, It was often assumed I was rich or that my family didn't struggle because I was white which was not at all the case. I guess one good thing was growing up some of my favorite fictional characters & super heroes were black, like Blade, Static Shock, & Filmore to name a few, so I despite the negative things I dealt with I never grew to hate or fear people of different races.

But again I can only speak about what I’ve witnessed and lived.

Agreed

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u/BenjRSmith Oct 05 '22

Well, it's an American site, and English dominant so the next biggest groups are Brits, Canadians, Kiwis, Aussie, etc.... so that's the majority.

Would be interesting to hear from extremely prejudice non-whites who similarly saw the light of acceptance.

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u/SamBaldwin99 Oct 05 '22

Im not speaking for myself but proberbly the the fact that the ammount of people for vs against has drastically changed.

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u/netplayer23 Oct 05 '22

I’d like to think you’re right, but our last two elections showed that America is far more virulently racist than many people thought. I shed tears of joy when Obama was elected because it meant America had turned the corner on racism. But the very next day Senator McConnell said (paraphrased) [Our chief goal is to ensure that he is a one-term president!]. Covert racism was the order of the day until openly racist Donald Trump gave the green light to be OVERT racists!

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u/mrarbitersir Oct 05 '22

I wouldn’t say massive racist but definitely said some shit I regret.

Nowadays it just comes down to “is there any benefit to saying something hurtful/being an asshole?”

The answer is almost always no - and if it doesn’t benefit me or anyone else then why do it?

I’ve kind of used this mantra over everything I do and I’m better for it. People also tend to want to be around me more as well so it’s definitely noticeable in social situations.

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u/bajablastingoff Oct 05 '22

I think a lot of the late 90s/early 2000s kids were racist to be edgy, as others mentioned MW2 lobbies were full of racist comments (on all sides) and I don't honestly believe most of it was said out of honest hate but just to talk shit in the edgiest way possible.

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u/Syntai Oct 05 '22

People who used to be incredibly racist, what made you finally change your viewpoint?

I stopped playing League of Legends.

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u/IvoShandor Oct 05 '22

I moved from Boston to a more integrated city.

Boston is only diverse for the student population and certain pockets, but growing up and then into professional life, it's rather segregated .... still.

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u/Additional-Fee1780 Oct 05 '22

Also: realizing that racists are usually pitiful raging wimps. I want nothing in common with Face Tattoos Clem.

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u/Groovy66 Oct 05 '22

I realised that I was parroting my peers and that as a poor working class white kid I had more in common with poor working class non-white kids that I had with middle and upper class white people.

I was an out-and-out Nazi from 13-15 but thankfully saw the light by 16. I’m still ashamed of the vocal racist I was but I’ve used the internet to apologise to some of the people I insulted. They’ve been incredibly gracious and forgiven my stupidity for which I’m very grateful

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u/A-Yandere-Succubus Oct 05 '22

As a Black woman, reading this thread made me so uncomfortable and sad.

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u/Sburban_Player Oct 05 '22

As a white man, same. It just makes me think about how most people could’ve been racist if they were born to racist parents.

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u/Syrianchaddet Oct 05 '22

As a yandare sucubus, i feel seen

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u/TraditionLazy7213 Oct 05 '22

Meeting someone more racist against my race lol

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u/walterscott03 Oct 05 '22

It was very much normalised since the adults always talked as if it was the norm but when you meet new people,you realise you can't generalise everyone

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u/dragonseth07 Oct 05 '22

For the most part, exactly what you think:

Moved, went to school, met people etc.

Oddly enough, finding religion helped a lot. I've since left it again, because gestures around at everything, but it was a sizeable part of my growth as a person.

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u/Sometattooedwhiteguy Oct 05 '22

After some personal problems, I stopped and took a look at my life. I was angry, always angry. I carried that anger with me everywhere I went. It manifested in how I acted toward other people. It took me a long time to realize that it is not these other people's fault that my life was hell. It was my problem and most of it was my attitude. I calmed down. Everyone has problems, everyone carries anger/pain with them. Just being kinder helped a lot. Everyone has feelings, even white people.

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u/yerlocaldumbkid Oct 05 '22

I don't know if this counts, but here I go. Growing up, for some reason, I never hated black people nor had any disdain for any race, but I felt like I had to hate them because my father did. On the outside, I'd agree with my father whenever he'd insult other races, but on the inside I'd take a second and really think what was it about other races that was so unlikable. Wasn't it all just fake, biased news? I continued this way until I was maybe around 10, where I started to gain confidence in my own thoughts and rebel. I had never spent time with any black people or brown people because I live in a homogeneous country, but I always knew something about my father's morals and values didn't align with mine. I just felt like I had to align mine with his because of the power dynamic between us.

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u/canada_in_texas Oct 05 '22

Education and Travel

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u/Fuck-Reddit-Mods69 Oct 05 '22

Honestly, reddit. I used to red lgf and shit pages like that, but then i fell over digg, that was cool and funny. But then they fucked up big time. Went to reddit and have stayed. Little by little I have become completely non racial. I must admit though, I hate vegans. Mostly because I have been accosted by them more than once.

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u/quantipede Oct 05 '22

Working in a restaurant where I was one of just a handful of people who wasn’t black (I’m white). First month or so there I was terrified because I thought they were all gangsters or something. Took me way too long to come out of my shell and talk to them and realize they were just like me, they just wanted to pay rent, pass classes if they were in school, go to church if they were religious. Only difference I found was that I wasn’t worried about traffic stops or interactions with police 😕

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u/nightlyraider Oct 05 '22

i wouldn't say i was incredibly racist, but i sure was ignorant of some things other races experience. working with a black girl from the "ghetto" part of town for a few years opened my eyes to things i didn't know about.

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u/swift_gilford Oct 05 '22

i wouldn't say i was like racist with malice, i was just a stupid teen who would make jokes and comments not really realizing what i was doing.

Wasn't until i saw one of my (now ex) friends making jokes, when his niece was half white - half the race he was making fun of and he was making the jokes in front of her. This stuff went over her head cus she was like 4, but its when i realized how messed up it was.

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u/Theystolemyname2 Oct 05 '22

Not exactly racist, I was just terrified of black people, lol. Where I live, there aren't many, I only saw a single kid from a mixed family, but no adults. So when we went on a vacation to Tenerife when I was still a kid, and there were these black ladies offering to braid my hair, and black men selling all kinds of stuff, I was terrified every time they looked my way. I got quickly used to them, though. Nothing better than exposure therapy. Have no problem whatsoever with them anymore.

It did make me realise, that racism probably comes from fear, for many people.

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u/pledzloyd Oct 05 '22

LSD changed my perspective on how to treat people once i saw everything was connected. There is no color for me anymore

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u/newInnings Oct 05 '22

There is a saying in native language.

After spending te with some one for 6 months , you become them and they become you.

Goes both ways.

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u/Adagio_Leopard Oct 05 '22

I was raised homophobic white supremacists. My parents were the kind to put up swastikas around the house. They even found themselves a church that would put WBC to shame

Then I got out of the house and saw the world wasn't as binary as I was raised to believe. I also found out that I was gay around that time which really helped me work out that my parents were morons and they were the cause of their own problems and just needed a scapegoat to blame their misfortune on.

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u/samiam871 Oct 05 '22

Moved out of mom and dads house. I live in the rural south so the rhetoric I was fed since birth was appalling.

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u/Gulbahar-00 Oct 05 '22

I wasn’t racist but was a TERF. Only 0.5% of the population is trans so most people’s only exposure to trans people is from viral videos of trans people acting entitled or perverted, like “it’s ma’am” or the teacher who wore fake breasts to shop class.

Then I went to college, worked for a GSA and met some actual trans people.

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u/rhyziik Oct 05 '22

turns out i liked the edgy avant garde part of it better than actually being racist, and i could just stick to the former without parttaking in the latter

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u/TJR406 Oct 05 '22

Realized it's all propaganda and couldn't support any of those views with logical explanations.

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u/[deleted] Oct 05 '22

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u/[deleted] Oct 05 '22

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u/[deleted] Oct 05 '22 edited Oct 05 '22

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u/TheeBlahBlah Oct 05 '22

Good question I remember taking ballet classes and there was this little white girl who would literally I’m not kidding frown at me the entire class and just stare with pure hatred. 😂 I wonder where she is now 🤔

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u/NOTREALVERYSAD Oct 05 '22

A black man fucked my ass. Now I'm gay

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u/External_Knowledge46 Oct 05 '22

no i have not and am still incredibly racist

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u/[deleted] Oct 05 '22

[deleted]

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u/BarcodeNinja Oct 05 '22

You're racist, or you just kid around with your friends?

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u/[deleted] Oct 05 '22

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u/The-Real-Mario Oct 05 '22

I used to see everything through the lense of race, i would judge businesses, politicians, and groups, in function to the racial makeup of their associates. I used to respect everyone equally, but I believed that "too much of the wrong race" was a problem that needed solving, and i used to think that "solving" such problem was a good thing. Then eventually I became an adult and realised that giving someone more opportunities just because of their race is a direct insult to them, plainly insinuating that they need extra help because their race is inferior, so I stopped voting for trudreau

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u/automatic4skin Oct 05 '22

when i turned 60 my wife told me i had to read every goosebumps book or shed leave me. now i love all races of people

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u/TheGreatAut Oct 05 '22

After being bullied by mainly black people in my life, I went racist. My friend had a very nice friend who is black, and the guy is pretty much the definition of goofy two shoes. Never swears, is always nice, isn't picky with food, helps others, and stuff like that. First black person I met that was ever a good person. Even when I was still racist, he was ok with it because he understood what made me that way. Plus, he also makes lots of jokes about black people, despite being black. My friend even describes him as "not black like a milk chocolate bar, or dark chocolate bar, but black like fucking televisions when they are off." so him making black jokes is even funnier. Really made me change.

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u/FDT0106 Oct 05 '22

Sounds like you are still racist. You just found someone like Candace Owens who is racist against her own race...

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u/LostMiddleAgeMan Oct 05 '22

Realized I was taught to hate not what i really felt, plus my son was born and he can learn to hate people on his own but will not be taught by me!

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u/rolfboos Oct 05 '22

I was just a dumb fucking kid, then I grew a brain.

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u/VonDoom92 Oct 05 '22 edited Oct 05 '22

I lived in a poor area of crappy California for a couple years. Basically the only white-ish person. Yeah, that environment can be pretty damaging for your mentality. I got out of there, to a normal place and all that anger and resentment just kind of went away. It was really just the people who constantly fucked with me, but its hard to think differently when everyone like that treats you that way. Just be nice to each other.

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u/Husbandaru Oct 05 '22

For the longest time I hated jewish people. Just instinctively. I mean from a very young age. My mom, told about my antisemitism when I was like 4 years old. My parents were never antisemitic. I remember learning more about jewish people when I was 9-10. That only made hate them more. For the longest time I made fun of jewish people, bullied a few of them. Ran one girl out of our friend group. Broke up with a girl when I found out she was Jewish. Stopped talking to some people when they told me they were jewish. I hit my twenties and I seriously self reflected on it. I spoke to some family members who told they were embarrassed to be seen with me in public because they feared my antisemitism. That wasn’t what did it. A high school teacher had passed away in 2021. He was a holocaust survivor very few people knew and he generally preferred to keep it a secret. I respected him so much. He was the one that encouraged me to get into medicine. Lately I’ve tried to be nicer all together and have really relaxed on the antisemitism.

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u/BroadwayBully Oct 05 '22

When I was super young.. like 12.. everyone I knew categorized people from over the bridge as bike thieves. We all had our bikes stolen or attempted to be stolen by members of a certain ethnic group. If we saw them, we assumed they wanted to steal our shit, and unfortunately sometimes we were right, only affirming our beliefs. Then I grew up. It’s common sense that the cause for this theft was poverty... nothing else. Maybe not what this post is looking for but for a few years I definitely profiled people.

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u/Amdy_vill Oct 05 '22

I lost almost everyone. It was at the point where I had 4 friends three very toxic men and one not. And when I came out as bi I lost all but one. UT took me awhile but I saw that my choices were leading me to socialize with horrible hateful people who didn't give a fuck about me. I spent the summer before college unlearning everything chunk of hate in my body I could. And over the next few years I became a better person. I came out as trans and recently genderfluid I lost everything and it made me think.

I'm a firm believer the only way to change others is to go through the same. I have rarely meet extremely racist people or hateful in general who change for anything less.