Every once in a while, I’ll see one of these memes that say things like “Your people killed mine” or “Your people enslaved mine.”
No, I didn’t.
My ancestors came over to America long after slavery was ended. They had nothing to do with American Indians being killed.
And even if they did, so what? I had nothing to do with it — I wasn’t even born yet.
Taking blame or credit for things your ancestors did always seemed silly to me, and it’s one of the biggest problems that the world faces. There are still people in the Middle East fighting over things that happened 1000 years ago.
Yes, the native Americans were treated terribly. Yes, many blacks were held in slavery in our country. Absolutely. I am not saying “get over it” — far from that, because we should always remember what happened to make sure it never happens again. Instead, I am saying that we should stop identifying each other as “part of that group” (either the oppressed or the oppressors at the time) and stop prejudging people that way.
Isn’t that the root of all discrimination? Assuming that if someone is from a certain racial or ethnic group, they are your enemy?
Obviously, if someone is a part of a present, current-day group they specifically joined and identify with, that is completely different. Someone waving a Confederate flag is pretty easily identified as a jerk. If your bumper sticker says “Obama go back to Kenya” yeah, I know you’re not my friend. That’s not “pre-judging” someone, that’s “judging them based on the evidence presented.”
Prejudice refers to judging people based on things they have no control over (race, sex, country of origin, sexual orientation, age, etc.) And it’s especially true when you judge them over things that happened before they were even born.