I think this new generation, of which I am a part, has this idea we’re better than previous generations. We have many different types of friends. We have friends who are Asian, African, Arab, Desi, and more. But this hasn’t solved racism, and I don’t think this generation is more open-minded than the generations before. Why, you might ask?
First, let’s begin with the definition of racism. Racism is the belief all members of each race possess characteristics or abilities specific to that race, especially so as to distinguish it as inferior or superior to another race or races. The way I define racism—to make it simpler—is hating or thinking another race is inferior or superior.
Now, the ethnic cultures we have here are watered down and Americanized. Take fast food Chinese restaurants, for example. I was talking to my Chinese friend once, and she said the “Chinese” food from those places actually aren’t Chinese at all. That made sense to me because the tastes I experienced were different enough for me to specifically order it, but they’re still very much Americanized by the heaviness of the meal, the sodium in it, and the sweetness of it.
Using that same process, we changed the ethnicities that migrated from other countries, and we’ve made them the same. So even though the second-generation’s parents are from different countries, the children act and talk similarly.
I used to think there was nothing such as an American, because really America is like a salad. Pieces from the world put together and given an equal economic chance. But that’s untrue.
The way I’ve thought about it is juice boxes. Let’s imagine two difference types of juice: Kool Aid, and mango lassi. Let’s say all the kids really like Kool Aid, but once they tasted mango lassi they hated it. They liked some aspects about it, maybe the taste, but they hated the thickness. So of course we have to change the mango lassi to be able to sell it and gain some profit. So they water it down to the same consistency as Kool Aid, and change the box a bit, but not too much. Now, the kids love it and think they’re being international and open-minded by accepting a drink from another country. But in reality they’re not drinking mango lassi; they’re drinking mango-flavored Kool Aid from a cool juice box.
That’s how I see most of the second-generation immigrants that live here. They’ve lost the thing that makes them Indian, Chinese, Irish or whatever else because they’ve assimilated to the American culture. Unfortunately this dilemma has spread out to other countries as well. A lot of people are leaving or abandoning their culture to adopt the culture portrayed in Hollywood movies.
Is it even possible to not have any biases against a person who is very different from us? I’m not sure, they’re bound to accidentally do something that offends us and us them, simply because of the culture barrier. More recently, some Muslims try to remove all the barriers between them and Non-Muslims just to be accepted. But, there are things that most certainly make us different.
Is the assimilation between cultures a good thing? It feels like the things we have that make us special are fading away. I think we’re going to be one of the last generations that truly remembers our culture. But is that a bad thing? A good thing? I think there are some things that are good, like abandoning sexist or oppressive views, and what not. However, dropping aspects of family importance, honor, respect, etc., thats’s quite unfortunate. Having said that, even though assimilation between cultures is a confusing debate, assimilating into any culture if it means sacrificing religion is not okay.
What do you think? Do you agree racism was never really solved? Do you think the benefits of blurring the lines between cultures is good or bad?