Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Attention All Racists!!!

Reading the short stories “Herbie” and “Going Home” have extended my understanding of the racism issue in our society. Only now have I come to know how bad this issue really is. The texts themes are based on racism and prejudice towards the black races of our community. As I have not known or experienced the harm of racism personally, these texts have really challenged me to be more aware of the issue and the results of this social problem. Reading these stories has opened my eyes to a whole new perspective of how unfortunate some people really are in the world we live in today.

In the first text I read, ‘Herbie’, the writer talks about the hardships of a young aboriginal boy, named Herbie, in a community that consisted of mostly white skinned people. Herbie, despite how he was treated, never once told on the other children who beat him or kicked him. Through the eyes of the other children Herbie was just another bully target or another helpless animal they can push around. It wasn’t like Herbie did anything to annoy the other kids in school, in fact he was liked by the younger children because of how kind and gentle he treated them. He was probably the only one amongst his age group that would play with the younger kids. The only reason why they treated him like that was just because of his skin color which isn’t fair for Herbie as it was never his fault to start with.

Though he has never done anything wrong he looked different from all the other children, so he was not accepted by the white kids in the school. Unlike the other kids, it is unfair for Herbie as he never had a normal life like every other kid around. Instead he was treated like an animal and was victimized by other children. If I would have to have gone through what he had, I would rather just give up living.

As a child I have always lived a good lifestyle, never had to deal with social problems and what not. Unlike Herbie I had many friends and a well-off family. Reading both “Herbie” and “Going Home” had made me realize that not everyone is as privileged as I am and that I should really be thankful. In the short story “Going Home” there was a specified area where the aboriginal people had to live in. This indicates the classifications and how the aboriginals were isolated from the normal suburbs and housing areas where the white people lived.

The text “Going Home” also conveys the idea of how people are judged just by their race, skin color and appearance. As the story talks about a man who all his life has denied that he was of Aboriginal blood, and how he had achieved so much and lost everything after he came back to his real family. The aboriginals are seen as thieves and outlaws of the community. They are put down and forced to live in poverty because they are different and less educated than the rest of the community. The other ethnic groups then look down on them and think their better than the aboriginal people which is very selfish of them because it might have been our fault for rejecting them in the first place.

The write writes about how shameful William Jacob Woodward, or should I say Billy Woodward feels about being an Aboriginal. Billy even changed his name to make himself seem more like a white because in this case whites were treated fairly and got the better benefits of the community. he was a hypocrite towards himself, but was it his fault? If you were put in his situations what would you have done?

The text also aims to convey to the readers about the suffering the victims or racism and to go through. I could never imagine how painful it must have been to be rejected all the time. Without even considering how others felt I used to laugh at racist jokes like everyone else, but after these stories I have read it has challenged me to be more aware of what I say and do.

The result of racism is just more hurt and depression put into others’ lives, which isn’t exactly a good thing in a community which is made out of many different races and ethnic groups. We should be building others up, not putting them down. We should be helping them live a better life, not judging them by how they look. The cause of their poverty is the result of our ignorance.

Need I say more? Clearly racism is not my cup of tea, it shouldn’t be your’s either if you’re aiming for a better future in our society. According to my opinion, be it black or white we are still human and alike in many ways. We all have feelings so think about the other person before you say or do anything that might offend them.

Ps: I'm just bored. Lol. This is like part of my assignment lol.

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