• Walter Einhart (he/him)

Don't Humiliate, Educate

Updated: Nov 22, 2020

(Image Taken From Education Week: Illustrated by Getty)

Authors Note: Read the whole post before making judgments.

I’m going to preface this by saying that my grandparents, who are from the south, are generally good people, they care about others and devote their time to them, they’re active in their community despite their age, and they are genuinely some of the kindest, most generous people you will ever meet. But the problem is, they’re racist. They can, and will often say things that are… questionable to say the least. But why are they racist? Why do they hold these deep-seated beliefs? Today it’s much easier to be aware of social injustice, racism, sexism, and the like. But back when they were growing up segregation was the norm. And even after the Civil Rights Act of 1964, many Americans, particularly down south, weren’t taught tolerance of others different from them. I’m not trying to make excuses for their xenophobia and racism because there are no excuses. I’m just trying to understand why they believe what they believe, why they say such hurtful things about others. But as I said before, my grandparents are kind, caring people with love in their hearts, but they’re racist. But it’s because they’re racist that I don’t look down on them, I love them all the same, and that’s why I’d rather use my privilege of growing up in a somewhat tolerant society to try to educate them. It’s easy to look down on racists, sexists, or homophobes, to just cuss them out and leave it at that. But why don’t we try to educate them instead? We should become activists in our own homes, and use our privilege to teach them why they’re wrong, why they shouldn’t say the things they say, or treat others differently because of their gender, race, sexual orientation, or anything else. It may sound, and be harder to accomplish, but educating those around us will lead to future generation’s education as well. If we continue to look down on racists, then there will always be people passing on those racist beliefs to their descendants. Our goal in life should be to leave the world in better condition than it was when we entered it. So if we truly want to make the world a better, more loving place, let’s educate those around us rather than mock them. For our sake, and for posterity’s sake.

- Walter Einhart: Co-Editor of TeensForChange

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