Feature Article Racism- to Kill a Mockingbird Etc

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Are we born racist or have we learnt it? Children grow up heavily influenced by the values and beliefs of their family. If these attitudes are racist then innocent pick up these traits when usually they don’t see these differences.

Society and media provide people with different aspects and feelings towards racism. The media are always exploiting riots and bashings such as the Cronulla riots when they occur, over exaggerating them when they are because of a simple thing like, the differences in cultures and peoples’ beliefs. People get indignant when they hear about others within their culture or beliefs being abused or unaccepted, raising the question of why people feel a need to be on the attack or defense.

Do we learn such hatred for each other through watching our mentors? Aspiring to be like our heroes forgetting that as children we saw no colour’s or differences only someone to be friends with. Do we aspire to be like our mentors or is it fear which leads our minds feelings and beliefs astray. Are we still caught up amongst the beliefs which linger from our great great grandparents being passed down through generations?

Throughout the past few generation people have begun to realize the effects of racism and how they have been influenced from a young age. They have displayed their emotions of anger, sadness and fear through films, books, poems and articles.

Jean Burgess a poet who wrote ‘Race Relations’ shows how children are unaware of being different colours and how they are taught to have a racist opinion. “They played together…The white child and the black” Jean quoted showing how the young children believed there was nothing wrong with playing together but this was soon demolished to show how children were taught to show abhorrence to other cultures. Jean quoted “Oh, you wicked child, have I not told you, you must not play with kaffirs…your father. How he’ll scold you, and serve you right, who have no proper pride.’ Providing the insight of how a parent disciplines their children because of their beliefs on a different culture. The poem concluded to say “She slowly walked away” which showed how the young white girl moved away from the black child as if she was unwilling but because she followed her parents she didn’t look back.

‘Race Relations’ showed how Mary was brought up in the fear of being friends with a black child as if she was her father would scold her, highlighting how she didn’t know any better. If Mary were to be from a different culture or had different beliefs would her parents still have scolded her for playing with the other child or would they have accepted her friendship. Having been brought up in this environment Mary would most likely have adopted her parent’s beliefs towards the other child and black people.

‘Race Revelations’ showed that children are led into a certain direction by the mentors whom they generally follow as they don’t know any better or differently. Many films have also been made like this poem, where children are unaware of the differences between cultures only to generally get a negative opinion towards another culture’s beliefs.

Films show many aspects of how children would learn to act and treat others. Some of the numerous films are ‘The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas’, ‘Rabbit Proof Fence’ and ‘Australia’ each showing a unique environment of different children growing up. In the film ‘The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas’ you experience the bonding between two young boys, a Jew named Shmuel, and a German named Bruno, who are supposed enemies. This is discovered when Bruno states “We're not supposed to be friends, you and me. We're meant to be enemies. Did you know that?” although Bruno was told this from his mentors and told he wasn’t to speak to Jews he continued being friends with Shmuel.

The film contained many memorable quotes showing how Bruno was raised in an environment where he was to not accept Jews; some of the quotes included “That's your...
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