LETTER: Awareness of racial bias an important first step

news file photo

To the Editor,

Re: Our work against racism not finished yet, Letters, March 24

I fear that Canada may never overcome racial bigotry.

Although research reveals infants demonstrate a preference for caregivers of their own race, any future racial biases and bigotries generally are environmentally acquired. Adult racist sentiments are often cemented by a misguided yet strong sense of entitlement, perhaps also acquired from one’s environment.

One means of proactively preventing this societal problem may be by allowing young children to become accustomed to other races in a harmonious manner.

At a very young and therefore impressionable age, I was emphatically told by my mother (who’s of Eastern European heritage) about the exceptionally kind and caring nature of our Black family doctor.

I believe this had a notably positive effect upon me. Had she told me the opposite about the doctor, however, I could have aged while blindly linking his color with an unjustly cynical view of him and, eventually, all Black people.

Therefore, essentially by chance, I reached adulthood unstricken by uncontrolled feelings of racial contempt seeking expression.

The first step towards changing our irrationally biased thinking can be our awareness of it and its origin. But until then, I believe, such biased sentiments should either be kept to oneself or counselled.

Frank Sterle Jr.,

White Rock

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