…but I think I have an explanation for some forms of prejudice against black people. Let me be clear, I am discussing prejudice, not racism. My theory is, that our primal survival instincts subconsciously raise red flags when it is difficult for us, to “read” another persons face from a comfortable distance. A distance where if we needed to, we could still “flight,” and easily get away. So, it truly is only skin deep.
I made my discovery while I was walking down the street in Savannah, Georgia one not so very special day. Outside of some house were a few men. One of them, I thought I worked with. I was at a close enough distance to where I should have been able to absolutely tell if I recognized the person for sure or not. But I couldn’t tell! Why?! It wasn’t until I was relatively close in proximity to him, that I could see that he was not in fact the guy I knew.
Another example. While walking at night, EVERYONE tries to read the person who is nearing them. It’s inane, we’re programmed to read an approaching creature, and decipher if we see them as a threat. This brings me to my main point. A white person, is easier to read from a safe distance, a distance where we could still “flight” if we felt the need. A black person however, is harder to read SIMPLY because light does not reflect off of their skin as well. So! Even though that sounds bad, I think because light does not reflect as well off of black skin, that is why there are ridiculous racial divides that still exist, and it’s simply that it’s harder to “read” black people from a distance. Excuse the run-on sentence.
Of course, when approaching a white man on a sidewalk at night, I attempt to read their face as well, and decide if I feel he is a potential threat. I can come to a conclusion at a safe enough distance to where if I DO feel threatened, I still have time to cross the street or do whatever I need to do to prevent confrontation. With a black person, I have to be closer in proximity to be able to adequately read their face, decide if I do feel a potential threat, and if so, it is now too late to comfortably dissipate the situation because I’m too close in proximity.
I know it sounds absurd, but I think it makes sense. Thoughts?
I’d like to conclude this by stating that I have ZERO tolerance for racism.