Monday, August 28, 2017

5 Steps to Embrace People from Another Race or Culture

In light of this, let me offer a better way of thinking on how to interact with those from other ethnicities and/or cultures.

1) Interact with those of other ethnicities with a true and sincere desire to get to them know as PEOPLE

Each individual person is unique; we are not clones from an assembly line. Each person has his or her unique life experiences and struggles. We are not reducible to any Critical Race Construct. Even among the most radical Indentity Politics advocates, none of them are alike in every respect. To treat individual human beings as sociological constructs is insulting, demeaning and dehumanizing.

2) Strive to understand the individual, and strive not to give in to stereotyping

Since we are not sociological constructs but human individuals, we are not defined by stereotypes of various ethnic groups. For example, I am Chinese, and I very much resent if anyone were to think that therefore I must love kung fu and table tennis, just because I am Chinese (I don't care for kung fu and I don't play table tennis). I am also Singapore Chinese, and I very much resent being thought of as if I am no different from China Chinese. Likewise, to say that all whites are immoral sex addicts who love to go to night clubs and sleep around with anyone, or to say that all blacks are violent criminals — all such are stereotyping and should be resisted.

We are not to be defined solely by our groups, of what kind of "otherness" groupings we are a member of. Labels, sociological or otherwise, are tools for sociologists in broad study of society and societal trends, but they make for terrible oppressive labels when used in interpersonal relationships.

To cultivate true friendships, we must reject all such labelings and stereotypings. You are seeking to understand someone, who has his or her own unique life experience. As an aside, should we not wonder when so-called tolerant liberals cannot understand minorities who think differently from what they think minorities ought to think (i.e. black conservatives, "people of color" who reject Critical Race Theory etc.)? That is because they cannot think and interact with people as they truly are! People must conform to their Critical Race theory categories, otherwise they must be "betrayals of their race!" Does this look like an actual desire to get to know people, or another (leftist) form of cultural imperialism?

3) Understand individuals are enculturated in specific cultures which may be foreign to you, but they are not defined only by their cultural backgrounds

Everyone has a culture (white American, white American Southern, black etc.). White culture should not be taken as necessarily the default "correct" culture, as if there can be such a thing! When facing those from different ethnicities, one should seek to attempt to understand his or her culture. One does not have to denigrate one's own culture to do so, as if cultures are in pitched battle where one must win and the other must lose. NO, that is not the case! Reject the entire framework of critical race theory, and stop having this idea of "winners" and "losers" in a cultural and racial war! If you continue to have this idea of cultural and racial warfare, then you cannot interact with others from other ethnicities and cultures without individuals from one culture or both practicing cultural imperialism.

So understand the cultural background of others without denigrating your own. But at the same time, understand that others are enculturated does not imply that their cultural background defines them. Get to know them as individuals, and do not be surprised if they might deviate from established cultural patterns and norms.

4) Understand that individuals may have practices and beliefs that you may shock you, which may be right, partly right or wrong, but suspend judgment for the moment.

Cultures are human constructs, and as such partake of the fallenness of sinful humanity. Therefore, certain cultural beliefs and practices might be sinful. One should not therefore practice cultural relativism and accept different cultural practices as equally legitimate as one's own. At the same time, this applies to all cultures including your own culture. Due to how easy it is to make one's culture the default, judgment of cultural practices should be slow in coming. Get to know and understand your new friend first and foremost, suspending judgment on cultural practices for the moment. Only engage in dialog in humility with a desire for iron to sharpen iron later.

5) Understand their struggles. Do not excuse them for sin, neither discriminate against them for weaknesses, but come alongside them for mutual aid.

Due to sin in the world, it is possible for those from a different culture to struggle with sins and patterns of sin that you do not struggle with. Sin is sin, defined by God. Therefore, there is no excuse for sin, even practiced by those are different ethnicities and cultural backgrounds. At the same time, none of us is perfect. Just because you do not struggle with a particular sin or pattern of sin does not imply you are better than another from a different ethnicity. You might after all be struggling with other types of sin which he does not struggle with. Therefore, do not discriminate against someone merely because his struggle is against a different pattern of sin than yours, but come alongside to aid him. As you do so, he should likewise do the same to you, as following the same steps, and in this both parties are mutually edified.

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