Traveling opened my eyes to MY prejudice

In the world of social media the world as gotten smaller, no, not smaller, more connected. As one grow and learn everything is put in a broader perspective. You can’t say that the world becomes a smaller place, but neither can you say it becomes a bigger place, because both is the truth. Prejudice is a good example of this.

Let’s get one thing down. I am a 100% caucasian(Norwegian), straight, female. I grew up in Norway, one of the worlds greatest places to grow up in(economically and safety wise). And I would consider myself a non prejudice person.

When in elementary school we were learning about Nelson Mandela, the Apartheid and colonization. I said to myself. “Wow. I’m glad racism is in the past.”

When we started learning English in school we also learnt about multi-culturism and racism in especially america. I said to myself “Wow. I’m glad racism is not in Norway.”

When I was 13 a man named Anders Behring Breivik killed 74 people because he disagreed with Arbeiderpartiet and their notion that everyone matters equally. And I said “Wow. I’m glad my family is not racist.”

When I was 16 my parents were talking about all these dark-skinned people stealing from the stores ruining everyday life for everyone. And I said “Wow. I’m glad I AM not racist.”

When I was 18 I looked in the mirror and I said to myself. “Wow. You think you are better than everyone else? I think you have no prejudice? Every time you see a non caucasian person outside you get scared.” Understand me right when I say this. I am not scared of non caucasian people. I am prejudice. I forget the moment I am scared cause seconds after I think something along the lines of “Wow, That’s a nice Hijab.” or “Wow. He looks so happy.”

I always thought that racism was this distant thing. Yet it was so very very close. My family is not racists, they are just stuck in prejudice. They love all my non-white friends. I read in a norwegian newspaper something very clever. “Very few people are racists, but many people have racist tendencies.” It is not that these people are bad people.

Of course, there are racism, to this day, everywhere. But I was so oblivious and thought so kindly of everyone.

Traveling to different places in the world with different cultures has helped me open my eyes to my own prejudice, for example that all asian languages sound the same, or that whole-body covering clothes are uncommon and weird. It has helped me acknowledge it, and rid myself of it. For example the instance with my friend that I write about in “The benefits of visiting a Muslim country.


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