I've seen several of my Facebook friends post something that shows a photo of a baby, and says something about how we aren't born hating, that racism is something that is taught.
That does not ring true to me. It seems to me that humans are biologically predisposed to feel more comfortable with those who are culturally similar to them. Humans operate in families, tribes. We protect others who are "one of us" and we feel threatened by those who come from other groups.
I was not taught racism. What I was taught was that racism is wrong. I was taught that all people should be treated with respect and compassion.
But still, I do feel most comfortable with people who are culturally similar to me. And it is more about culture than anything else. I am more comfortable with a person who looks different from me ethnically but seems similar culturally, than with a person who looks the same as me but is different culturally.
My culture is one American subculture. My culture includes people who value intellect but disdain the pursuit of wealth and power. It's comfortable to be around people who find my values, food choices, musical taste, and interests to be normal. It's comfortable to be around people who don't say "Huh? What are you talking about?" every time I try to explain something.
It's hard to be around people who are different. It's hard to be around people who believe that younger people should adhere to the guidance of their elders. It's hard to be around people who think that a fun time is listening to really loud music while consuming alcoholic beverages. It's hard to be around people who think that a fun time is hanging out at the mall. It's hard to be around people who think a normal meal consists of going to McDonald's for a hamburger, soda, and French fries. It's hard to be around people who express themselves in a pushy, aggressive way. It's hard to be around people who express themselves in glib small talk. It's hard to be around people who speak with an accent that is difficult for me to understand. It's hard to be around people who expect that all the women will congregate on one side talking about children and cooking while all the men will congregate on the other side talking about sports and politics.
I was not taught to dislike people who are different from me. I was taught that I must love everyone equally. These instincts to prefer the company of those who are similar to me bubble up in me, but I was taught that they are wrong, so I feel guilty and try to suppress them.