Hi, my name is Rol. I am a VGC-holic.
I grew up in Austria, a country that is infamous for being less than friendly to people who are different. It wasn't until the age of 12 that I learned that there are words for foreigners and people of other ethnicities that are not derogatory, because xenophobia and racism are so deeply ingrained in this country. I suppose it's part of our DNA and I am sure most of you know which events took place in the 1930s and early 1940s. For many years of my life I've gone with the flow and made fun of Neger - a term that I don't need to translate - without even knowing why we had so much disdain for black people. Austria didn't colonize the African continent like, for example, France, so seeing a black man or woman in person was an incredible rarity and therefore all the hatred couldn't possibly be based on any real life events.
I think fear of the unknown is the biggest driving force for racism. People get tremendously paranoid of bad things that could happen if those people settled nearby and eventually they begin to mistake their frightening fantasies for reality. VGC offered me the opportunity to communicate with people from all over the world, so I could talk to people of various ethnicities and races free of prejudice, because in my mind everyone defaulted to white male. It wasn't until someone revealed personal details that I saw them as something other than white and male. It was an interesting experience without a doubt. My findings were that black people are rude, selfish, ignorant, arrogant and stupid.
Indeed, there is no discernable difference between white and black people, because I found all the same things in white people. The same holds true for positive traits. The biggest thing that changed in my time here is the level of my reaction to the revelation that someone is not a white male, but actually a black male. A decade ago I was like "Whoooooaaaaa, d21lewis. You are black?!?!?! But you were always a cool dude in my mind...", so there was shock and disappointment. Over the years it became less pronounced and it was more like "Whoa, NobleTeam360 is black? But he is really cool. I mean, sure, he is a Dallas Cowboys fan, but everyone has their faults."
NobleTeam360 helped me to get over the shock by saying that he is only a quarter black.. or an eighth? I don't really remember, but what's important is that it really did help at the time, because it made me think of how I prefer milk chocolate over dark chocolate. Although lately I've taken more of a liking to darker chocolate because it has a less sugary taste, so I don't swear by Milka anymore... hold on, I didn't make this thread to talk about chocolate.
What I am trying to say is that my time on VGC has made me an at least tiny bit better person than I was a good decade ago. Nowadays white guys actually freak me out more than black people, because when I make racist posts on this site, it's not the black community who is the most offended. I get PMs from white guys like "Don't you know that black people have no sense of humor? Have you never watched Damon Wayans' show My Wife and Kids?", and I just shake my head. That show wasn't bad. And more importantly, if we can't joke and laugh about something together, then we really have an actual problem. That is all.
Thanks for reading.