Failure to communicate, or a lack of understanding, is the root cause of many problems we face as individuals, and as societies. Relationship problems tend to revolve around a lack of communication. Issues in childhood that become hard to eradicate as an adult often revolve around communication. Racism? Definitely a communication issue.

When you communicate with either party of two groups who have racial tension, no matter how much tension there is, you don’t automatically assume they’d be so drastically different. Especially when, due to ancestry, they look alike. As an outsider to some of the conflicts, and feelings of certain groups it’s interesting to observe. Personally, it’s often a huge reflection of the people of my ethnicity and the ethnicities we share tension with.

Recently, on a quest to understand these kinds of issues, I started digging around. I’ve asked many of my friends and families about their perspectives. Without fail the issues seem to stem from some communication flubs. For example, if you asked a Taiwanese person, who historically look similar to Chinese people, “Are you Chinese?” they would of course, as they should, state that they’re Taiwanese. Of course, as an optimist, it is my belief that most would approach their rebuttal with  great understanding. No one wants to be called what they aren’t, right?  Now if you made it that far well then here, in my ramblings. is where the conflict arises.

Now if a Chinese person asked the same question, and the Taiwanese person answered “No I’m Taiwanese.” It often happens that the Chinese person says “Oh, it’s all the same thing.” Now that entire relationship is a bit suspect from the Taiwanese person’s perspective. This communication misunderstanding is remarkably common.

Taiwanese and Chinese people are the examples I used because many of my friends, and many people whom I questioned are Taiwanese. Realistically, this oddity in communication occurs throughout the entire world. In fact, the only places in my observation that it doesn’t occur too frequently are the United States, and Japan. India in relation to Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Indo-Caribbeans. England in relation to Ireland, and Scotland, etc. Theses are all places where the misunderstanding can happen, and often creates tension.

When one group feels dismissed, much like any one person who feel dismissed, there then opens a room for resentment to be created in the mind. Inevitably the resented don’t take kindly to resentment, and thus a vicious cycle is born. Yes this is a mere oversimplification. In every nation with racial tension, including the United States, there are plenty of factors at play. Economic standing, political beliefs, history, and plenty of other things cause racial tension as well. However, the misunderstanding, and lack of communication always seems to spark the fire.  Just my food for thought anyway.

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