In the United States, some schools teach "diversity education." A few years ago, a student said it is a good idea, because it teaches about people's differences. This is the wrong message, and the wrong way of going about it.
A quote from one of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s, books says it all: Men often hate each other because they fear each other; they fear each other because they don't know each other; they don't know each other because they can not communicate; they can not communicate because they are separated. His book was "Stride Toward Freedom," published in 1958.
Teaching kids about differences may result in knowledge-- but knowledge is not enough. This type of knowledge may be sufficient if the people kids are being taught about are in faraway countries-- people they are not likely to have the chance to meet in person. However, teaching kids about differences amongst individuals in the same country, the same state, even the same city where they live, backfires. Instead, we should focus on getting rid of the separateness that causes the misunderstandings.
In recent years, I have been in regions where people of all races "stick to their own kind." Contrary to Dr. King's dream, people are still being judged-- and misjudged-- on the color of their skin, rather than the content of their character. If future generations are ever to turn the tide against racism, it is time to end separateness and begin to live in harmony. It should not matter which country one's ancestors are from-- because there is only one human race.