On Racism – November 18, 2016


If life is a script, none of us want to be the bad guy. Our morals are our guidance for our behaviour.  I suppose the morals of one culture are not the same as those for another culture. Misunderstanding and misinterpretations have built walls between communities, where the lack of questions and dialogue have widened the gap.

Racism is irrational hatred towards other cultures and religions. So where did the idea of racism sprout? In a multicultural society, the colour of one’s skin is truly a poor indicator. It is protectionism of one’s own culture, claiming its space and leaving none for the ousted or fleeing refugee.

Where does this insecurity get seeded? A way to prove you’re somebody by denying another that same right? Is it an attempt to recognize one’s ego by placing other foreign presences at the fringe?

Is it the political will of a nation to create targets of angst, providing society with an agreed-upon victim? To stoke the racist fire is to divide our society. Wars are fought with us versus them. But is the warrior’s enemy truly our own?

Has the careless use of language created a negative connotation about others, anchoring each culture at a distance? Is the old ‘Sticks and Stones’ mentality false, allowing words to truly hurt you?

If the majority of society is on the same racist page, we end up believing pseudoscience such as the Eugenics movement, looking for the ‘ultimate human breed’. A step further and that society ends up with Hitler as its leader. Say nothing and supremacy cults start using their own approaches, boldly stepping forth and proclaiming their right to hate.

Racism stems from fear, a reaction to the unknown and unfamiliar. But it has roots in our materialistic consumerist society as well. The self-help society has become a self-centred society. We dug ourselves into a hole as we distance ourselves from others, breeding distrust and insecurity. Fear, anxiety and frustration ferment our state of mind, leaving anger and violence as our shrinking repertoire of acts. Amplifying this, our cultural filters are muted and our ignorance flies under the guise of anonymity shielded behind our social networks.

You get a society where yelling racial slurs become the norm, and those in opposition become the minority. Hateful words and signs deface public and private property, ever aware of that turn towards destruction. Sitting pretty, that history becomes accepted as the way it is, making it tough to grind those gears into reverse.

As with any disease, a cure is needed. The spiritual leaders encourage compassion and empathy to counter the bad. Educate the masses to chisel away at the unknown, and provide opportunities for dialogue so a stranger is no longer so. Reconfigure your community, and engrain in it the idea of Ubuntu, that a person is a person through other persons.

We have created a script with obvious good guys and bad guys. However, life doesn’t work in straightforward black and white shades. Most of life resides in the grey area. That is our arena to work within, and we have a collective responsibility to form this in a way that the future will struggle less.

We must carve a culture where our children will have ample opportunities to thrive, where our own preconceptions will not hinder their enjoyment of life. Erase the myth of race, and start behaving like a community. Question what you don’t understand, broaden your interpretation of what it means to be human, and keep an eye open for what can be connected, because everything connects.



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