I have something to get off my chest and it’s been bugging me for a couple of days now. Really grinding me.
Oh my word – a racist!
Why is it that people are surprised that Racism exists, still exists? Of course it exists. It’s a physical recognition of biomorphic physical differences. Look around, it’s a competition out there – for survival. The problem is when survival is misconstrued as dominance.
Transforming the future
Is the current generation hedging their bets that the world’s future offspring will reveal a better side to human nature because evolution will take care of the details. Will the next generation (work in progress) garner a different outlook to their parents, elders, teachers and community leaders because it is the right thing to do? I think not.
Racism vs Ethnicity
What should be more concerning is that ethnic tolerance is nowhere near what all good democratic people advocate. Isn’t that what ‘all good people’ are these days – democratic? And, aren’t we all democratic these days?
Racism is different to ethnic intolerance in that racists actively use their different status (perceived or otherwise) to exert control over another racial group that they believe is inferior. Racism is a considered course of action to cause harm to other people. You could call it the tipping point to the worst side of the human condition.
I was thinking that it’s sad that while companies like Apple can churn out multiple versions of its devices in an 18-month period these days that nothing much advances in the same timeframe in terms of cultural and racial tolerance – yet the topics of Transformation and Tolerance receive so much attention. But culture, traditions and customs is not what denotes Racism. Race is about the recognisation of different physical characteristics. This is where the Race debates and discussions often go astray as the concepts of Race and Ethnicity are used interchangeably.
There is nothing you can do about your Race. You are either Black, White or Yellow. There is no dominant Race. All races share 99.99+% of the same genetic materials which means that division of race is completely subjective and based on visual awareness of another’s skin colour.
You can change your ethnicity over time through migration, voluntary or not. One of the main differences between race and ethnicity is that race is whole. A person can belong to one race only. You are of just one race but can have multiple ethnic connections. Race is socially imposed whereas ethnicity is not socially imposed (rugby jokes aside).
There is no globally accepted classification of Race but there are 2 common approaches:
Meyers Konversations lexikon (1885-90)
- Caucasian races (Aryans, Hamites, Semites)
- Mongolian races (northern Mongolian, Chinese and Indo-Chinese, Japanese and Korean, Tibetan, Malayan, Polynesian, Maori, Micronesian, Eskimo, American Indian),
- Negroid races (African, Hottentots, Melanesians/Papua, “Negrito”, Australian Aborigine, Dravidians, Sinhalese)
Carleton S. Coon (1962)
The United Nations, in a 1950 statement, opted to “drop the term ‘race’ altogether and speak of “ethnic groups”. In this case, there are more than 5,000 ethnic groups in the world, according to a 1998 study published in the Scientific American.
The straw that broke this camel’s back – the 2012 US Elections
The amount of hate speech on social media channels during the US elections this year was a slap in the face of all those who shelter behind the idea of what democracy will deliver. The very unnecessary Black vs White debate superseded the programmes of the political parties concerned. Give me a break. Have we lost the plot completely? But racism isn’t based on hate. It is based on the power to discriminate. Hate is an emotional choice, an expression. Racism isn’t based on what you feel but on your power to use your racial status to control others. Some people just have bigger mouths (and perhaps bigger online followings) than EQ, self-esteem and common sense.
These are some of the typically racist statements that came out this week – it’s very clear here that people are boxed by colour:
The following statements could just be relegated to ignorance in action but the content leans to lack of ethnic tolerance, not sure if these people realise what they’re doing when they support Taco Bell or get Chinese takeout…
These are spineless follow-the-leader statements:
And there are many Black tweets like these about White people too in case you were wondering…
Yeah, yeah – everyone is unique – just don’t be different…
I’m going to level with you here; I don’t agree that everyone in this earth HAS to like everyone else but I do believe in respecting and acknowledging that there are people with different opinions, views and outlooks to how we navigate our way around the planet together. Prejudice isn’t the same as Power. You don’t get Power by putting others down.
So lets talk about Respect… I read somewhere (most probably on Pinterest) “You don’t have to attend every argument you’re invited to attend”. I don’t know who the author of this quote is. Simply, it is just bad manners for anybody to make degrading racial slurs or any other degrading slurs to another person. When did respect fall off the agenda? Since when did it become okay to be rude in public?
And the point is…
Can we afford to be racist? – Politically, Socially, Economically? No.
Can we get away with voicing our ethnic prejudices? Yes. If addressed politely and being cognisant of the context of the conversation you’re in.
Are we all “democratic” these days? No. Because even the definition of democracy varies from person to person. Is it wrong not to be democratic? I don’t think so. People have opinions. People have preferences. People are people.
Why are we surprised when someone publishes a slandering racial statement online (drunken brawls don’t count)? Because we know it serves no good and that it is an embarassing mark on our collective existence. While we have progressed in terms of broadening our thinking and consideration set, what we perhaps lack is the ability to acknowledge that we could be more different than we thought.
Some feedback from FaceBook:
Categories: Great debates