All right, so this was expected. How could a person who’s new to the world of blogging not rant on a topic so commonly attacked throughout the internet, throughout history and across continents? Since everyone has a say in everything around them, how could they not have a say on racism? Apparently, some people do not, and that is because they aren’t treated in the same way as they ought to be. But, oh well, that’s how the world is, isn’t it? It’s a multi-coloured world out there, sometimes covering a spectrum encompassing shades of skin colour, and sometimes going beyond that. But who’s to say who dominates whom?
Well, if the “issue” of racism were so simple, it should have been settled by now, isn’t it? Rather, it shouldn’t have been an issue at all. The roots of racism probably lie in everyone’s average appearance being different, and it doesn’t take a genius to figure that out. But if all of us geniuses were so well aware of such a common thing, shouldn’t we have all just said, “well, that person just looks different from me because nature probably works that way?” But instead, for some reason that completely beats me, we apply a logic so twisted that even pretzels can’t stand it (okay, too far a joke) and extend this difference of appearance to discriminate people from our own “race.” Now, to this, you’ll easily say that I’m living in the ancient times, when this was very prominent and slavery was rampant; you’ll easily tell me that “the times have changed,” “the world has moved on since then,” “we’re all equal,” and cliched phrases like these which sound very superficial and might well be too. But if the modern world really has “moderned” up so much, why do we still find so many instances of racism-fueled attacks all across the globe? Why do we even need to have so many public groups actually “remind” ourselves that we are all equal? Aren’t we smart enough to “kind of” accept our differences and coexist peacefully?
Is it the case that our egos are so bloated on the inside that no matter how polite and well-behaved we are with our own “kind,” we just can’t stand the “others” just because they look different? Now I’m not a genetics expert (or any kind of expert, for that matter), but I sure do know that we belong to the same species, if not the same ancestries. The moment we start pointing out differences among our own kind, we start discriminating. Now I’m not being a delusional freak here who’d go out and say that everyone appears the same. Of course, there’s a difference in appearance and behaviour among people! There’s no denying that; acceptance of this fact will make things easier. We could just keep our differences to that point, and move on in life easily. Why should I write another post just to add my chunk to the already overfilling bowl of hackneyed racism-related articles? Though it is part of my waywardness, this issue has been bothering me for a while now, and has left me wondering why a simple observation can’t be restricted to just an observation like it ought to be. The history of my country of birth (India) is a good example (rather, a sad one) of a kind of racism. Though it was a colony of the British empire like any other, the common point that colonization was all based on the superiority of the empire is reason enough to make one feel that there was a hint of racism in it. Why would one simply want to leave their place and go all over the world and dominate every other human being there?
It’s all in the past, you say? Been a hundred years or more since then, is it? As Dream Theater put it so well in one of their songs, though in a different context, the lyrics of the song ‘Beyond This Life’ clearly help explain the case:
Our deeds have traveled far,
What we have been is what we are.
I won’t explain these lines; the reader(s) is smart enough to interpret them on their own. Applying this to racism makes sense in that we tend to base our course of action on what history has taught us. Some guy back in some ancient era decided to play mischief with people based on their appearance, and what do we have? People following an example and this trend sparking off a worldwide wave of racism that has stood the test of time and is so prominent even in today’s “modern” world. Individually, we all might think that we are “good” human beings at heart, but when it comes to seeing someone performing an action no matter how “righteous” or “evil,” we might just feel that since someone’s doing it, it might just be “right.” Now, if I were to apply absolutism here, that is, from a broader perspective, racism would merely be reduced to a community of humans calling each other some names and fighting over it. But since we live in a society and expect harmony at least among human beings, racism is one thing that is bound to destroy it. We could just accept people the way they are, accept how we are, change ourselves if we think we need to – it’s as simple as that. We need not bother mocking people about things that are innate. In case we do, it should work both ways – we shouldn’t lose our heads the moment someone says something about us that we don’t like to hear. Vicarious thinking, FTW.
Now, the world today has been modeled by endless years of racism-influenced thinking, so we have developed biases about communities and groups (yeah, stereotypes) and have cracked tons of jokes on people for their physical features. There’s nothing we can do about it, but accept things the way they are, accept how we are, and just move on. There need not be an endless cycle of “jokes” only for the sake of getting back at people. We could do away with the intention of causing unwarranted tension, and in fact, over the years, even cause such instances to just fade away. What has happened, has happened, and that can’t be changed. But we can shape the way things are to come. Imagine a world in which one actually doesn’t think any less of anyone else, and only treats differences in appearances as mere observations. Hard to imagine, isn’t it? John Lennon agreed too. But it isn’t impossible.
I have taken the full liberty of not mentioning any particular “race” or ethnic group here lest you say that I’m biased, or even worse, that I’m racist. That’d kind of suck. Of course, the India example is present in this article because it’s a personal one which I felt helps me express my concerns better. Why Dream Theater and John Lennon in this article? My mind is just like yours – wayward. So.
All I’m saying, if it’s TL;DR for you, is that we must learn to laugh at ourselves, and to let go of that part of your ego that makes you feel superior. Just that I somehow managed to write over a thousand words on it.