There’s only one race, the human race
Am I a racist?
Should everybody question themselves and then, periodically, return to the same question because our brain is constantly being bombarded with subliminal racist messages and influences. Most of us are trained to act diplomatically and only say the pre-established politically correct things. We are trained to see “color,” “race,” “gender,” ethnic or national background. We are trained that we are all equal, yet do we REALLY believe it?
Aversive racism is very prevalent in the 21st century. We believe in equality, yet we still hold on to negative emotions causing one to avoid interaction with the people we judge instead of getting to know them. We are not openly racist. Instead we use covert racism, resulting in a more subtle discrimination, forced assimilation and segregation.
The truth is racism is as old as society. This is not a new concept. The human brain is programmed to constantly analyze, evaluate, categorize, compare, judge people/situations and favor one’s group over others. It’s a natural tendency. We can’t help it. Our brain is programmed to think that way. Judging others and building up prejudices can feed the ego with power, superiority, distinctiveness, self-esteem, dominance and competitive spirit. It’s hard to detach from the compulsive, fake supremacy feeling of our ego, believing that one group is better than the other just because the society that we live in dictates a certain worthiness and values while devaluating everything different.
Major political, religious and interests groups have always made use of this human instinct to gain more control and power by suppressing and demonizing certain groups with the purpose of exploitation. In the past, America and capitalism have thrived based on racist concepts. In the 17th century, the first group to be exploited and persecuted were the Native Americans. Europeans portrayed the natives as savages who need to be civilized through adopting Europeans’ religious faith. Forced conversions continued with the introduction of slavery in America.
Many African slaves’ religion then was animism (the worship of spirits), and according to Pbs.org as many as 20 percent of West African slaves brought to North America were Muslim.
Economical hunger drove the plantation owners to force African men, women and children into slavery, a new identity, religion and inferiority. Worldwide persecution of Jews and anti-Semitism was another face of racism, or the internment of the Japanese Americans after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Globalization, technological advancement and the world becoming smaller did not eradicate racism either.
Today an accepted form of racism is against Islam and the Muslim community, becoming a worldwide phenomenon called Islamophobia.
U.S. Olympic medalist Ibtihaj Muhammad, an African American saber fencer, is best known for being the first Muslim American woman to wear a head scarf while competing for the United States in the Olympics.
“What I love most about my sport is that once I had my uniform on, and my mask went on, people didn’t see me for my race, they didn’t see me for my religion, they didn’t see me for my gender,” Muhammad said.
Her powerful, profound message really scared my heart and shook me from the inside; yet it opened my eyes to the fact that some people in our society feel the only way they can fit in is to put a mask on so no one will know what color, race or faith they are. It is as if they are not accepted in society for who they are. This has got to change!
This emotional testimony from an African-American young lady raises awareness to the national conversation that our country is having these days and the argument of black lives matter versus all lives matter. It’s incumbent upon us to support any group or segment of society that is facing any sort of injustice regardless who they are. While we all agree that all lives matter, we certainly agree that our fellow citizens from an African American background have been encountering throughout history in our country a clear prejudice with law-enforcement, courts and the prison system. Had it not been for the recent events that blew the whistle to these incidents and injustices that are done by some of our law-enforcement officials, the unspoken reality would have still remained the same!
Past or present, stereotypes have always poisoned human interaction, limiting and disregarding people’s individuality.
Racism is a socially invented concept for manipulation and power control. History proves different groups, agendas, social contexts and values have always demonized directly or indirectly others who are were different. Capitalism uses the same trick to feed it’s hunger for power and money. It plays with our perceptions and manipulates us into hatred, fear, hostility and prejudices in order to divide us. It resorts scapegoating minority groups for current social problems like unemployment, violence and every other problem for which the system has failed to deal with.
The truth is we all nurture some feelings of prejudice or stereotypical images in our heads and hearts, whether we want it or not. Awareness is the only way we can control these preinstalled viruses in our brains that make us hurt others.
“Racism is a learnt response, and if you learn it, you can unlearn it,” stated Jane Elliott, a race relation expert.
Differences do exist and we are not equal in many ways, yet different doesn’t mean better or worse, less or more. We are all simply different, nobody’s fault. We should not judge each other based on race.
Let’s put ourselves in other people’s place before we judge them, as no one chooses their race, color, family, social background and the country where they’re born.
We all came from the same parents, Adam and Eve. At the end of the day we are ONE big family.
Let’s not forget that we all came from the same place, we are all one human race.
There’s only one race, the human race.