Sunday, November 13, 2005

Amid all the pilfering, rioting and torching in Paris, lets take a step back and look at the situation of race as a whole. Race has always been a contentious issue among the masses in the world. Since as far back as human race can remember, there has always been issues on race.
One wonders why something as natural as skin colour has always been the center of disputes. Human race evolved over a span of million of years and although everyone is created equal with a eye, ear, nose, legs, hands, mouth and a body, the skin has always been that of a different colour. It probably depicts the origin of the particular human as those from the northern hemisphere are often fairer than those from the southern and equatorial hemisphere. In the past, every human had their own territorial boundaries and often or not, they rarely ventured out of it as they do not have the technology or the means to do so.
Slowly as the human race evolve, they start to become more creative and ambitious, resulting in explorers travelling to far flung territories and mingling with different people of different cultures and values.
The world today comprises of people who have already been intergrated as a mixed society. Not many countries in the world can declare that they are totally homogeneous. Over the years, humans have learnt to accept that skin colour difference is only well, skin deep. The abilities of a person cannot be determined by their skin colours. Besides, people of different skin colours provide more opportunities for each other to learn and interact. In fact it makes humans more knowledgable , knowing that difference in skin could mean cultural differences. It has allowed humans to be more receptive of one another.
Yet, the very basis in which we base our superficial judgements on- skin colour, still exist. The common mindset is still that white men are superior and intelligent, with the ability to dominate the world and impose their cultural values on the rest. Black men are dangerous, often part of the ghetto, poor and a harden criminal. Yellow skin people are people that walk around and speak in funny accents and write the language in strokes instead of alphabets. Arabs and muslims are well all extremist and vengeful.
Must all these judgements still prevail? The world as the leaders of many developed countries said are now more equal, less racist and more understanding of each other due to globalisation as it has taken down barriers that were once too high to bring down. But, the ancient believes and stereotypes of races are still there. People still cannot rid their minds of their perceptions of various races just because there are people of that particular race still behaving in that manner, albiet a minority.
What can be done to change these mindsets? There must first be a common understanding that not all races must follow a particular set of practices imposed by anyone. There are differences in people and that must be accepted. A policy cannot be carried out if it excludes a person purely on the difference in his/her skin colour. Opportunities are created for everyone and that everyone means every human that is capable of carrying out that task irrespective of skin colour.
The mindset of a person must also change. One cannot be quick to judge a person base on his race. Instead, more in depth understanding of the person is required and not baseless allegations on the basis of his skin colour.
It would still take a long time for humans to finally accept that each other is equal. Stoic patriotism still exist in some countries and they believe that the migrant population would only destroy their values and cultures which they spend hundreds of years to built up. So they find every opportunity to chase them out. It would take a long while to change their mindsets but progress must be made. As Sir Winston Churcill said:"Every day you may make progress. Every step may be fruitful. Yet there will stretch out before you an ever-lengthening, ever-ascending, ever-improving path. You know you will never get to the end of the journey. But this, so far from discouraging, only adds to the joy and glory of the climb." I hope this rings true.

1 comment:

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