Last night, the news were full of the decision of the grand jury in Ferguson (USA) (because of a young black man that got killed by a white police officer) and the following riots. A lot of discussions took place, be it at work or also on social media. The common bottom line: racism just sucks. I normally avoid such harsh words or decorate them with an asterisk, but today I need to write it out.
What is racism?
There are two common definitions for racism:
- the prejudice that members of one race are intrinsically superior to members of other races
- discriminatory or abusive behavior towards members of another race
What I learned is that both are closely tied together. If one thinks that his race is superior, it leads to bad behavior against those from the other race.
My Family and me are experiencing this quite often. Being an Italian family living in Germany, we often got discriminated because of this. I do not want to got to deep into details, because drilling into old (and not so old) wounds isn’t helpful for the message of this post. The only comment I am leaving: it can be quite challenging to overcome this.
During our history, a lot of racism took place. Be it the Roman empire or the Spanish conquistadors, the early Americans or the Germans (this could be an endless list): they all have behave racist. This needs to come to an end. No race on this planet is truly superior in all aspects to all others. All races have their own aspect where they are superior to others. But instead of discriminating the other race and search for the point where your race is better than mine, we should look into where we can learn from each other.
We are all strangers here, no matter where we are born or live.
I like how my wife thinks about this:
We are all strangers here, no matter where we are born or live. We don’t own this planet. We are only guests that are tolerated on this planet. Instead of being violent to each other because of different races, we should more collaborate to continue being tolerated at this planet.
She is right. It does not make any sense that we fight against each other because of the color of our skin, our language, our nationality or religion. It does not make any sense to be abusive against each other because a few people scream out loud that they think they are better because of their race. In fact, they are screaming out that they think to be better than everyone, even those of their own race. There will always be people that follow blindly just because they want to live as convenient as possible. But it is up to everyone of us to change that.
I can’t help, but at this point of writing I feel in the mood for “We are the world”. One of the lines is “We can’t go on pretending day by day that someone somewhere will soon make a change.”
Everyone is responsible for his/her behavior. Everyone is responsible to NOT be a racist.
Everyone is responsible to be a human.
Image credit: University of California