Racism – It isn’t just for white people anymore

A young lady tweeted something rather unfortunate a while back. A reporter – apparently known for being a hate-filled blockhead found the Tweet and spread it around. Rather large (for Canada) firestorm ensued. I won’t repeat the tweet, it was born of the frustration, born of anger. We are all guilty of unwise words when we are angry, at some point in our lives.

Having lived through more decades than I am able to remember, with any clarity, I can say that we have come a long way from the murderous rampages for civil rights. We have come a long way but baby…there is still a mountain range and vast desert to cross. I site the Herouxville manifesto and the appalling reaction to the acceptance of Syrian refugees by some Canadians. A vocal few, I would hope, that seem to have forgotten that many of them have the blood of refugees running through their veins.

Racism. As a white woman, apparently, I have no say in the topic, to some. I can’t possibly know what racism does to an individual, a community.

Yeah well..that is tantamount to racism, in and of itself.

I do understand how violence, the threat of violence, a constant barrage of insults, the barring of opportunities can tear down the self-respect of a human being. It isn’t neurosurgery. Simply because I have never been the recipient of such behaviour does not mean that I cannot see the terrible inequality of such actions and call out the perpetrators.  It does not mean that I am incapable of understanding the issue.  I do possess grey matter that extends beyond basic presumption.

Over the decades, I’ve seen unconscionable acts. I’ve been exposed to the appalling impact of bigotry in the world. The Holodomor, the Holocaust, Selma, Watts, the Killing Fields, Apartheid, Rwanda, Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq….on a lesser scale, the FLQ. All over the world, people are judged, found guilty and die because of the race, creed and/or culture. A young man was hacked to death in Bangladesh because he was an atheist just a few days ago.

The colour of our skin, the faith of our families, our gender…in an intelligent society, none of this should be of relevance but history tells us, the human race is far from intelligent.

Personally, I don’t care whether you are white, black, yellow, olive or purple. My motto is that assholes are all the same colour; religion, creed or culture simply isn’t relevant when you are an asshole. You have one purpose, to fill up and expel feces. Something bigots of any stripe do and do well.

Pointing fingers is so damn easy. Walking the walk, talking the talk is how I determine if an individual is a part of intelligent society or a member of the rectal group.

Are there horrible white people out there? Absolutely. There are horrible black people out there, horrible Asian people out there, horrible Middle Eastern and aboriginal. The common denominator is that they are people. Lack of empathy, of conscience, of humanity is not the sole domain of one race, one creed or one colour.

We need to move forward. Remove the racism label and call it what it is – hatred, mindless, ignorant hatred. This is the common enemy. Vilification based on race, creed, colour or gender is wrong. Division based on these labels weakens any fight for equality. Black lives matter, well yeah…however, this is divisive and counterproductive. The cold, hard truth is that all lives matter, regardless of community, city or country. The lives of people forced from their home due to political violence matter. The lives of people struggling to feed their families matter. The lives of people torn apart by violence in their streets matter. The problem is, admittedly, easier with which to deal, when you divide it. True solutions are never easy. Hatred and violence is a global issue. It is a global tragedy and while I am a pessimist when it comes to the human race, I do find myself hoping that one day, a solution will be found. I hope that one day, hatred based on bigotry will be a crime from our past.

I hope that our descendants will read from their history books and shed a tear for our ignorance.

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