The Indefinite Epidemic…
Hello! It’s me again and I am back with another edition of Buchi’s Ruminations. I wanna talk about something a little more serious…well on second thought, few things are as serious as the Plight of the Lefty.
Racism is a virus. It’s effects are insidious and pervasive. When people talk about “ending racism” and “stopping the hate” I often lqtm (laugh quietly to myself) and wonder if they understand the true nature and breadth of the problem they are audaciously attempting to solve. Racism is not just a black/white thing. It never has been and it never will be. Believing this gross oversimplification of the problem is the same as believing that all Muslims are terrorists. It just won’t work. Don’t believe me? Then just follow me through this example:
So we have racism between black people and white people right? Let’s say we solve that problem. Done. It’s gone. “Ebony and Ivory, living together in harmony.” What’s next? Well, we will still have discrimination and unrest between light-skinned black people and dark-skinned black people. So let’s eliminate that one. Poof! It’s gone. Next? Well what about the animosity between African-born African-Americans and American born Blacks? Ok, let’s pretend that is gone. What’s next? Well, I am African so let’s deal with the conflict between African Muslims and African Christians. Ok, squashed. Next? The conflict between descendants from different African countries? Gone. Next? What traditional conflicts between tribal members in a given country? For example, the Yoruba and Igbo tribes in Nigeria or the Hutu and Tutsi tribes in Rwanda? Hasta la vista, baby! Next? Traditional conflict between families in the same tribe?
You see? It keeps going on and on and I could do this for any ethnic group on the planet! This issue is multi-layered and is not just about race. It’s about our human propensity to separate ourselves from our brother or sister based off of a perceived difference. It is pervasive and it is deeply engrained into the way we interact with the world around us. My question now, is how do we deal with such a debilitating, omnipresent idea?
I was recently reading a Kimchi and Collard Greens article that said, “we are socialized to create imaginary caste systems in our own little heads. This caste system is based on so many different things – race, age, gender, sexual preference, ethnicity etc. and it governs how we view the world.” This is exactly what racism is, it is part of the “caste system” that we use to separate ourselves. As humans, we are always seeking to order and categorize the world around us…so much so that we even seek to categorize ourselves. We seek division instead or unity and disguise it as a way to identify ourselves. This observation always puzzled me as a kid growing up in small-town Ohio, especially because Mother Nature is always trying to undo our work. In every equation, in every science, Nature is always trying to maximize the amount of entropy, or disorder. Why, then, must Man insist on imposing his ordered will?
(for more thought-provoking articles check out my blog: Exposé by Buchi Offodile)