As stated in my previous post systemic racism and business,the issue is not overt racism, legislation has taken care of that. It is the fact that covert racism is in our thoughts. Among the recommended actions is people having uncomfortable and imperfect conversations.
In the course of a week, I have had some of these hard conversations on both sides of the conversations. I have talked to black people who are angry, tired, disillusioned and yet hopeful. The emotional trauma has been passed down from generation to generation.
I have talked to white people who went through apartheid and yet never felt they qualified to speak up because it wasn't a lived experience. Some were open to learning while some asked not to be held accountable for the actions of their forefathers. Similarly, some racism is passed down from one generation to another. I understand all of it.
At the core of it, this is a human issue. We can acknowledge the issue but then accept the fact that the systems that perpetuated these injustices are still very much intact. I don't think black people want pandering, they are looking for change. It is one thing to acknowledge, it is another to dismantle. Diversity and Inclusion within an unjust system is just quotas.
THE LIE OF RACISM : HIERACHY OF RACE
The root of racism is race. Race is a social construct. This is why 400 years later we are still dealing with the symptoms of racism. Passing legislation did not deal with the root cause of racism. It didnt distinguish the social categories created. Does the melanin pigmentation of my skin make me any less of a human being? Ask any sane person and they would say an absolute; NO. Scientifically and genetically we know this. Black, white, red, brown: these are categories of people. When did categories define people/character? When did we relinquish basic human value for categories? The categories are the lies. These are the thoughts we need to change.
The categories show up everywhere, it is ingrained in the fabric of our society. If a kingdom is divided within itself, it cannot stand. United we stand, divided we fall. The fastest way to kill another human is to categorise them and preferably give them a lower rung. Nazi Germans were told that the Gestapo were protecting them from cockroaches aka Jews. Americans are currently being told, that ICE police are keeping Mexican and Puerto Rican children in detention centres because they are protecting them from illegals. Rwandan genocide, hutus verses tutsis.One tribe was superior to the other. In Jamaica some people will empathise when a man is killed but if he is gay, they caused it (no empathy).
Strategy was divide and separate along the racial lines. Emphasise the differences ,label them and categorise them. At the beginning it may sound intellectual but sooner or later the question becomes ; Which one is better, superior, inferior? Hence the hierachy of race with black people at the bottom of that ladder. The lighter you are, the higher you are on the hierachy and vice versa. The lighter you are the more human you are and the darker you are the less human you are. It is Iike choosing a can of soda. Is it any wonder we can so easily dehumanise people?
There's only one race; the human race
We hear it. We turned a human issue into a political one and therefore we get to excuse our silence.
Otherwise how can I be silent and justify turning away from any form of injustice, if I am not convinced that it is for my own good, protection and done to someone who is not human anyways
(dehumanization). It comes labelled "War on ..........." . My silence has given consent to alot of issues.
I am a christian , I have been silent when my muslim brothers and sisters have been harassed because of their faith. The intresting thing is black muslims have it worse. In the caste system, the darker your skin the worse your job is, your potential to marry and you are the lowest rung.
Nobody has to teach a child racism. They just have to live in our current society. If I google CEO and only find images of white people. I can conclude that only a certain category of people own businesses. If charity ads often feature brown and black people, then I can conclude that those people need our help. And voila, I become the saviour and they become the victims. It is more in the seen and what is not said than what is. To girls, this communicates that you should want fairer skin, your life will be better. Divide, devalue, destroy. So the saying goes "divide and conquer".
How can you be silent? Why do many people feel like they arrived at this conversation too late? The answer is quite simple. It does not affect you. That even if you are anti-racist, you have simply benefited from the fact that you are not black.
BUILDING INCLUSIVE SYSTEMS
In order to build inclusive systems, we have to dismantle those systems that have perpetuated the same injustices. We cannot say that we want to tear down the hierachiacal racial lies by building on them. We have to get the root. Otherwise this shoot is going to come up again in another form.
On the other hand,how many sub categories do we have to create to be totally inclusive? Someone might be shouting: Every single one! According to scientists, we have 63 races. Facebook veered from 10 to 71 at one point. UNESCO said there is no biological determination for race. Just use humanity as the standard bearer.
Although I have said , that we are to tear down the social contruct of race, this is the one instance you are allowed to comb through your individual systems and find out if it is totally inclusive.
To be very specific, find out who the standard bearer is. If you did not have other people in mind when you were creating the system, that means it is not inclusive. The stark evidence of this is the lack of diversity in these systems at every position. Who is running our institutions,the government,the police,the media? Who is in prison, the homeless, those deported by the Windrush scandal? Diversity and inclusion will not solve this!
The uproar is a response from a group of people who have been degraded by everyone. Even by all of us as individuals. Those who benefit from not being them. We know this from the Africa, Middle East, South Asia, USA and UK. If you are okay with an element of oppression as long as it is not happening to you, then you are allowing a structure to exist where that oppression will eventually reach all of us. Oppressive systems started with race, then gender,then religion,then sexuality. When are we going to say enough to the division, devaluing and destruction of human beings? When do we act?
And after we are done dismantling, NOW CAN YOU SEE ME?