A point in which I feel strongly about: Racism
Racism, what has it led us to do? Racism has done nothing but bring us to hate one another, fear and loathe one another. However the very idea of embracing our differences makes us feels too vulnerable for the majority to accept. Racism and slavery still unfortunately exist to this day, albeit we’ve come a long way, since the days of the Atlantic slave trade. Racism may be less blatant now in many cases, however its existence is undeniable. There is a theory that racism stems from primitive tribalism and is purely a ‘defensive mechanism’. This is because in theory, if a tribe member has an altercation with another member of a different tribe, his natural reaction is to act hostile. This is because of difference in upbringing, religion, belief and just a primitive need to defend what is important to us. No matter what the causes of racism are, it has no purpose to serve in modern human society. Racism towards an ‘ethnic group’ is essentially ignorance of the maximum hate with minimum reason. Severe racism can sometimes cause the ‘minority group’ to feel racist against them. This is called ‘internalized racism’. For example if a black man was to feel inferior to a white man, and to allow the white man to dominate over him, this to other black men is deemed a disgrace. Thus making this action to be called the ‘uncle tom’ syndrome. Back in the 1900s it was well documented that African-Americans were segregated from White Americans, whether it be for schools, toilets, houses etc. Mixing of the two back in those days was strictly taboo. That segregation system just led to confusion and further shows that equality wasn’t even attempted. Of course if the black and white were to have separate communities then the act of love between one human and another of a different race was also not allowed. I believe that capitalism is a huge cause related to racism. This is because capitalism essentially consists of people owning private properties with profit as their best interests. The small percentages of top capitalists take advantage of the poor and uneducated minority groups from countries in Africa and Asia to do their labour work. For example if there was a large group of people from a more developed country like Britain was in need of a product e.g. phones, then the intent of the massive corporate companies is to mass produce phones, and sell them for an atrocious price compared to the money needed to actually make the phone. Nowadays the word slavery is disguised by another word used more common in modern society, sweat shops. They are places in which the employers are illegally paying the workers under the minimum wage. They are also required to work over-time all while the conditions of that workplace are incredibly unsafe. This is the constant cycle of a stereotypical ‘role’ in which certain races are associated with in western culture. It has become curious to me to understand how racism develops because of my own skin colour. I am a child whose parents are born in Hong Kong and my physical appearance lead people to assume I am also a native from Hong Kong. However I perceive my background as more complex than that. I was born and raised in the Lowlands of Scotland. As a young boy I never saw colour in people, I was oblivious to how ‘colour’ ultimately shaped the culture in which I would be living in to this day. As far as I was concerned all the people in the world was the same to me. As time went on, I realised that the mentioning of my ‘race’ would be a recurring scenario till this day. It would be years into my teens where I was now living in Ireland that I grew more mature and understanding towards my own identity. However that didn’t stop me from getting comfortable with myself. This was due to the shocking epiphany that the glances that people were giving me were in fact actually stares. Also behind every “I’m not racist but…” gave me an unpleasant indication that the person was really insinuating something racist. I believe that racism has many contributing factors to it, media, upbringing and mental state etc. A form of media is a T.V; it has the power to subconsciously make us associate certain traits with certain colours. For example in the old spaghetti westerns, the ‘good guy’ would typically be dressed in white, while riding a white horse. And the ‘bad guy’ would be clothed in black with a black horse. Subtle labels affiliated with colours are a small scale of a form of racism. Based upon my own experiences and my perception of racism, I don’t fully believe that a world without racism is achievable. Historically and theoretically speaking, if the infamous German leader, Hitler was able to make his ‘perfect race’ envision a reality. In which all the people of the earth would be white, have blonde hair and blue eyes, to me, eventually there will still be labels as time goes on. We as humans were meant to be different not the same. Racism is a terrible thing. It has made me feel in situations of my life that I was an outcast and I know that as long as racism exists then there is someone out there who feels the same way as I do. I don’t know what direction to take to steer away from racism. I hope this work that I have produced, will create a spark for someone out there who wants to influence the world for the better, no matter what race they are.
By: Jordan Lee