Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Think only Whites are Racist think again.

All rights reserved.
Copyright ©
2006-2007 ALIKING
Throughout my life, I have experienced racial discrimination almost on a daily basis. I am a black African Muslim, born in Sokode in the state of Togo, which is located in the region Southwest of the Sahara desert. My family moved to Ghana in 1974. Since I left Ghana, in 1987, I have lived in Saudi Arabia, Germany and Canada.

In every one of these countries I have found that racism isn't perpetuated by whites alone - all races are guilty. I have also found that some global events tend to propel the intensity of, and increase the amount of racism. The monstrous event of September 11th, 2001 is one of these occurrences that didn't helped matters.

This, in spite of the fact that every year on the March 21, the day earmarked by the United Nations as International Day of the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, I see people of all racial background come together in various cities around the world to demonstrate and to make statements condemning racial discrimination. This global demonstrations amazes me, not because I hate the noble idea of annihilating racism. Nor am I against people from all walks of life demonstrating their beliefs. It's their actual belief that boggles my mind.

The significant elements of these demonstrations are the participants and their targets. Excluding a few whites motivated by self-criticism or political correctness, the majority of the demonstrators are non-whites who usually direct their anger and venom at what they perceive as white racism. The South East Asians, the Chinese, Hispanics, Arabs and African Americans whom I have met all believe that racism is synonymous with white people who victimize them.

However, in my capacity as a political refugee who has shared rooms and apartments and worked with many racial groups in Africa, Asia, Europe and North America, I see it differently. I don't belief in the baloney that only whites are racist. I hope I am not accused of being a white apologist. Yes, whites may have perpetuated colonialism, segregation and apartheid, and been heavily involved in slavery. And yes, white supremacy groups, such as the Ku Klux Klan and other Neo-Nazi groups still exist. But is that all there is about racism?

From my personal experience, it isn't white people who have exhibited the most racism towards me-on the contrary, white people have shown me the least amount of racial discrimination. Unfortunately, the people who top the list of dishing out racism are those who normally complain about being the victims. That is why I believe it is a fallacy to say that racism is a white person's thing, especially when this misperception stems from white people dominating the world's geo-politics.

In contrast, my observation and experience throughout my travels and interactions are that most whites, especially those of West European origin, tend to be sensitive and sophisticated with racism issues. They understand the negative impact and take accusations of racism very seriously.

From my perspective, the vast majority of white people resent being labeled "racist," even if they are practicing it. I have also noted that whites tend to be more considerate in corporate offices, government departments and commercial institutions where they are in charge as opposed to non-whites who rule the roost. This has given me a guiding principle of usually soliciting services in a government office or a store from a white person when both a colored and a white person are serving.

In general, white people show great courtesy to people of color, perhaps because they don't want the race card used against them if non-whites don't receive what they want. On the other hand, non whites don't care whether they are called racist or not. Their logic that racism is a white person's thing is deep rooted; therefore, if you call them racist, they treat it as a joke.

No doubt trying to eliminate racial discrimination is an uphill battle. It just can't be done when some groups believe that racism is only white racism. Racism is racism regardless of its origin and who perpetuates it.

If you have any doubts about the gravity of non-white racism, consider the simple example of relationships and marriages between races. Despite all the myths about black-white frictions, it is an observed fact that black-white unions are some of the most common form of mixed relationships today. For instance, although Germany often gets labeled high as a racist nation, it also has one of the largest black-white relationships per capita in the world.

Unfortunately, mixed-race marriages among some racial groups are non-existent. Some racial groups. particularly those from South and Far East Asia, often consider this type of relationship an abomination or a taboo.

Much has been written about this vast topic. The difference, though, is these books and articles are generally written by people with little or no direct experience in racial discrimination; their works usually are based on hearsay. However, I have felt and experienced racial discrimination.

"Think Only Whites Are Racist? Think Again!, is a new kind of book aimed at giving all fronts on the racial spectrum a fair shot, and to make them all accountable for their actions, actions which are often detrimental to others. The book is also designed to change the current landscape of this vast topic and to usher in fresh ideas about fighting racial discrimination.

The bottom line is we need to resolve several issues of racism. People of all race, color, and creed must agree and accept the concept that the color of a person's skin is no more significant than the color of his or her eyes. The philosophy, doctrine, teachings and ideology that rate one race and one skin superior and another inferior, must be realistically fought, discredited and abandoned.

We must genuinely recognize that racism is a menace and fight against it like we fight terrorism. Otherwise, racial discrimination will stick with us forever- despite our demonstrations, flyers and placards.
by Mohammed Ali

No comments: