by Terry Johnson
What would the future look like if racism were defeated? This question causes my heart to yearn. The belief that different races possess distinct characteristics, abilities or qualities that distinguish them as inferior or superior to one another is what makes this world so divided. We could instead embrace a world that is diverse and colorful, full of different kinds of people with different mindsets and backgrounds.In a bid for racial superiority, the world seems to have forgotten the unity in our diversity. As a result, some races are condescended by other races which are considered superior.
I do, however, have an image in my head of a country like America, but free of colorism, free of racism as a whole, free of distinction between Black and white. A country where Black and white children play in the same playgrounds, Black and white people have equal access to food and basic needs—just humans working together, where the mention of poverty and unemployment would not be associated with Black people. I dream of a world where superiority is not white, where racial equality reigns. A world where there are no racial differences, just humanity. Where there are no races, just humans. A world free of racism: That is the future we should all dream of for generations to come.
In most of the world, there is no shortage of stereotypes that negatively impact Black communities. A Black man is considered dirty, poor or criminal. A Black child is not seen as intelligent. A Black woman is assumed to be incapable of independence. These negative stereotypes continue to pile up around Black people and consequently, we find ourselves stuck with an inferiority complex.
Racism is not virtuous. No one filled out an application to be born Black or white, just like no one chooses to be born poor. Racism is hatred, and it will forever hold our world back. It is a great disappointment that, despite witnessing and experiencing the damages of racism, we continue to blame each other instead of coming together to eradicate it head on.
Truth be told, everyone has the capacity to be racist. Everyone has to make a choice whether or not they will separate humans by skin color. I came across a Nelson Mandela quote, saying that “racism is a blight on the human conscience.” This is because, similar to a blight, it blinds our growth, leaving us stuck in the same place like statues. The economy is fluctuating and underperforming, humanity is diminishing on a daily basis. We keep losing the true sense of humanity due to racism, but aren’t we all a lovely creation that is meant to grow together and build each other up as a nation?
I strongly believe that racism begins when people use the words “Black person” and “nigga” instead of saying “a person.” It is when they say “colored people” instead of “these people.” Everywhere one goes, be it a shopping mall, restaurant, bank, or hospital, racism remains the big elephant in the room. Just as we witnessed during the COVID-19 pandemic, instead of facing it head on, we face down and walk away without even speaking about it. We have turned a blind eye in the past and continue to do so to this day. In order to stop racism, we must stop drawing dividing lines between people.
A fig stem can only be bent when it is still wet, for if it is bent when dry it will break. We should teach growing children about equality so they can grow with that mindset. Let us keep in mind that we all want a future free of racism. If we want a better world for future generations, we should help create a better generation for the world’s future.
Many countries, especially African nations, were exposed to many years of racism due to apartheid governance in colonial eras. The Black and Colored majority were severely oppressed, but freedom fighters who fought the racial segregation by speaking about the unity of the people helped lead to the growth of democracies. Now, these countries are enjoying a democratic era. Some are still recovering as nations, and though traces of racism can still be observed, they are working to give the next generation a past they will not have to recover from.
To be able to reform something, you need to be able to call it evil. Evil simply means that which is morally wrong. Is hating one another not morally wrong? Is it not evil when you feel that one race is better than another? I pronounce racism as an unacceptable act of injustice; nowhere in this world should anyone be talked down on because of their race.
Racism divides nations, it turns people against each other. It makes us forget that, in all truthfulness, we all come from the same creator. We were all created to be equal. We were all created to love and build each other instead of pulling each other down. It makes us forget the true meaning of diversity.
We should want a world free of racism because there is no love, prosperity or success in division. We should all see each other as kin, because there is no equality in discrimination—we are all sisters and brothers. We should all come together and accept our differences before we can share our similarities. We should hold each other’s hands and continue to build each other up, because there is so much more beauty in a united nation than a divided one. Would the future not be a beautiful place to live without all these racial shenanigans?
Let us all embrace diversity, togetherness, and hold the ladder to help the person in front climb first and pull us up. The world is always beautiful, but it will be so much merrier when racism is defeated. It starts with me and you.