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Sunday, April 4, 2010

On Racism and Hate


Image is taken from here

Toyosi a young man with a very bright future must have woken up a Friday morning thinking about the future and how much he could contribute to it. little did he know that at about 7PM that same day he would be lying in a pool of his blood – a victim of an alleged racist attack.

Today his mother wails in agony, in pain, in her mind she cannot and will never get used to the fact that this young man she nurtured for 15 years is suddenly no more, a huge hole will remain in her heart forever, she will never be able to get over this loss.

Sadly, this is the sad reality facing us here today, we who are not originally from this land, this land which we have come to love so much, but which at the end of the day offers us no protection against racist bullies who operate under some form of constitutional protection.

Every day, every hour of every day, perhaps, a racist offense is being committed in Ireland, be it the taunts which we face, the stone throwing, the name calling, the inadvertent urge to put us in our place, every day, we wake knowing that we have no one to turn to, for if they strike, nobody will protect us.

The government hides its head under the sand thinking that there is no problem or rather they probably have no desire to stem this ill. A government minister said a couple of years ago, that there was no racism in Ireland because he had not witnessed race riots! Very funny you might say.

Sadly again, racism and other types of hate crimes are not synonymous with Ireland alone. Indeed, all over Europe, the USA, the rest of the Western world, Africa, Asia and the rest of the world, a type of hate crime takes place everyday. This could happen in form of homophobic attacks, or attacks on foreigners in South Africa.

Today we hear reports from South Africa of a White Supremacist who got bludgeoned to death, probably as a result of race hate. The man himself was a virulent racist who urged no quarter in the zeal to either exterminate the blacks in SA or subjugate them to the level of having no rights, yet his death serves no purpose at all. It only buttresses the fact that hate only breeds hate and violence.

When will it all stop? Maybe never. It is sad to think that way, but history does not shed an encouraging light on issues of this kind. Someone once said that governments around the world should try to dedicate a lot more resources to educating people about the ills of racism and hatred in general.

I don’t believe that is going to work anyway. These racist attitudes are deeply entrenched in our psyche, passed down from fathers and mothers to their children and in turn to their own children. It is a sad, vicious circle really and it leads to so much waste, waste of so much potential,

Every culture is guilty of this. While it might seem like an uphill task, while we might believe that there is no solution, still we cannot sit and fold our hands and watch our children kill themselves over some stupid and irrelevant matter such as racism and hatred. The world could be a better place if we could only extend some love to all men.

The shoes could turn on you tomorrow. you have taken the life of someone because they are not of your race, your own life could be taken tomorrow as well, or the lives of your own children. Would you like that? You who are a cop and refuse to come to the aid of a foreigner, are you doing your job?

You, the politician, who campaigns on racial platforms, encouraging people to hate, how do you sleep at night, when you think of the innocent people who have lost their lives as a result of your evil rhetoric? How do you even look at your own children, when you may have being responsible for the loss of other children’s lives?

Today, let us think of Toyosi, and the pain which his family has being subjected to for the rest of their lives. Think of the millions who lost their lives in Hitler’s purge. Think of those who lost their lives in xenophobic riots in South Africa. Think of the void which has being created in the world.

We can live together in peace and tranquillity. It is not so hard. We just need to let go of age-old beliefs that serve no real purpose in these civilized times. We just need to try as much as we can to spread a little love and maybe someday soon, We will be able to walk down the streets and not fear for our lives.

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