Racism as with many ideas, is a product of the mind. It is a Reality Adversely Created In the Subconscious Mind of the person who is experiencing it.
Racism is not a collective phenomena, it is an individual experience that is different for everyone. Air is a collective phenomenon, you breathe in air, I breathe in air. There can be no arguments as to whether air exist. I don’t have to convince you and you don’t have to convince me. We all accept it. Racism is different. It is as if it is raining on you, yet I am standing right next to you and I am dry, it’s not raining on me. It would be counterproductive for you to spend time arguing with me that it is raining, when clearly, you are experiencing rain, yet I am not. What you can do in such a situation is focus on is figuring out why it is raining on you and not on me. Figure out what you are doing to cause this, and how you can stop it?
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Racism cannot be eradicated from the world by mass movements, riots, or protest, whether peaceful or not. It cannot be stopped by calling on the government to enact new laws or legislations, because while new laws and legislations may govern people’s behaviour, it does not change their minds. And it is in the mind that racism festers and grows and creates problems in our society.
We have been fighting racism for years, all over the world, across the African continent, North America, across Europe, in many parts of the world, nothing has changed, because it is not a change in circumstance that is required, but a change in perspective, a change in belief and a change in the way you think.
Nelson Mandela was a strong advocate against racism in South Africa. During his struggle, many people were killed, both black and white, until Mandela was imprisoned for 27 years. It was only during his time in prison he realised, that the struggle for freedom was not a physical fight but a mental battle. And in this fight, it’s every man for himself. During his time in solitude he was able to free himself from mental slavery, and what happened, he became the president of South Africa. It’s not that things on the outside had changed, up till today South Africa is still entwined in a colour struggle, so it’s not that things were so good. No. It was that he changed his thoughts, his beliefs and his perspective of the world, and everything changed for him, and for those who bought into his new beliefs.
Martin Luther King Junior has a public holiday named after him in America, funny enough, during black lives matter, no one mentioned him. Anyway, Dr. King fought against racism, he mobilised black people, they rioted, they protested, they resisted, they called for political change, and what did that achieve, a sit on the back of the bus? Nothing changed. Until Martin said, you know what, we are focusing on the wrong thing. It’s not them, it’s us. Forget white people, let us focus on us, on our development as a people, let us come together. And that was what they did, they patronised black owned businesses, they forgot about the seat on the back of the bus they fought so hard for and walked, they shared what they had, they helped each other and that was why Martin Luther King was killed. Because a people, no matter what colour, class or creed, a people who decide to come together, work together, is unstoppable. Both Martin Luther King Jr and Malcolm X were killed for the same reason, they encouraged black people to focus on self, to seek the solution within themselves.
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