Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Photo Meditation of the Month (April, 2009): RACISM


A graffiti, announcing "The White Man Is God," on a wall
in downtown Portland, Oregon, USA

Photo (Portland, Oregon, USA: 1976) © Jerome D'Costa


Racism is the belief that one's race or ethnic stock is superior to another. Racism is everywhere -- more or less. Everyone is a racist -- more or less. Some can contain their racist proclivity while dealing with others, others cannot. That's why we see so many laws in "advanced" countries to curb or contain racism.

Racism is basically a strong fear of a person or group of people belonging to another ethnic stock. This fear leads to prejudice, rabid hatred, discrimination, segregation or even oppression.

Racism is based on the wrong notion that one person or group is superior to another -- physically and intellectually. There was a time when the white people of Europe and Americas strongly felt that non-whites, especially the blacks, were not fully humans. We know from history how the whites treated the blacks. In other continents, too, there are plenty of examples of their own versions of internal racism.

Modern scientists have found out that there is no basis for racism. Genetically, there is a minute difference between ethnic groups except some genes that give particular features (colour of skin and hair, shape of face, head and body, etc.) to a group.

We find babies of any race cry the same. People of any race feel the same hunger pangs. They have the same number of limbs and organs with similar functions. They get sick the same way as others. Flu epidemic affects persons of any race. Mosquitoes bite them all with the same vengeance! Persons of different races may have different body colour, but they have the same colour of their blood! So why should one feel superior to the other?

What happens when one practises racism?

  • He or she becomes poorer quality-wise or virtue-wise, because racism is negativity -- nothing positive comes out of it, except enhancement of fear, greed, and discriminating behaviour.
  • He or she stoops down very low -- lower than the person he or she hates.
  • He or she always have to think of putting down the other person -- he or she won't have time to think about himself or herself. The sense of love will fly away out his or her window.
  • To pracise racism, one has to be always alert and tense in dealing with others. Health-wise this behaviour is not helpful.
The antidote of racism is the concerted change of one's mind and heart. Respect for others, sharing equally with others and love of neighbours as Jesus Christ has taught: "Love your neighbour as yourself" (Matthew 19:19).

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