By Abdulhussain Tejani
When it comes to a communal approach, we need to remember that one or two bad experiences with a particular race does not taint the whole.
· What do you think that the original Red Indians in the US feel about all the Americans? Don’t you know some great people in America?
· What do you think of the apartheid philosophy in South Africa in the past? Haven’t there been inter-marriages between the races there?
· What do you think those in India who live by the caste system feel about the Indian Society? Not every Indian person subscribes to the caste system!
· Why are all Muslims not united despite sharing the same fundamentals? Are there no exceptions where we see Muslims from different sects living side by side in the Gulf region?
· Why is a white person in certain countries paid more than a “black”, “brown” or “yellow” person despite being equal or better? One’s ability to deliver high caliber work does not depend on which passport they hold and there are numerous examples of this!
· What do you think the migrants into Europe feel like to live in a society that always looks at them as outsiders? Are they not equally responsible for Europe’s success?
This list is endless and encompasses the whole globe. As hard as it is to live with these mental images, some live through it day in and day out. If there is anyone who claims that racism does not exist in their own minds or their own society is lying to themselves, including me. However, what is wrong to for us to taint the whole country, creed, caste as being guilty. It is sweeping statements like these that lays the foundation of inherent racism.
In today’s world, it is easier to deal with inherent racism as the channels available to us are immense if used correctly. In the past it was passed down from generation to generation. Today, one’s blog, article or musings on YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram or Snapchat can allow for a decent exchange of conversation and thus potentially start a line of evolutionary thinking via an ‘aha’ moment.
The challenging and key part of having these difficult conversations is the art of having an exchange of information (argument) that does not descend into a rant.
Those that are guided give us a very lucid and logical way of having an argument. It goes like this;
1. Don’t start the argument; let the argument come to you;
2. Never raise your voice, keep it low and calm;
3. Let your facial expression be normal and should mirror calmness;
4. Let the person finish their thought process and verbalize their conversations thus avoiding interruptions;
5. When responding, start with the commonalities before you diversify into your disagreements;
6. Avoid discrimination in your discourse;
7. In an argument, one needs to explain ones thought process as opposed to taking it for granted, that they understand. This allows for them to walk in the other persons’ shoes. It also allows for the thought to process itself better when the other person comes to the same realization via their own machinations;
8. Last but the least, remember an argument is not about winning but about a greater good.
The last part of the management of racism, is for it to be managed at the federal and/or governmental level. At this juncture, I wish to introduce a beautiful African proverb, which says, “when the fish rots, the head rots first”. Basically, this is the crux of winning the battle at this level. The leaders at the helm need to be selected on very strict criteria that shows them up to be emotionally intelligent and conscientious people who genuinely care about all their people and humanity as a whole.
Once you have identified the correct leaders, one needs to ensure you have the right systems and processes in place to ensure that the checks and balances are catered for.
The last part of the jigsaw puzzle is for the collective, the people to uphold the principles of oneness irrespective of the discrimination. This means for all of us to hold ourselves accountable whereby we police our thoughts, our words and actions.