10 Reasons Why Racism Is Not Cool (Part 2)

Posted on October 18, 2015



Last week I offered 5 reasons why racism is not cool, that it’s irrational, unscientific, prideful, unjust and emotional. It should be regarded as a very negative trait in any society and yet some racists are worshipped as heroes. This week, we want to look at another 5 reasons why we should avoid racism like a plague and have regular self-examination to keep ourselves racism-free.

  1. It’s CANCEROUS. No one is born a racist but one can be predisposed to it if one grows up in an environment where there is constant emphasis on the race or a person rather than on the character of that person. Just as cancer cells are anomalies to the body, racism is not meant to be part of our lives. They attack our healthy values of fairness, kindness, generosity, hospitality and courtesy and replaces them with pride, rudeness, selfishness, foolishness and just blind hatred. But unlike cancer, racism is a contagious disease that will spread to those closest to us like our children, family and friends, thus condemning them to a life of bigotry and hate. Between the two, it is better for us to have cancer and die ourselves than to have racism and poison those around us.
  2. It’s DIVISIVE. Perhaps the most obvious consequence of racism is that it segregates people according to their race. We live in our own racial “ghettos” where we know little or nothing about other races and their culture. In ghettos, in our mind, the whole world revolves around us and that the only people that matter is our race. We deprive ourselves of a more diverse way of life and of advancement for our own race by being mono everything – language, religion, food and culture, instead of celebrating and enjoying our rich diversity. It’s like going to a big buffet with a hundred varieties of food and just choosing one.
  3. It’s DESTRUCTIVE. Is there any plural society in the world where racism is institutionalised, survived and prospered? Ok, racism exists in every society, even the successful and prosperous ones but it is not mainstream. But when a country go Nazi and start to have or make laws to justify racism, it is setting itself up for destruction. The ladders to the abyss of destruction begin with acceptance of racist views, the institutionalization of such views, to racial segregation, racial tensions, racial riots, ethnic cleansing or civil wars. In recent history, we just have to look at countries like Rwanda, the former Yugoslavia, Cambodia, Burma, Indonesia, India, Georgia, South Africa, Sri Lanka and the list can go on and on. It would be fair to say that the majority of military conflicts in the world has inter-ethnic roots. The fruit of racism is destruction.
  4. It’s PRIMITIVE. Even though the term “racism” is a fairly modern invention, its ideology are as old as there are humans. Its root is tribalism, where self-preservation instincts caused ethnic groups to draw physical, social and psychological boundaries to keep their tribes intact. Differences in appearance, language and culture further segregate the tribes. But that was then. We have evolved into a global village where we are more united through common languages, faiths, communication and transportation. We may have moved out of cave-dwelling to condo-dwelling but for some, the cave mentality is still within us.
  5. It’s UNGODLY. Someone claimed recently that his racism is based on his religion. What he is actually saying is that his god created only his race and not the other races. Is he serious? Most anthropologists recognise that there are 3 to 4 races in the world, divided into around 30 sub-groups and more than 5,000 ethnic groups in the world today. Is this chap saying that there are 3, 30 or 5,000 creator gods in the world? The fact is, if there is a god who did not create the whole world and all humankind then this god is not worthy of our worship. If people want to be racists, go ahead and hate others silly but please do not defame the Creator God. It is totally ungodly and frankly, mentally-challenged.

We may never be able to eradicate racism in the world or even within ourselves completely, but as a society, we have to label it as a bad and evil ill, too shameful a view to even hold, let alone declared and publicly displayed in a protest. But when racism is justified through race-based politics and policies, we are committing national suicide. As Malaysians, we are not hapless pawns but empowered voters who can choose to accept racism or reject them at the ballot box. We can either be good neighbours or bad neighbours who build bridges to our neighbours of other ethnicity or erect walls to live in our ghettos.

It is time for us to stop worrying or complaining about racial tensions but to take the bull of racism by the horn and slay it.

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