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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 17 June 2017
8 THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 17 JUNE 2017 DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM What is racism? We’re one colour made many GERRY GEORGATOS Through the windows of time much can be seen: peace is possible, love can be above all, hate is intense, hate can decimate all hope. We see windows of harmony, civil strife, meaningfulness, warring, redemption, barbarities. Our mind's eye translates what our eyes see and what our ears hear but for many, much is lost in translation. The muddle-minded and reasonable-minded swirl alongside in the same cesspool, at times our hands reaching out for each other's. In calmer moments, we can hate one another, a once outstretched hand clenched into a fist. Racism rolls in the deep, tearing us apart and some of us drown. But who told of us racism? That we are different? That despite being of one 'colour' that instead we are distinguishable by colour? Of colour made many. In the suicide prevention work I do, in my research, in the stories, in responding to hundreds of suicide-affected families each year, I see only people, sameness. I see in each person, in each suicideaffected family every other person, every other family. Yet there is a madness in humanity in which we are told we are different – ethnically, culturally, with our values and faiths. Yes, of course, nationbuilding exploits these attributions. We are pitted against each other. Who benefits? Every suicide-affected family I have sat with, no matter the cultural content and sensitivities that have poured from their hearts, all have cried the same, spoken the same. In our history there has been slavery, indenture, and all forms of barbarous and inhumane exploitations. We have seen power at all costs and greed as the bedrock of the cesspool. We have sunk so low that elites with extraordinary power but trapped in disordered thinking with ruined minds carry on with wilful destruction. We now imagine difference as a starting point and the subsequent theorisations of critical race theories and of polycultural, multicultural and monocultural societies. We should start at the origin, not at the bastardisation of humanity where there has been a tearing apart of what was once one, of that which we are born into. We have been corralled into battles, into race theories and identity politics instead of our sameness despite how we wish to play out and live our lives. We are denied freedom. Identity is a liability because it has become so big in our minds, bigger than nature intended, and diversity excludes instead of including; monstrous battles. The distinguishing of people as if there are multiple identities gives way to the manifest of stigmatisation and the advent of discrimination, of dangerous falsehoods. Racism is a tool, indeed a weapon, to exploit people. No nation that peddles a dominant culture is free from the ugliest forms of racism. Cultures that peddle themselves as above others have lost sight of what humanity is. Culture is demographical and categorical but it is not defining of our humanity. Inherently every culture should be defined by our humanity and this freedom guaranteed; our mortal coil is a brief experience, of only so many days on this earth and none of these days guaranteed. The social justice and human rights journey is a struggle: arduous and regularly defeated, but the journey continues though it becomes longer and the horizon elusive. The worst enemy is disordered thinking: for too many the mind's eye loses truth in its translations. The 13th century's Durante degli Alighieri (Dante) wrote, ‘Consider your origins; you were not made to live as brutes, but to follow virtue and knowledge.’ Who are we? Where are we from? Where do we go to? The abyss of racism is deep, it is haunting, scary, and only those who have been in the abyss can articulate the terror. For those who avoid the fall the efforts are wearying and diminishing: diabolical complexities to navigate, and veils to hide behind. Only those victimised into this abyss have felt the darkness. The brutal hits on the psychosocial self in the abyss are challenged only by the fright and terror of pitchforks at the precipices to the abyss. Racism takes lives, not just ruins lives. Our prisons are filled with victims of racism. Poverty is littered with victims of racism. Aberrant behaviour is borne of racism, anger displaced to the self and to others, by both the perpetrators and victims of racism.
10 June 2017
24 June 2017