Fareeda is known for her genuine love for people and working hard towards positive worldly change. Fareeda is considered a Networker, Connector and a Social Engineer. She stands by her philosophy, "resist mediocrity or mediocrity will resist you" having shaped her journey in social activism, progressive politics, government relations and grass roots organizing.
Saturday, October 10, 2009
RACISM: The Disease that infects us all…
The Disease that infects us all…
Racism, no other disease infects the world more. Not Swine flu, Ebola, Cancer nor HIV/AIDS have infected the world more than the ignorance of racism. Racism since the days of slavery and the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s in its blatancy days is now a silent, subtle and passive/aggressive socially constructed tool used to manipulate, control, exploit and degrade people solely based on the color of someone’s skin.
Born and raised from Philadelphia. Philadelphia is segregated, depending on race, class and political connections. In a world where everything is not just black and white, this disease has infected the entire world. It is races against races of people, and racism with in races. You better not call a Cambodian a Korean, or an African a Haitian, or a Columbian, a Puerto Rican, or someone Bi-Racial something totally absurd, or you are in trouble…People get angry when they are judge, stereotyped, or boxed into a group or category. When people make these honest everyday assumptions it is because we are taught to group and generalize people based on appearances.
True story, I remember being in a meeting, one of two other black people in that same meeting. The lead of the meeting was looking to target and recruit more African American professionals. The lead of the meeting was putting an event together and was looking for some kind of music that would appeal to blacks. He turned to me and asked about a particular group/artist and said, “Do black people like them?” I wanted to say how the hell should I know? I cannot speak on individual preferences. Some of my friends like rock music, and classical, others R and B/Jazz, some Hip/Hop and Rap, and others love Reggae! There is no set of music for people of color. People all over the globe listen to Beyonce, Elton John, and Jay Z, my point, music is universal, why as human beings, are we not as universal!
I was not sure if I should have been upset that he thought because I was black, I would be able to be the spokesperson for all blacks in Philadelphia, or was I a mere political pawn used to recruit more blacks to be the martyr. Or, just to play devils advocate, did ignorance blind the attendees at this meeting and they looked towards me as a leader and someone they needed to assist them in a better understanding on how African Americans think…? I ended up a little shocked, yet as many blacks staring down the face of (perceived or real) racism (blatant or subtle) you silently and gracefully brush it off.
God created the human race, not meant to be a competition among the races. Labels, stereotypes, stigmas and unspoken competition of who is more inferior among races perpetuate the racist mindset. They are ugly because they are darker, they are ugly because they have short hair, or long necks, or even stupid because of their skin. So much emphasis is put on skin, which is lighter or darker. As Justice Blakmum stated, "In order to get beyond racism, we must first take into account of race. There is no other way. And in order to treat some persons equally, we must treat them differently."
Race is anything but an anomaly. Racism is taught in the homes, schools, and institutions, and is generational. It comes from a lack of understanding of one another and a fear of moving closer to understand. Those same tried true beliefs are not working. Everyone is not going to like you. You cannot help how you are born into the world. You cannot change your color. Racism is meant to make you hate yourself. And what separates us in 2009 is baseless. When do we stop the anger, and start the healing? Stop the ignorance, and start the education? Racism the disease, it’s a mindset, and a form of mind control. My favorite quote from George Orwell, "He who controls the present, controls the past. He who controls the past, controls the future."
Let us stop this foolishness and embrace all of humanity. Starting with yourself. I cannot see how God loving people can love humanity, yet hate a certain set of humans? You love God, yet hate his creations? That is like having a pretty smile with no teeth, its contradictory! Racism a disease that destroys deteriorates and kills us all. To be a racist is an individual choice. It starts with me and you.