Nelson Mandela to George Floyd – A matter of 8 minutes and 46 seconds

Racism is grounded in the belief that one’s own race is superior.

Race is defined as “each of the major divisions of humankind, having distinct physical characteristics”.

Black rights matter is doing the rounds these days.

In Minneapolis, police forces rounded on peaceful protestors with tear gas. This video is up on Youtube. You see a young Black woman, crying, raising her arms and being pulled away by a friend. When lives are unnecessarily lost, for beliefs that have no basis (and yes, racism has no basis), you expect to be angered. In this video, you see people giving up. It’s heartbreaking. 

Martin Luther King Jr took a knee along with other marchers in 1965. They knelt and prayed before turning back. They were marching in protest against the killing of a fellow Black activist. But that was 1965.

This is 2020.

History repeats itself, but somehow we dare to think that some evils have been put to rest. There have been incidences of racial violence littered across the world and in America. It has catapulted into being George Floyd’s death. He died in 8 minutes and 46 seconds.

A man who died because his complexion was a shade darker than the guy pressing him down. Death comes in sudden road accidents too. You say it was fate. But what about unnecessary deaths of this kind?

Why is this our fate should be the question.

Many surveys have been undertaken till date to judge the racial tolerance of countries. You see that word “tolerance”. As long as that is what we measure, that is what we will aspire to. But really do you need to tolerate? Because honestly, people lie on such surveys.

Aren’t we all looking for “acceptance”? Racial acceptance. If we measured countries on that, we are a sorry world. We know we were created to be equal, all of us. Every life- elephant or George Floyd or Nirbhaya or Malala or rhino.

Yet humans in their hubris have decided that they are supreme. Within the human “race” too, the more powerful ones have decided that they are going to reign.

Even in countries where there is the same race, minorities are discriminated against based on sub castes/  religions/ professions/ gender/ skin color/ marital status/ financial status/ and God knows what else.

We live in a world where we are locked down and restricted because of a virus. Human existence is in question. And community is the only thing that is keeping us going. And here too, there is the arrogance that makes one believe that they are really better than another because of a skin color.

This blog post gives no solutions. It is a call to think and to reflect. We can’t go and change world policies on racial acceptance. At least not yet.

So let’s just work within our homes for now, and get rid of any racially offensive language and gestures. Don’t use it. And call people out when they use it. If you can do something for this world, it is this.

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