When black people give in to anger and choose to punish white people, neither wins. Your words or actions may destroy a white person but bitterness will kill you eventually.
When white people give into fear or intimidation, they alienate themselves even more. Denial, apathy or flight is not the answer. This problem is not ‘out there’, it is within you too.
Black people, we are prejudiced. Our prejudice cannot be justified because of our history. Our pain, yes. Our anger and suffering yes. But not our prejudice.
Racial prejudice only confirms the lie that the enemy spoke a long time ago, the lie that someone’s appearance is something of
significance when judging their character and value.
White people, we have a responsibility. “I wasn’t there.” can no longer fly. No, it’s not our fault. No, we don’t hate black people. But we are responsible because our reality today, sometimes for worse but usually for better, is the fruit of our forefathers doing. The privilege of the few, to the disadvantage of the many.
White people need to start asking questions, even stupid questions. We need to study people who are different to us. Not the way we study flowers or birds, as if black people were an alien species. Three things are needed: humility, respect and value for things that are different to us.
Black people need to start asking questions too and get the facts straight. We need to learn our history or we are in danger of repeating it. Injustices were committed by humans not a colour. White is not the enemy.
We were stabbed in the back but years later if we’re still walking around with that knife, we only have ourselves to blame for the rot.
I venture into this topic with great caution because I realise that the issues of ‘race’ and ‘racism’ are sensitive topics. I know that not all black people are the same. I realise that white people aren’t the same either.
However, I do think there are common threads of thought and experience that run through groups of people who share similar cultural backgrounds so generalisations aren’t completely false.
I want to acknowledge that not everyone is black or white. There’s a minority of people that fall through the cracks in these discussions. If you’re someone who wants to share your unique experience please email me on realmukoko[at]gmail[dot]com
I dislike and disagree with the terms ‘race’ and ‘racism’. The idea of race is not based on any form of truth; it’s based on wrong science and false philosophies. The term ‘racism’ is loaded and people go on the attack or the defensive with it. It’s not very helpful if you’re trying to have a constructive discussion.
I’m going to use them anyway because we use them in our conversations, don’t get bogged down on the terminology.
What if we stopped making assumptions and asked questions?
What if we let go of our fear and embraced curiosity?
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