Humanity is our only identity


Wajeeha Bilal

Many people connect the origin of racism to slavery, or they believe that racism persists into contemporary times because racist ideas are passed down from one generation to the next. Racism does not demonstrate itself so easily. True racism would require being able to have power over someone else, but a skin colour is not sufficient to help people do that. It shows up in different ways; you can sometimes see it in the energy of people or sense it in their tones or actions.

God created only one race – i.e. the humans. It is the humans who have created racism. As truthfully as we know in our own spirit that we do not think of ourselves as racists, then how come we see and hear about people being treated differently based on colour. If it is not us and there is no such thing as racism, then why are some of us still a victim to this horrible word.

Cultural and ethnic disparities do exist, like the distinction between the shade of my hair and the hue of your hair is no more substantial genetically than the tint of my hair and the hue of my children’s hair. Let us all understand that, when we call each other brothers and sisters that is truly real. It is the focus on our similarities not the differences that makes us humans. While it may still be true that your skin could be fair or dark, your body is eventually bound to go to the grave with that skin one day. We may clear out the notion of races, but racism still exists. And if you are raised in this society as a fair beautiful kid like those Disney characters who are the protagonists for our little generations, it’s hard to believe that you will grow up not thinking that you are superior because everything in society steers towards telling you that. Even if your parents do not emphasize, everything that you see – the magazines, TV ads and even the society places stress on that.

There is a strong relationship between pride and superior representation of light skin on social media just as low self-esteem is related to the misrepresentation of coloured skin that can cause confusion about aspects of identity among children of different colour. While media and society have played some role in imparting the idea of a superior skin, the major reason for racism lies behind the human feelings. Most important of it being due to fear and ego. Fear of differences causes people to form communities and have their own rituals. For such people, whose lives are run by fear and not conscious decisions, that is what makes them form their own groups. As for them community is a good thing, it brings people like them together; people who think alike, talk alike or even look alike, it gives them a sense of security. They feel protected against those who do not.

This scribe has addressed the effect of human feelings in detail in “The Conscious Ego”, that also talks about the Paris massacre of 1961 with an underlying story: “…One claiming to be superior to the other, though there is no proof of superiority being confined to appearances. If our creator had created us with the intention of love, then why would He make us different in appearances that could become a source of dispute in our lives? I wondered, while taking notes, as my mom’s words echoed in my ears…”

The fact is we are much more alike than we are different. I believe that the different colours of human race represent nothing but a work of art by the Creator. We cannot be threatened by our differences and exclude those who seem to be different than us in any way. Races and communities do not bring people closer but throw them apart. So how can we heal a nation that is divided along race, class and political lines? If you are only connecting with the people who are like you and people who endanger you the least, you are excluding almost all of God’s creation from your community. As we become more and more conscious, we begin to see the similarities that we could not have imagined before.

A universal community that excludes none, is the community we must address and hope to see. No matter where you are, strive to be a universal human who loves and appreciates all different creations. “Love is a key part of creating communities that work for everyone and not just the few at the expense of the many”, are the resounding words of great Martin Luther King.

(Wajeeha has authored “The Conscious Ego”, “The Beautiful Present”)