The topic of racism always draws debate because nobody wants to be called racist. Even the racist person won’t be happy being called racist. Furthermore, an opresser would never see or feel what the opressed goes through. The reason is because nowadays outright racism doesn’t exist as much as it did in the past, what the society is dealing with nowadays is ingrained attitudes, perceived notions about others. These types normally come across as gentle casual statements but behold beneath the surface are stereotyping, putting you in your place. The underlying agenda is that you should be grateful that its not as bad as it was (slavery). In most cases the racist will not see racism.
Racism and bigotry go hand in hand and they are not incidental in nature always but are actually societal behaviour one learnt growing up. Its part of the socialization process. What a person shows in adult life is the total accumulation of what you are fed growing up in a particular environment. A member of a society in most cases will exhibit a characteristic behaviour most popular or existing in that society. This person could be vocal or just a loud mouth individual with a rather excellent degree of ingrained attitude. These attitudes leads to a certain previlege that puts him or her above others perceived undesirable or unwanted. Such status leads to hate and even violence in certain circumstances.
Racism in its broad definition is not a reserve for the Western European people. It does exist in other parts of the world. The Indian entertainment industry Bollywood is one area that has been alleged to favour fairer skin actors and actresses. There is report of widespread usage of skin whitening products in the Indian entertainment industry and various female celebrities have been involved in promoting skin whitening products. Recently some Bollywood actresses including Priyanka Chopra were trolled on the internet for hypocrisy and double standards when they came out to throw their weight behind the ongoing Black Lives Matter movement. Elsewhere there is growing use of skin whitening products in Africa. The desire stems from attitudes towards black skin and and desire to have a more fairer look. This borders on self hate and shame to be born black.
Here back home in Kenya, Chinese expatriates have been reported to abuse Kenyans working for them. Sometimes back a video went viral of a Chinese hotel manager canning his black workers for coming late for work. Also there are reports of Chinese only restaurants and Indian only estates in Nairobi’s suburbs. These goes under the radar because nobody seems to think they are evidence of racial bias here.
Racism is institutionalised and goes unnoticed systematically in many parts of the world with monkey chants incidences aimed at black athletes here and there during sporting events. This is the reason why many feel racism is deep rooted and fighting it means going to the war with the past, how its taught and how societies socialization processes happen. A short review of Most past Western European leaders celebrated today as hero’s may give us an insight into why things are the way they are today. From Belgium’s Leopold II to Winston Churchill, historical facts reveal the true nature of their views on other races. Leopold is famously remembered for Killing between 10 to 15 million people in Congo. According to various historical accounts Churchill’s true character is of a fascist white supremacist leader, he shared fundamental ideas of Nazi’s Adolf Hitler. This is overshadowed by which side he fought during the second world war. It’s on this basis that sections of protesters have started bringing down some controversial statues. The statue of Edward Colston in Bristol City, the famous 17th century Slave trader was brought down last couple of days by angry BLM protesters.
Racism will never be defeated by denial. Societies that harbour racist individuals must accept that the vice is widespread in various forms wether institutional or otherwise within them and open up and let thes evil be fought from the frontline.