Survivor's Notebook

Reassessing Racism


Racism Is a tool of divide and conquer where each side can be controlled by directing their energies against the other.

We know the story. In the United States, the so-called “leader of the free world”, there are many people still trying to convince the government, the world and maybe even each other that their lives should matter. Many of the cities in this country remain segregated over 50 years after “desegregation”, and many glaring examples show how much differently people are treated in similar situations. With all the murders and terrorism by police, marches, riots and inflammatory politics, it is clear to see that tensions in this country are near a boiling point and many are anxious about what’s going to happen next. Why?

The answers seem to be escaping us as to what is really going on and how we will solve our collective problems. I said collective problems, but which collective? Blacks, Whites, Latinos, Christians, Muslims, Americans? How are we supposed to identify ourselves? Who is “us”? Who is “them”? How do we treat us and them?  Do we know? Ask the person next to you or your neighbor across the street. Is their answer the same as yours? If not, if we seem to be at an impasse, let’s look deeper.

One fact that all humanity seems to have agreed on, however reluctantly, is that humanity shares a common origin. If each of us traces our family tree back to the very first Ancestor, every human lineage originates in the same place. That place is Meritah (Africa). From that origin until now, though there are many diverse sizes, colors and shapes of human beings, we are all still human beings. There are really only two fundamentally different types of humans, men and women. If there is any doubt about that, consider that it takes a man and woman to reproduce, to perpetuate our species. The fact that a fertile man and woman of any race, culture, religion, etc. can come together to make a baby should put any argument to rest. At the root, we are all just human beings.

Throughout history, many diverse people came out of humanity’s ancient origins. How is it that now our skin color and hair texture have become defining characteristics for people of this country? Let’s trace history back to the origins of this country. We tend to simplify the groups of people in this country at that time into three major categories: the Native “Americans”, who were already here; the “settlers” (Europeans), who were coming here for some reason and the “slaves” (Africans), who were brought to work for the settlers. To better understand the current situation, we will need to look beyond this gross oversimplification of history. Each of these groups is composed of distinct cultures with diverse languages and traditions. We will look at some additional facts which the reader can and hopefully will verify:

  1. Native “Americans” have various origins. Prior to slavery, Maanu (the Americas) was populated by humans from Meritah, Asia and Europe (Vikings), many of whom intermixed to produce the tribes present when the colonizers arrived.
  2. Most settlers came seeking relief from slavery in Europe. This migration was organized by the elite Europeans (kings, bankers, clergy, etc.) as part of their ambitions for conquest. For the most part, the Europeans were escaping one form of slavery for another.
  3. The peasant class of Europe was not knowledgeable in how to farm the vast fertile lands in Maanu. They would find the help they needed in Meritah. This shows the cultures in Meritah were more advanced than the European invaders at that time.
Slave sale

Slavery was justified using the absurd claim that people of color were not human beings and therefore could be owned as property.

There was no reason for these people to hate each other initially. The racial divide is the result of a plot by a very small number of very evil people who would have to find a way to turn this huge variety of human beings against each other in order to conquer them all or kill any who stood in their way. We are all human beings. How can one human being be convinced to do to other human beings what the Europeans have done to the Kemmioo (Africans) and the indigenous people of Maanu? The strategy is known as divide and conquer.

Divide and conquer is a technique used in war and conquest to get groups of people to fight each other while offering support to both sides. During slavery times, whites and blacks both resisted the oppression they were facing, sometimes working together. It became necessary to separate the two groups more effectively. If the poor whites could be convinced that the system was made to support them, they would be more likely to overlook their oppression and act in defence of the system. Still, the mistreatment of the blacks and natives would have to be justified to maintain the support of the whites.

Racism was supported by Christianity which promoted the idea that people of color were either cursed by God or that they were not human beings at all and therefore did not have souls. Skin color became the mark of one’s favor or lack of favor with God. If people of color didn’t have souls, they could be property. If they did have souls, they were going to hell, so the whites would not be punished for torturing, raping or killing them.

People reject the idea of “bi-racial” families, but the children of these families aren’t less deserving of love and care than anyone else. How can it be different for their parents?

People reject the idea of “bi-racial” families, but the children of these families aren’t less deserving of love and care than anyone else. How can it be different for their parents?

The scientific field also depicted blacks as genetically inferior and culturally savage. Ironically, it was the Europeans culture of conquest and enslavement that had proven to be the most savage of all. However, pride is a powerful emotion. Everyone wants to be proud of who they are, even to the point of believing lies like these claims of innate racial superiority. The notion of racial purity was promoted, saying that one drop of black blood would pollute the gene pool. It became a great shame for whites and blacks to intermarry. Fear was put into the white population that the black men would try to marry their women and they would have to raise black babies in their families. Maybe the real fear was that they would be forced to abandon their racist ideologies when they had to solve the question of whether the baby had a soul.

These few examples show how easily human beings can be manipulated. Our survival instinct leads us to question what we don’t understand. We don’t understand people who are different from us. Children are sometimes frightened at the sight of a person who looks different from anyone they have seen before. That tendency to be frightened doesn’t just disappear when we get older. The fear of the unknown is called xenophobia and is really a natural human reaction. Our oppressors manipulate us using this reaction and lead us to think that some things we don’t understand are evil or dangerous and we must destroy them before they destroy us.

What makes it worse is this turns into a retaliatory scenario. As a result of the savage brutality and terrorism by some whites, some blacks began to think of every white as their enemy and when slave revolts took place, there were some times no distinction was made between the killers and rapists and the whites sympathetic to the blacks. Such was the case with Nat Turner’s rebellion in 1831. His group killed almost all whites they came across indiscriminately, including women and children. Following this massacre, there were more retaliatory massacres of blacks by whites, with possibly hundreds more innocent people being killed. This kind of tragic cycle keeps the oppressed people fighting and blaming each other while the real oppressors are not threatened. Even today, many blacks consider Nat Turner a hero, without even addressing the question of who benefitted from his revolt.

In such an environment, everyone loses. It is only evil that is victorious and evil doesn’t benefit any human being, regardless of the excuses we make for it. To fear, suspect, hate or judge an entire group of people indiscriminately creates an environment where evil spreads easily. We know that evil exists in the world, but there is not a single human being, let alone any nation, race or religion that has the monopoly on good or evil. No human being is created as a genius, hero, criminal, murderer, etc.

The most important differences between humans are not the physical characteristics but the cultural traditions. The culture dictates the decisions human beings will make, the relationships we will have, the way we understand the world and the way we understand ourselves. This has nothing to do with skin color, genes, how much melanin a person has, etc. but it is so important that a person’s entire life will be dictated by it. Look at the most talented people we can imagine. Maybe we can say that their talent came from their genes, but what they do with their talent is  what has the biggest impact on history, on humanity and on the world. What they do is determined by culture.

Colonization is the process of replacing a people’s native culture with the culture of the conqueror. This is a necessary part in conquest because as long as people have their culture, they will do what their culture tells them. If a conqueror wants them to do something different, they will have to force them to submit. Even then, the conquered people will always be waiting for the time they will be strong enough to fight back, so they can return to their original way of doing things. A people will always do this, unless the link to their culture has been broken and they are tricked or forced into adopting the culture of their conqueror. Until this happens, the conqueror will have to sleep with one eye open.

This is what was done to people of color in Maanu, whether indigenous or captive. Today, people of color in Maanu are more likely to imitate the culture they have been taught by the oppressor of their Ancestors. For example, the image of the savage and dangerous black man has gone from myth to reality for some black men. Now the culture that was foreign to one’s Ancestors is considered native. The language, the spirituality, the education, the science, everything has been replaced. The same thing happened to Europeans hundreds of years before. The conquered becomes the hand of the conqueror and this pattern continues like a cycle with people of color now fighting to force American values and interests onto people across the world.

The only part of the identity that hasn’t changed is the skin. We tend to take this as evidence that we are still the same people our Ancestors were, regardless of how disconnected we’ve become from how our Ancestors lived. Now most Americans seem to take pride in a racial identity whose purpose has always been to divide and conquer us all. We think that people of the same race should be our friends and people of other races should be outsiders or enemies. We are all quick to excuse the evils we commit and demonize the evils of others. We will even blame the others as the reason why the evil we do is necessary or even say it was not evil because we did it to “them” and not “us”. What benefit can anyone gain by carrying hatred and evil inside? Carrying hatred and resentment in our hearts for another group of people only leads us to prepare ourselves for the evil we want to do to them. We have long since forgotten there is no “them”, there’s only us. Maybe what keeps racism alive is the belief that there is any race besides the human race.

Any human being can be tricked into thinking the wrong thing or doing the wrong thing. It’s a mistake to say “He/she did this because he/she is black/white.” The reality is it’s this system that is failing us, that is turning us against each other and ourselves. This system doesn’t benefit any race, it only breeds hate to keep us fighting. It even teaches us to take pride in how much we can hurt each other. The cycle of suffering and death only expands when we make excuses for this. Mostly we end up hurting the ones we care about more than the ones we hate!

It’s our upbringing and exposure of human beings which leads us to do what we do. We have to stop putting it on the skin. The idea of genetic, racial superiority is a myth. Remember, whites came to Maanu knowing very little about agriculture and now many whites are leading movements for organic farming, while the descendants of those enslaved to farm this land now have no knowledge of farming and want nothing to do with it. It’s all a result of conditioning.

For members of every so-called race, the question needs to be which solutions can benefit humanity, not just one group of humans. This will hopefully lead us all to conclude that every group of people has room to improve. Every human being has room to improve. If we strive to become better people, we will be making the world better and providing inspiration for others to do the same. If we encounter someone who doesn’t like us because of how we look and we still treat them like a human being, maybe we can change their perception and if not, at least we won’t be adding more fuel to the fire. In a small way, it will be a victory for good and for civilization. Small victories like this are how we change the world.

As the oppressed people of the world, regardless of our so-called race, we will improve our condition only when we stop falling for the distractions and politics meant to keep us divided against each other. When we realize that we don’t have to be enemies, maybe we will see the real faces of the ones who are hurting us, but we have to stop hurting each other first. No human being is born evil, but every human being can be taught to be evil. Each of us has the responsibility to make sure the face of evil today is not ours.

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