Prejudice and Racism – A Close yet Distance Relationship

This seems an appropriate time to provide an opinion on this subject that the world is now opening its ears and hearts to. Welcome to the desire to change.

The movement of change is rightly focused on and calling for end to racism. Can racism be ended without a look at prejudice? Are prejudice and racism two separate entities? Is racism the result of acting on one’s own prejudice? I have long held the opinion that the latter is true. So what of prejudice?

He/She who is without sin, be the first to cast the stone at the ‘sinner’. All living things have prejudices. A pride of Lion is defensive to ‘protect’ their group to foreign invaders. We build video games for our kids to play all time. As humans, we try to, when we can, to live in four walls with doorways to protect ourselves as Lions protect their pride from the enemy. Is this a failing of living things if all living things do the same thing?

So, how does my argument go from prejudice to racism?

I have long held the opinion that racism is the result of acting on your prejudice. By this I mean that if prejudice is accepted as normal in recognition that differences exist among living things, extending that to prevent another group that is ‘different’ from you from having the same as you, being near you, doing the same as you, sharing ‘what is yours’, taking what is theirs (not yours in the first place), surely is the definition of racism. Acting on your prejudice to deny someone who is different to you access to the same as you have. Acting on your prejudice to prevent another group to grow and succeed defines racism.

The very downside to this of course is the ignorant and consequential failure to realize the ill effects of doing so. Ghettos, Shanty Towns, Favellas, ‘Hoods’, etc. The creation of an underclass group of people is, has always been and will always be dangerous. Bob Marley sang in words, “A hungry man is angry man”. A hungry man must eat. Consequences? Who cares, I am hungry!

So how do we change?

Blacks, teach and learn history as written by blacks for blacks. At school in Sierra Leone I was made to read books written by some white dude named Shakespeare. Why? Now, if we talk about Chinua Achebe, Nelson Mandela, The Maroons, yes! Inspiration to our young black kids. To countries in the African continent I say, build universities and educate your children to create art, culture and history from their own perspective. The wealth of the land is not yours to own but to build a beautiful amazing nation to prosper beyond your living years. To live a legacy is worth ten times more than to steal your countries gold and stow away in a white bank making their nation even more rich while yours remain poorer.

Black man, start the change from within by going to school, reading and learning about yourself. Black Heroes of yesteryear invented and created in more difficult times than today when technology is more readily available to all.

Mothers of black children, time to stop having children before you yourself become an adult. Fathers of black children, it is your role and responsibility to raise, guide, feed and grow your black child to be a great black man.