Even though I do not live in the United States I think everyone who is of colour or loves people of colour can relate to the tension and atrocities taking place right now. Race discrimination is world wide… Religious discrimination is world wide. Wars, terrorism and forced migration have not made it any easier.
In my island there are many races and many religions. I myself am the product of an Indian Muslim father and a Scottish/ African/ Spanish/ native Indian Carib mix Roman Catholic mother – I am Roman Catholic and went to catholic school all my life. (This is not strange for our country). They are not singular in their decision to marry either as both sides of my family have married whomever they wanted.
So religion and race prejudice is something I probably won’t ever understand. But that’s not to say I don’t know what it’s like to be discriminated against. I am darker than most of my cousins and I have had comments thrown my way about being the ugly black duckling and so on. I have also been not allowed to enter places although my whiter looking cousins and friends have never been questioned.
And while it’s unfair I can understand my cousins and friends when they say they hope their children are fair skinned or lighter in complexion just because they know their life will be easier. I can’t blame them. It is scary when you are not white regardless of where you are.
Every time I go to an airport I am worried that I will be targeted because my last name is a Muslim one even though I myself am not and even if I were, I can never be a “fanatic” regardless of what religion I am stated as. (It always amazes me that people can believe so wholly in anything other than good food and wine).
When I go to certain stores or establishments with certain friends I feel like I stick out for being different. If I go out with a white man you know that everyone labels you for doing so – you want him for his money and why is he with you when he could find a white woman instead. People see and judge you based on your colour even though we have essentially become a global village.
I live on a Caribbean island and still there is that residual “colonial” perception that black/mixed is inferior. I teach girls in a primarily black school… And I am afraid for them when they go out into the world. Black women are the only other people seen “of lesser value” than black men in the eyes of those who are prejudiced. My girls are brilliant, creative, talented… They are more than their colour and I know people – a lot of people- will not see past that.
I tend not to even want to blog about this and until now I have purposely not stated the religion my father was born into (and he was the “worst” Muslim because he didn’t practice and ate pork anyway) because I know how people feel nowadays when they hear Muslim or even mix raced. But we are not fanatics we are not criminals we are not less than… We are just people…
Regardless of injustices thought hate only breeds hate and “fighting” injustice with violence makes us no better than those we supposedly fight against. You cannot judge a whole race on the actions of a few the same way you cannot judge a whole religion on the actions of a few and so on. We are logical creatures and rational thinking should prevail. The more we allow ourselves to be divided from our fellow man, the more we destroy ourselves.
I want better for the future and for the world and future generations even though I may not have children myself… We are all one people and we only have one earth and one life. I want more love, acceptance and understanding for the world. I want peace.