RACISM–A COMMON HUMAN TRAIT
I resent the fact that North-American human rights organization imply that racism is more prominent in Canada and the United States. If it is true, and I am not sure that it is, I would credit it to the fact that there are no other countries in the world that allow immigrants of all religions, nationalities and races in and allow them to eventually become citizens. That, of course, allows “THE OTHER” fact to be prominent. What is the other fact? The other fact is the presence of new people who are different than the majority, can look and act different and can have different styles of life.
Canada and the U.S. have ceased to be “WHITE NATIONS” In order to clarify of what I speak, I ask you to walk around the downtown streets of New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and Toronto, and please do not give me the excuse that smaller towns and cities are still predominately white. The powers associated with human life now are in the big cities all over the world and will remain so far into the future. In North America we have to make concessions to the demands for recognition of various non-white groups. We have to figure out a way to do so in a manner that will preserve the integrity of our institutions, and we have tried to do so with some success and with serious failures. But one approach that definitely will not work. We cannot declare all white people to be irremediably tainted by racism at the level of the unconscious at all times and never to change. Some people of colour can be fragile to the point of inanition , and at the modest fact of slights that are in fact trivial and banal. We have a social compact that must be preserved for the benefit of both our countries. I would like to show how in fact, racism is common in most ,if not all countries in the world.
Racism in Ethiopia:
Obang Metho of the Annuak Justice council asked a rhetorical question. Is there racism in Ethiopia.?No doubt about it. What may be debated is in what form it takes. There is racism in every country around the world and sadly slavery, was only banned in our country in 1942 and is one of the worst kinds of racism. Ethiopians who travel to the west look down on blacks but not on whites. How ridiculous! Obang made an eloquent call for his people to address the issue in Ethiopia sooner than later. Trying to deny, or downplay this very agonizing problem will only compound our existing political divide.
Racism in Nigeria:
Racism and ethnicism serve the same purpose: that of bias in favour of their kind. The only difference is that racism is more associated with colour; ethnicism deals with the ethnic and cultural roots.
One would think in an all black country there would be no problems. Forget it! I, as a black man went to a night club with friends. Could not get in. White patrons had no problem. Another day I did venture in and I saw a stage with black Nigerian girls dancing in a caged stage for white men. Preferences in jobs are given to white skinned men from India, Lebanon and China. So you find white men working in areas that have an abundance of jobless qualified Nigerians. There are many ethnic tribes in Nigeria and when their man is elected look after their own. It is a matter for concern that after 53 years of independence the country is grappling with the ethnicity issue.
Racism in the U.S. and Canada:
The Immigration and Naturalization Act of 1965 ended a system of national-origins that kept America white for four decades, with the exception of African-Americans who came in as slaves. Fewer than a million of Asian descent lived in America in 1960. They constituted less than one-half of 1% of the U.S. population. Today 20 million people of Asian descent constitute nearly 7% of the U.S. population and are growing faster than any other group. The Trump administration`s push to end family reunification is a measure that will above all slow the ingress of Asian immigrants into America. Bret Stephens, a New York Times journalist, tongue in cheek, called for the expulsion of native born Americans in favour of immigrants. He noted that the vast majority of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) are immigrants, the vast majority from Asian countries. As a graduate of Pharmacy in Canada of 1954, we had one Asian student. Look at the professional graduates to-day and you will see a preponderance of Asians far more than their percentage in the population in both Canada and the U.S. Affirmative Action is the last thing Asian students want. They feel it will slow their progress in the universities. What these excellent students find is they easily get into the lower echelons of major companies, but do not rise to the top. That “other” I was talking about still makes a difference. It would be negligent of me to not mention the racism against persons of African descent in both Canada and the U.S. exemplified by police shootings at unarmed individuals. As well in Canada the unfair treatment of people of Aboriginal descent is rampant. Research has demonstrated the following; that to gain entry into an institution like Harvard Asian Americans need to score on an average of 140 parts higher than whites on SATS, 270 points higher than Hispanics and 450 points higher than African American applicants. (standard assessment test)
Racism in India:
The Indian government must acknowledge there is deep-rooted prejudice. Samuel Jack is president of the Association of African students in India. It is practised in some quarters by some Indians. This is evident in the manner in which we are treated when we seek extension for our visas, in the problem we face in getting accommodation in the country, and in general viewing us with suspicion. To an outsider like myself, when I begin to process this blatantly discriminatory attitude, I find this racism is linked to the prevalent caste system which is very hierarchical. Black people, Dalits and the untouchables somehow seem to be linked to this caste system which is discriminatory and excludes as well people like us. Yet when we smoke, we are always supposedly smoking marijuana or weed, when there are many Indians doing the same. Indians play loud music, nothing, when we do they call the police. Is Punjab`s drug problem our fault. The state has a massive problem. In Goa, the drug problem is caused by Russians and Europeans , so why single us out. There impression is that we come from a backward continent, which is simply not true. Some of the countries in our continent have better human development indicators than India. Right when we land here, our colour becomes an excuse to display all their prejudices. An extension of our visa takes twice as long . Police verification becomes an excuse for extortion. We are deeply disappointed and hurt that the government takes no action to condemn this attitude
Raskesh Sinha teaches political science at Delhi university and is president of the RSS affiliated India Policy Foundation. Some sporadic incidents cannot, and should not lead one to brand any society as racist. Of course, one cannot deny that there has been some violence against people of African origin in parts of the country. But the majority of these incidents have not been motivated by the colour of the nationalities involved. The reasons are sex, drug trafficking and behavioral patterns which unsettle the behavioral patterns cherished by locals. Chances of conflicts are higher when empathy and reason diminish. What we are witnessing is the conflict of cultures which is a law and order problem and not racism. Unprovoked incidents against Indians or Asians in the form of violent attacks in Canada , the U.S., Australia and New Zealand tells us all is not well with the melting pot of Western Society. There is much evidence that there is much to do to fight racism in India.
Racism in Myanmar:
Western critics have accused Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi for failing to speak out for the Rohingya, who are Muslims, and are despised by many in the country as illegal immigrants from Bangladesh . The United Nations top human rights official slammed Myanmar for conducting a ‘textbook example of ethnic cleansing” A perfect example of Buddhist bigotry against Muslims, the army has burned Rohingya villages and expelled as much as 300,000 people to Bangladesh. Some have called for the revocation of the Nobel Peace prize given to Aung san Suu Kyi, although the Nobel committee said last week there were no mechanisms for the reward to be rescinded.
Racism in China:
More than 90% of the ethnic composition in China has been consistently ethnic Han Chinese which makes China largely homogeneous. In May 2012, a 100 day crackdown on illegal foreigners in Beijing began. China Central Television host Yang Rui made a controversial statement that: foreign trash should be cleaned out of Beijing”. Ran Min, a Han Chinese leader, during the Wei-Jie war massacred non Chinese Wu Hu peoples around 350 A.D. in retaliation for abuses against the Chinese population with the Jie people particularly affected. Rebels slaughtered many Arab and Persian merchants in the Yangzhou massacre (760). The Arab historian Abu Zayd Hasan of Siraf reports when the rebel Huang Chao captured Guang prefecture, his army killed a large of foreign merchants resident there, Arabs Jews and Christians.
Anti-Japanese sentiment exists in China, most of it stemming from Japanese War Crimes committed during the Second Sino-Japanese War. It has been alleged that anti-Japanese sentiment is partially the result of manipulation by the Communist party of China. The party denies this. There is tension with the Uyghurs, the Mongols, the Tibetans and other ethnicities. There are ethnic slurs against Europeans, Indigenous, Mongolians Koreans, Blacks, Manchus, Indians, Vietnamese. You name it!
Racism in Japan:
Regardless of the feelings of the individual Japanese, there is inherent racism in many of the systems that govern Japanese life, from the justice system and immigration ,to citizenship rules and the media argues Debito Arudou./ KYODO
Japan has a dire problem it must address immediately: its imbedded racism. The county`s society and government are permeated by a narrative that says people must “look Japanese” before they can expect equal treatment in society.
We have talked about Japan`s overt racism in previous”Just Be Cause” columns: the Japanese only signs that refuse entry and service to “foreigners on sight ( also excluding Japanese citizens who don`t look Japanese); the employers and landlords who refuse employment and apartments–necessities of life- to people they see as “foreign”; the legislators, administrators, police forces and other authorities and prominent figures that portray “foreigners” as a national security threat and call for monitoring, segregation or expulsion.
Consider some of these exclusionary social structures in Japan:
* Registry systems exclude noncitizen residents from equal legal social standing with their citizen counterparts.
*Important laws, including those governing primary education for children in Japan, are only applicable to citizens” fostering a noncitizen underclass.
* Nationality clauses exclude non citizens from employment opportunities far beyond the most sensitive government jobs that require security clearance.
* Taxpayer-funded sports leagues ( with mottoes like “Sports for All”) overtly refuse or restrict “foreign” participants.
* Japan`s regime, as fellow columnist Colin P.A. Jones has pointed out, systematically denies noncitizens equal constitutional protection.Forbidding racial discrimination does not exist in the Constitution.
* Even the Constitution itself clearly states ( in the official Japanese-language version) that all Japanese nationals (not residents or people) are equal before the law.
* Government opinion polls have indicated that a near majority of Japanese (non-citizens were not surveyed) did not agree that foreigners should get the same human rights as Japanese in Japan. Why? Because they are foreigners.
Racism in Uganda:
In recent years the most blatant example of racism was perpetrated in Uganda, a majority African black country. Idi Amin Dada was the leader of the country taking over from Milton Obote. He knew that the Asians brought over by the British when they controlled the country were not popular, and represented only about 60,000 people. These immigrants were the shopkeepers, and in the early 1950`s professionals from India and Pakistan but they were envied by the black people. The Asians to be honest were racist as well, unable to imagine marrying Africans and living with them as equals. The Asians were not all rich as the Africans felt but they were not as poor as the Africans. All the Asians were expelled by Amin and their land and property take away.
I think I have made my argument. There is no more racism in North America than anywhere else. Racism and Ethnic discrimination are part of the DNA of all humans throughout the world. Many nations work to eradicate it, and to some extent successfully, but it in the nature of humans to love their own kind more than the “OTHER”.