Written By Muhammad Zulqarnain
Ironically, even in the “modern age” which is glorified as an embodiment of global values and civilization, the public is still accustomed to use racist terms and perceptions like “blood will tell” in their everyday language. These terms are catchwords for certain groups to belittle and marginalize “others”. The result, we see as a consequence for the type of irrational thinking prevalent in the society is plain discrimination and prejudice of the oppressed at the hands of oppressors. Not to mention, gender, class and religious bigotry; racism needs our utmost attention more than ever. Threateningly, the menace of racism is so widespread like a fire in the Amazons ensued from its impunity to intellectual and rational criticism. To this effect, incidents of lynching, torture and killings of the so called “inferior races” are on the rise. The liquidation of George Floyd at the hands of a police officer in Minnesota (US) is a recent example of police brutality which is by de facto an extension of racism. The casual factors behind these incidents, apart from the racist system and immunity enjoyed by the law enforcement, are the deep routed prejudice and false beliefs indoctrinated through myth making.
To a large extent, these superficial beliefs and myths carry the power to shape the history of human beings in the most unimaginable sane and insane ways. Despite devoid of any scientific truth, they can still lead to dangerous consequences. Historically, we can find the process of “myth making” in the Greeks also with the justification of slavery by Aristotle and Plato who both argued that Greeks are innately superior to the barbarians. Throughout history, the dominant powers institutionalized ideas and created structures justifying persecutions of the vulnerable communities. For example, the Nazi’s persecuted Jews on the premise that it is an absolute necessity to retain the racial purity of the Aryans from the “invaders”. There are numerous other examples of discrimination even genocides in the past on the ground of flawed concept of racial superiority. However, when differences among races are studied in depth and detail, the whole debate and arguments around racial differences are merely “intellectual rubbish” and “myth making”. When myths are endorsed by the collective consciousness, it gets blurred with the reality and eventually turns into a false reality. The results are always destructive and horrifying, as we see racial discrimination and prejudice turning into a universal phenomenon transcending boundaries of time and space.
Of course, racism lacks any biological or otherwise foundation to make any sense; instead it is a superstructure of deep routed prejudice and false beliefs. Needless to say, the concept of racial inequality is pure non-sense and without any objective justification. It is merely an extraction and extension of self-importance aided by love for the “marvelous imaginative beings”. I am not sure, if these unprecedented movements like of “Black Lives Matter “will be succeed in dismantling the complex structures of racism. However, I firmly believe that these unprecedented times are rare occasions to debunk our own irrational “hazardous” beliefs, educate ourselves about racism and become a voice for the voiceless. The voice needs to be echoed and heard at home first prior to going global. These steps will certainly help to ensure an enlightened society which “defines” individuals by their competence and content of character instead of irrational combined with superficial standards.
This time, with prayers, future will tell..
The writer (Muhammad Zulqarnain) is a student of Political Science at LUMS, Lahore Pakistn with an interest in International Politics.