The Many Faces of Racism

We’re humans. All of us. And we have a bias towards things that make us look or feel better than other humans.

When I hear ‘Black lives matter,’ it tells me that blacks are sometimes discriminated. To me, however, skin colour is just one of the things a human uses to discriminate another human being. We discriminate so that we can feel better about ourselves, often at the expense of others. So, what drives us to discriminative tendencies?

I’ve come to learn that people generally crave for recognition, appreciation and validation. They want to feel good about themselves in exchange for what they do or say.

But there’s a scarcity of appreciation and recognition in our world, where people strive for high ideals and heroism. So people find ways of validating themselves – to feel better, worthier and more deserving. Racism isn’t the only thing that humans use to make themselves feel superior to others. People also use other things that make them stand out as better than others – I have more money, better traveled, more powerful, more educated, more women etc.

Others have to feel disadvantaged through a thing you got if your superiority shall make you feel better about yourself. And so we build discriminative tendencies around the thing that gives us a sense of validation; we make the ‘class’ or social status we got to become a real thing for our good, but also to the harm of other people’s self worth

Racism is just one of the many things we use to feel better about ourselves, though at the expense of other people’s worth and well-being.

I think it’s hard to completely do away with discriminating tendencies such as racism because of our selfish human nature. In other words, it’s hard for humans to fight something that is unfair to others, if it makes them feel more privileged or more deserving than the rest of the ‘common people.’

Until one realizes that they too can be disadvantaged and discriminated against, most people have no motivation to stand up for fairness. But this doesn’t mean you have to be like most people.

Therefore, lead your life to reach your goals; live deliberately.

Photo credit: Thanks to Lucia for sharing their work on Unsplash

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