I’ve been thinking a lot about racism in the world because of the recent international political climate, my experiences here in Mali, and the books I have been reading. The ever growing mainstream rhetoric of classism and discrimination based on sex, colour, religion, love and the increasing (read: more widely known) instances of police brutality makes me afraid and shamed.
I try to live an inclusive and pluralistic lifestyle but like everyone I know that I have biases that limit my understanding. I hate that looking into the face of others we have to reflect on our own and see both the most beautiful and the most horrific sides of humanity. The exploitative nature of racism is all around me in Mali. I see a country that is fighting to be part of a system in which they were never considered. I see the way that capitalism and the global community’s ignorance continue to exploit a people who are suffering under the weight of inequality.
But why? Why do we let a pervasive message of hatred rule? Are people racist because of the subconscious reminder of the exploitation that made our comforts possible? Do we really that easily forget people’s humanity in the face of a different practice, a different way, or a different means of life?
We all want to feed our families. We all want to love and feel love. We all want to have the basics of food, water and shelter. We all search for meaning and purpose and try to put our hands to something we deem as important. Does the food we eat, or where we go to practice our religion, or who we love really outweigh all of humanity’s similarities?
One love people. It’s up to us to change the rhetoric; and it’s pretty simple – be kind to one another.