Yes, this question knocks, and knocks very hard, on the doors of consciousness, even as those labeled “racists” are knocked hard and down, with and by rejection, racism, unacceptable, under any and all circumstances. And the word that provokes and invokes the question and insight: “Race.”
On one hand, race implies a competition, of any sort, and on the other, “race,” stands for the human classification, based on various parameters: anatomical, geographical, ethnic, cultural, linguistic, religious, and / or social affiliation (Wikipedia). And there is found and felt an uncanny link between these two “hands”—as if, shaking of the hands, strengthens the stand, of both.
True, racism is held and felled, for the discrimination, atrocious, based on the color of the skin, carrying out the atrocities—propagated by the “race,” collectively called humanity, and which hails itself as “the” intelligent creation of creation. Yet, the very act, of profiling, on the basis of pigmentation is a mark, indentation of ignorance of the intelligent “race” called humans—the very race, which is called out, implored: “Be human.”
True it also is that, there is no harm in classifying and categorizing, but, what, if the classification is integral to claiming supremacy of one over the other? And it is so, even classifying one’s God, superior to That of the other, proclaiming It as the “most powerful”—and in trying to impose one’s notion, the imposition breaches all integrity of humanity. And this is no classified information.
Science teaches that classification makes the study systematic and so, it indeed is. But, when that classification is used (abused and misused?) for redemption—and of what, that, too, we do not know—what purpose does it serve? Yes, the hands matter that handle the tools....
We indict racism, a specific type of racism, “chromatic racism,” that which is based on color. Yet, racism of all sorts, we indulge in... Yes...indulge...and even in the “chromatic racism,” and thus, thrives the cosmetic means to become fair when nature is considered unfair for not having made one fair. Then, there is that criterion (in many parts of the world, still) for the prospective bride / groom: Wanted, fair-complexioned...! Well...well...the indulgence of ignorance, runs, unbound, in a race, that is perceived to be life on the physical plane, the nomenclature of “races” presenting the lineup for the race. Thus, we conjure the race and injure ourselves, in a race to injure the other “race.”
We do not see ourselves as one “race,” “humanity,” as we do not see ourselves as the formless essence in form, our source one. Thus, every time we speak out against anyone and refer to as a “race” (which could be even a generalization of trait), we are courting and quoting racism. It is a race we have pushed ourselves into, unwittingly. Yet, we are empowered to pull ourselves out of this race, willingly, embracing each and all as a part, unique, of creation, beauty lying in the diversity, bracing for a life wherein our decisions are independent of the external parameters, independent of all generalizations and precedence....
When the “ism” of life and living is dependent on the generalizations and perceptions based on a “race,” it is a race and 180 degrees departure from the “ism” of life: oneness. Lost in the race of “races,” the grace, that life is, is lost, till is regained, as we trace our roots, charting various routes, though direction, in each case, same: inward.
So, the question haunts and taunts: Racism, what is, and what is not?
November 13, 2014
Note: Thanked is Taposhi Samanta for sharing (on Facebook) Jiddu Krishnamurti’s definition of what is violence. The insight, which was brewing, has been thus filtered, catalyzed by the resonance.