Monday, November 26, 2018

Racism, sexism and global development

Racism, sexism and global development
January 16
11:43 2018

In the past one week, two incidence once again raised the dust on the agelong concept referred to as racism and brought its danger to the fore. One of these is the alleged comment attributed to President Donald Trump,which he had denied. The second, which is closer home happened in South Africa through a misguided advert ran by H&M  where a black boy was indirectly portrayed as ‘ Coolest Monkey in the world’.

Racism is not just an issue of today.  It is an enduring concept which had stuck with the society. In the real sense, the society actually invented the word. This subtle but seemingly harmless word is very dangerous and had done more damage to global development than imagined. Racism had created and increased the degree of inequality and discrimination. Racism breeds injustice.  Anup shan once  wrote racism is more than just a word but a veritable weapon that fuels hatred as well as strengthens conflict. More than anything, racism is a strong hammer which destroys human unity and builds a mountain of segregation amidst human race.

But while it is easier to point an accusing finger when racism tendency proceeds from a prominent figure, our world will be a better place if we all realise and deal with racism from its root. It was leadership expert, Dr. Sam Adeyemi who helped my understanding of this two days ago. Dr. Sam Adeyemi said the root of racism is in the family and since family is the smallest unit of the society, racism will continue to be part of us. In other words, prominent or public figure comes from the family and by extension, the society, we must fix and address  the root cause from there.

Racism is strengthened  daily through  conversations which happen in many homes across the world. These unguarded conversations are foundation of individual’s racist tendency and they inadvertently manifest when opportunity presents itself. Racism’ s offsprings include stigmatization and stereotyping.

To really understand the depth of racism, we must think deeply about the degree of racist tendency we all carry around. This never manifest  until there is an opportunity to demonstrate it. For instance, those who constantly use the word  ‘all’ to refer to a sex or group are racists without knowing. Racism is nothing but prejudice.  We may not be able to erase racism until  we deal with this psychological programming from homes.

Unfortunately  whatever we say, our degree of ignorance  and arrogance continue to spread racism  wildfire and the earlier we deal with these the better for our world. If our world must be better for it, there is need to continue to raise the bar of conversation around it. What we have have now Is weak and it is done in  ‘hush hush’ tone.

The need to constantly promote global citizenship education initiated by United Nations Educational and Scientific, Cultural Organization is on high demand. We may continue the occasional rage when racism proceeds from the high places but until we squarely and jointly face this hydra headed monster called racism its virus will continue to systematically weaken and infect  our world’s cell system.

Racism is everywhere. I stand to be corrected, I often ask why do we ask potential employee  to identify if they are white (Caucasian),  Hispanic,  black American etc in their application forms? In Nigeria, some institutions will demand you include your tribe, local government etc in your resume. Media, both local and international,  has not helped as coverage of issues and languages used are pointers.

The effect of racism  had also given birth to sexism, a prejudice, stereotyping and discrimination against women fuelled by patriarchal outlook. Sexism continues to undermine our correct appreciation of  the inherent potentials resident in the most valuable specie on the earth – Female.

Sexism  makes allowance for the female specie to be  cheated, maligned on  baseless foundations associated with assumptions, myths, traditions amidst others. Whether we acknowledge this or not, global development had suffered and will continue  because of under utilisation of women potentials associated with above factors.

Beyond this, sexism and racism affect human health negatively. Scientists had confirmed   racism and sexism have huge capacity to destroy human health at both the physical and psychological levels. Common symptom includes social exclusion, unnecessary anger, stress and lack of concentration which may affect productivity. Racism and sexism are now made complex as technology, albeit internet, can become a megaphone an amplifier of its consequences.  Time is now for us to eliminate racism, sexism before they eliminate our world.


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