We live in a diverse and colourful world, full of beautiful people with different mindsets and backgrounds. We also have variant cultures and customs as well as differing races. In a bid for superiority in each race, the world seems to have forgotten about the significance of unity in our diversity on a world wide scale, as a result other races are condescended by races which are now considered superior.

I do however, have an image in my head, of a South Africa free of colorism, free of racism as a whole, free of distinctiveness between black and white. Where black and white children can play in the same playgrounds, where the mention of poverty and unemployment would not make one think of black people. I dream of a South Africa where superiority is not white, where racial equality reigns. A South Africa where there are no racial differences, just humanity. Where there are no races, just humans. A South Africa free of racism, that is a future we should all dream of for the future generation.

In almost every part of the world, a black man is considered a criminal, a black child is not intelligent enough, a black woman may not be independent, issues continue to swirl around black people and as a result, we find ourselves stuck in the inferiority complex. Racism is not virtuous, it is hatred, it is what will forever hold our country back. It brings me great disappointment that, even though we see how damaging racism is, we continue to blame each other instead of banding together and facing it head on.

The truth of the matter is that everyone has the capability of being racist, everyone has a choice as to whether or not they want to separate humans according to their colour and creed. Moreover, anyone can be racist regardless of their skin colour. But on a global scale, we’re are all caught up with the mindset that only white people can be racist, thereby subconsciously initiating the unwanted growth of an equally unscrupulous form of racism called reverse racism.

Reverse racism is a concept where affirmative action is used by the state. This would mean that the government only focuses on providing employment and education to previously disadvantaged race to make them feel equal , in our country this happens with blacks. This is wrong and it is on its own racist, since it makes the other races seem and feel superior compared to the afore mentioned race.

The late former President Nelson Mandela said in his speech in 1996 that ” racism is a blight on the human conscience. ” This is because, similar to a blight, it hinders our growth and leaves us all stuck in the same place as thought we are running on a treadmill. The economy is underperforming, humanity is fading on a daily basis. We keep losing the true sense of humanity due to racism, but aren’t we all a beautiful creation that is supposed to grow together and build each other as a nation?

I stand with the strong belief that racism begins when people say “a black person” instead of saying “a person.” It is when they say “coloured people” instead of saying “South Africans.” Everywhere one goes, be it a restaurant, a bank or a hospital, racism remains the big elephant in the room, but instead of dealing with it, we shy away from even speaking about it. We have turned a blind eye in the past and we continue to do so to this day. However in order to stop racism we should stop drawing lines of division between people. In our minds we should conclude that there are no whites, there are no blacks, there are no colors, there are just equal people.

If one wants a fig stem to bend, that should be done while it is wet, for if it is bent when it is dry it will break. By saying this, I am implying we should teach the young growing children about equality so they can grow with the mindset. In your minds we should keep in mind that, we all want a future that is free of racism. This is because, if we want a better world for the future generation, we should also help create a better generation for the world in future.

As it is globally known, South Africa was exposed to nearly 345 years of racism due to the apartheid government. The black, Indian and Coloured majority was severely oppressed but because of legendary freedom fighters like our late former president, we forgave our white counterparts. Currently, we are 24 years into the democratic era, we are still recovering as a nation, and even though traces of racism can still be observed, we are hellbent on giving the next generation a past they should not have to recover from.

Reverend Thabo Makgoba of the South African Anglican Church said in a discussion about racism that ” in order to reform something, you need to be able to name it evil. ” I strongly agree with him because evil simply means that which is morally wrong. Is hating one another not morally incorrect? Is it not conceit when you feel you are better than another person? I pronounce racism as an unacceptable act of injustice, nowhere in this world should anyone be talked down on because of their race in future.

Racism divides nations, it turns people against each other. It makes us forget that in all truthfulness, we all come from the same stardust. We were all created to be equal. We were all created to love and build each other instead of breaking each other down. It makes us forget the true meaning of diversity.

We should have a South Africa free of racism in future because there is no love in division. We should all see each other as kin, because there is no equality in difference, we are all sisters and brothers. We should all band together and accept our differences before we can share our similarities. We should hold each other’s hands and continue to build each other because there is so much beauty in a united nation. Would the future not be a beautiful place to be with without all these racial biases?

 

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ABOUT FOUNDATION

In pursuing its core objective of deepening non-racialism, the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation will:

Promote the values, rights and principles enshrined in the Freedom Charter and the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa;

Collect, record, promote and display, through historical artefacts and contemporary material.