Racism the the most common word used all over the world but what surprises me the most is that people don’t actually know the meaning of racism.It typically means the unfair treatment of people who belong to a different race and somewhere,somehow there will be violent behaviour towards them.People seem lost and oblivious when it trying to get the difference between racism and xenophobia.The word phobia means the fear of something so it should not be so hard to differentiate between those two words.Our main problem as South Africans and people all over the world is that we tend to discombobulate the two.Everyday,every hour,minute and second someone out there is a victim of racism but most people choose to sit down and fold their arms doing nothing that is why it has been concluded that tolerating racism is racism.Our leaders here in South Africa were also victims of racism but that did nit let them stop them from wanting more and striving for success.Most people have this kind of mind set that it takes parents actively teaching their kids for them to be racists but the truth is unless parents actively teach kids not to be racists they actually be.

Racism began in ancient Greece and Rome where it created an ideology that their barbaric slave system was natural.Africans back then were not considered as human beings and therefore they were born to be slaves.Just as Eric Williams wrote in his book Capitalism and Slavery ‘slavery was not born of racism but rather racism was the consequences of slavery’’ history bears this out.As black people had no say in their lives they were bought,sold and put up as stakes in card games raped,beaten and killed with impurity.Eric Williams then summarized the process and said ‘here then,is the origin of Negro slavery the reason was not racial not economic,it had nothing to do with the cheapness of the labourer but the colour of the labourer.

People came up with myths of their own regarding this issue of racism that they have been spreading all over the world.In some ways it can be seen as propaganda.Other people believe that racism is not a serious problem but it is infact a real and enormous problem.Just as an alcoholic must admit his problem before treatment can begin we as nation must also recognize that racism is hurting us all before we can begin the the important and necessary work of racial healing.It is a matter of the heart a sickness that requires healing.

Most white people nowadays have this myth that racism is not their problem and that they never owned slaves so they should not be held responsible for the sins of their ancestors.Slavery’ legacy that blacks are not as smart as blacks is one the reasons why white people may feel uncomfortable voting for a black political party leader or hiring a black financial advisor.History has bequeathed the legacy of slavery to us,whether we continue on passing that legacy is a decision each and everyone of us has to make.

Many people believe that racism will always be a problem so working to improve racial harmony is hopeless and it is a waste of time.Improving race relations is a formidable task as layers of mistrust have increased with each generation.Unlearning prejudice that was instilled in our fore parents is as hard as learning to write with your other hand.However just because it is a difficult task it does not mean it is impossible.In fact success comes when we trust in God,cast off the defeatist attitude,plod through our mistakes and work even harder.

South Africa without racism will emerge when people causing it or the drivers of racism are identified and their influence is thwarted or destroyed.This will result in a situation where our society will have better access to the resources and education that drives people from the clutches or claws of poverty.Our future free of racism will result in a situation where more children in other provinces go to school with access to better and highly and recommended educators.This will drive children to a point where they will have a passion for their education and future.It will emerge as the inflow from the apprenticeships and graduates from college and universities grow.Growing a large number of young people who are engaged on the basis of human excellence and competence without discrimination in the running of businesses.

Racism can also refer to the disengagement,denial,exclusion and unequal human value government that exist between people of different colour,race,culture and creed.Now when coming to the issue of the colour then black young women would be proud to be who they are .Theywould be so proud that they would not feel the need to use all sorts of chemicals to get rid of their black skin.They are now bleaching themselves thinking that to be black is a curse but little do they know is that black is beautiful in its way.They would not be scared to be authentic and present themselves as who they are.

A future free of racism will be a better future in our world because abysmal things would have stopped happening and the world would not be monotonous.For example…. mines are owned by white people having black people as workers.Whenever black people feel that they are being deprived of their rights they start to negotiate with the owner and it they don’t reach an agreement they start to protest.Them protesting would mean them burning of shops and destroying manufactures which most of the time leads to them being killed or injured.There are so many things they could have done to prevent the protest from getting to that point like seeking for legal advice instead of being violent.In that way our fathers,mothers,brothers and sisters would be safe knowing that there is eternal peace where they work.

If our world could be free of racism then the next coming generations would be able to go to schools of their choice  and getting to choose careers that suits them best.It would be different from the saga that happened a few months back in Pretoria where white people were refusing black children the opportunity of learning in their school saying that it is only for whites.They chose to aggravate the situation instead of making them feel welcomed and let bygones be bygones.

A future free of racism will also change the way we view each other as black people.I mean we would not judge ourselves but instead we would be loving and uplifting each other.In the community where I live there is this young girl.She is about 10 years old and her father is a white person while her mother is black so in the community they say all sorts of things to her but what I like about her is that she would just smile and ignore what has just been said about her.She is learning how to deal with racism from a young age that is what inspires me the most.That is what we as black people should do whenever we come across such things.If she is capable of doing that I believe we all can

People must never forget what Mr Nelson Mandela once said.He said ‘ No one is born hating another person because of the colour of their skin,their background or even his religion.People learn how to hate and if they can learn how to hate they can be taught to love,for loves comes naturally to the human heart than its opposite’’.The future prosperity and harmony of South Africa is in the hands of young people.Let us be united and spread love to one another.THANK YOU.

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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.