One of the bitter universal truths that loom around is Racism. Racism has been deeply rooted in the pre-existing generations. It has, to date, been occurring on a larger scale.
What is Racism?
The core definition of racism is defined as an act of prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism. Which is directed against a person or a group of people. It is done on the basis of their particular racial or ethnic group. Especially, those who are minorities.
Any sort of racial discrimination is an offense. Looking into the past experiences and incidents that unfolded. Racism has often been turned a blind eye to or has not been considered a serious matter. This is because societal norms had always found itself to normalize racism. It is the ugly truth that we have so much to learn and equally unlearn, as well.
Why does Racism occur?
All the racial incidents and situations have been occurring time and again. This is because people have never really been vocal about the injustices. The injustices that occur in the name of caste, creed, gender, religion, and color. The privileged have always gained supremacy. The underprivileged are too scared to fight against it or have already given up. They have decided their fate. Why? The supportive and solidarized representation of these people has yet to occur.
Why has it changed?
However, taking into perspective the recent events regarding the death of George Floyd that took place due to police brutality. This incident has now sparked a revolutionary movement against intolerance against racism. Black lives matter. Which initially started out as a hashtag to stand in solidarity against the injustice that was experienced by George Floyd. The hashtag has now paved its way towards a movement that stands towards fighting racism and discrimination.
George Floyd was definitely not the first one. Incidents revolving around racial discrimination has been taking place for many years where victims:
- Tamir Rice (2014)
- Laquan McDonald (2014)
- John Crawford (2014) Freddie Gray (2015)
- Walter Scott (2015)
- Alton Sterling (2016)
- Philando Castile (2016)
- Terence Crutcher (2016)
- Antwon Rose (2018)
The killing of the following was solely due to racism.
- Sandra Bland (2015)
- Deborah Danner (2016)
- Atatiana Jefferson (2019) and
- Breonna Taylor (2020)
Women and children too have been subject to racial discrimination. Victims had lost their lives solely because they were of different ethnicity and had a distinct identity. The death of all these people resulted in movements called “Say Her Name”. This was to highlight how racial violence often goes unnoticed and how racial violence was, unfortunately, normalized.
However, people have now been standing in solidarity against these injustices that had been occurring for so many generations. The voices of people all over the world have been amplified. These incidents have definitely become an eye-opener for every person. The privileged have now recognized the brutality that the other communities face. People have now been joining hands to shatter these societal norms and injustices for good.
In our country
In our country, India itself, the caste system or the Jati system is social stratification. It categorizes Hindus into four categories. Namely,
- the Brahmins (who were the priests).
- the Kshatriya (who were the warriors).
- Vyasas (who were the landowners and merchants).
- Sudras (who were the common people, servants and peasants) and lastly,
- the Untouchables (who were the street sweepers representing the lowest category of the caste system.)
The Indian Constitution has removed the practice of Untouchability. The Indian Government itself has established special quotas to aid the people who represented the lower Jati system. These special quotas help the people from these communities to receive the opportunities that they rightly deserve. But were unable to get access to due to their caste identity. Through all these years Dr BR Ambedkar has been aiming to remove the deeply set system of untouchability. But this does not mean that the caste system is illegal or has faded away through the years. There have been numerous cases. Subjection to violence and abuse and lynching of people on cases are around. Done on the basis of racism. It all starts out small from differentiating someone on the basis of their cultural food habits. Then, to throwing slurs and derogatory terms solely on the basis of their distinct features and characteristics.
The deep-set mindset to judge based on skin colour, caste, gender, race, and creed must change. Shattering of racism is of high importance. It’s high time that the power dynamics subjugating minority groups, drop out of existence. Curbing of racism is important.
Be it in your own country or in some other corner of the world, it is definitely important. We should be educating, introspecting. Most importantly, we should be willing to make a change. We need to consider each and everyone equally. We need to bury the societal norms that have been dominating for generations, for a better and brighter future. All of us should stand against this evil Racism!