Time difference is a confusing phenomenon. For some, the date could be 19th June 2020, and for some, it could still be the 18th. While staying in a time zone that is a day or so behind another is fine, many people stay with a backward mentality. It is as if they are still living in the 18th century.

These are the people who have left behind their mentality in the unglorified era— where it was decided that in the game of chess, white would move before black. That innocuous act said a lot of things without saying anything at all. In the unglorified era, where the world’s most renowned author, William Shakespeare, made his female protagonist label a prince as the devil because of his colour (Reference: Portia in Merchant of Venice). In that unglorifying era, superiority was based on skin tones rather than skills. Unfortunately, that backward mentality seems to have awoken in the inhumane beasts of today’s world.

I say this, because the winner for the best-selling tragic short story can easily be titled “Please, I Can’t Breathe”. In this, the protagonist, George Floyd, pleads, face-down, for a full 9 minutes while being ruthlessly killed in cold-blood by 4 police officers because of his skin colour.

Every day numerous people face this unfair racial discrimination, but these incidents go unreported.  

We say it often– humans should not discriminate. But they will only listen when each one of us raises our voice rather than our phone cameras to broadcast such tragedies. We need to quit creating hashtags for the sake of it and ensure that we find permanent solutions.

Why is this unknown bias put into our head– that anything with “black” in it is negative? Why is extortion known as “blackmail” and money earned through nefarious means called “black” money? Why is illegal trading called “black” market and the sin in the yin and yang represented with black? Whenever someone sees a black street dog in India, the first name that pops up in their head is “kali”, which means black in colour? Why is offensive and harsh humour termed as “dark” or “black” humour? What is this obsession with light skin or fair complexion?

In the words of Martin Luther King Jr, “Injustice anywhere, is a threat to justice everywhere.” People hear the news, post it on their social media and forget about it later. That needs to stop. It is our voices that can guarantee future generations a world where we can all value each other’s differences and co-exist. 

In the end, there is no such thing as race. None. There is just the human race – scientifically, anthropologically.

Vaasvi Sethia, Arya Vidya Mandir, Bandra (West)


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