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Culturally Tensed?

I have disliked watching the news for as long as I can remember and this is because there is so much unhappy news spreading. But since it is important to know what is going on in this world, and for the importance of accepting reality, I take them in doses.

More recently, in the past year, there has been more coverage of police brutality in America; and a constant battle; where some black people believe the abuse is solely based on racism while others feel like it is not really a "color" thing.

While I was growing up, and even in university, I wanted to know much about history and everything that happened that  makes the world so culturally or color tense, and I learnt a whole lot. I believed that things would get better with time, with more exposure, education and interaction with one another. Sometimes, it feels like we have come a long way and things are definitely getting better, and at other times, it feels like we are right where we started.

I think one of biggest problems we face is that as a people of different cultures, background and "color," we are not able to see past our own backgrounds or accept and understand people irrespective of their race. For me, there are people I have met of a different race and culture, raised from the other side of the world but whom are more similar to me than my next door Nigerian Yoruba neighbor. My point is that, if we are not so blinded by preconceptions, we will be able to appreciate people better.

Another problem is mistaking race to be one definite culture. For example, the North African culture is different from the West African culture and those are also different from the African American culture. Likewise, there is a difference between the Irish culture and the white- American culture. When we start to group all Asians as one definite culture, our ignorance speaks in loud volumes. It is important to understand and educate ourselves about one another.

Ignorance is also such a big problem, and the way we are so eager to stupidly play out our ignorance. Some questions we ask other people of unfamiliar culture can come off as rude or just plain annoying, and this kind of interaction can push people away. I cannot count the number of times people have asked interesting questions about my hair - both extensions and natural hair. And trust me, not in a way that shows they are curious or what to be educated. Personally, I am eager to share and educate people about what we black girls do to our hair and why we do, because I understand that people are not exposed to certain things. But some people are rude and  ask questions that come off as " It's all fake anyways" or make you feel like your natural hair is the strangest thing they have ever seen lol.

In the same way, I have heard black people talk so ignorantly about another race.  I think we should be sensitive in our approach to others. My one simple advice is  that if you do not know or understand something; ask questions - genuinely, in a way that shows you want to be educated or if you are shy - ask google.

Another problem is the need to feel like our own kind is the best kind. The fact that i am using "own kind" is annoying but I am not sure how else to explain it. Is there a constant need for us to feel like we are better than the next person? Do we really need to separate ourselves from the next group of people and talk down about them and at them? I am not sure if this truly makes anyone feel better, and if it does, they have a problem they need to go deal with.

Power is another thing, I think power intoxicates people and they will use any chance they get to misuse it so that the next human being can feel less about themselves. I just wonder why there is a constant need for humans to feel superior to others.

Racism is still a thing we need to fight and we should not close our eyes and act like it is not a problem; however, it should not be an opportunity to play the "race card". It is important to be objective in situations. While I too have experienced discrimination and racism a number of times, I objectively thought about those events and everything that could have made the person act the way they did. When all reasons failed, I had to come to a place where I was sure that they were discriminatory. We should strip ourselves of thinking the next person will definitely discriminate us- give people a chance to prove themselves.

I believe that individually and collectively, we can make the world a better place. We can make a decision to get to know people irrespective of their race, culture, sexual orientation, or religion and respect other's views. Also, we should teach children the value of respecting others and being open to people's backgrounds and cultures.

Personally, I am tired of people playing the race card just as I am tired of people acting like there are no issues with racism when there clearly is; I am tired if someone profiling the guy sitting next to me simply because he looks/is Arabian or Muslim. Or Christians told they have to agree to everything the secular world does, we must respect the views but we do not have to go with it.

Mighty drops of water they say make a mighty ocean or a small river. It still does something.

There is so much we can do together. Let hate die. Let love live.

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