George Floyd’s tragic passing in the United States reminds us all of the evil deep rooted in us which many unfortunately pride in (in the name of embracing our races).
If there is anything that quickly brings down societies, one shouldn’t look further than racism.
One simply wonders how all people created by one God with similar anatomy can develop hate so deep that one feels no regard for another life just because their skin color is different from theirs.
I try to fathom it but I never understand it; as I think deeper into why, I find no single reason or even many reasons put together that can justify racism. Perhaps one can link it with the fall of Eden that ushered on earth sin (to those who believe).
For those who believe in God and following Jesus Christ in particular, there is a bible verse in Jeremiah 1: 5 and it goes; “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart”.
This verse gets me to think, if God knew me or you before you and I were born, then how did I look like then, what color was my skin, what traits did I have? The only answer I get is that I was simply a soul.
I was a soul then and a soul even now
The fact that my skin turned out black doesn’t make my soul black or white (to one whose skin is white).
The soul is the real person and it has no color. That is why even after one’s death, many will say may his/her soul rest in eternal peace. (As the body with its colored skin we all focus on decomposes).
Trying to perhaps understand racism, one should continue thinking what happened millions of years after the fall of Eden (Adam and Eve’s sin).
As evolution took its course, it as well ushered in thinkers, theorists, writers (like Charles Darwin, with his theory of white supremacy), politicians, gold discovery, money, opportunists, etc who either through ignorance, twisted mind, ideological illness, selfishness, or lack of objectivity made Racism and tribalism normal. (I don’t want to blame racism on nature, I want to blame it on personal choice)
As a result, slavery, scramble for and partition of Africa (colonization), initiation of tribal differences in Africa followed suit with their horrible effects.
And many of us were fooled by these happenings and changes of the time and at one point found ourselves practicing racism or tribalism knowingly or unknowingly. (Me inclusive)
Given the area I had grown up in with its political landscape (tribes being official and being used to gain favors or to discriminate), I found myself trapped in this evil- even after being enlightened by education and faith in God, I was still full of Prejudice and it was eating me down not until 2010 when I decided to ditch and not believe in racism/tribalism anymore.
What is worse is that I didn’t have a good reason why I didn’t like some “tribes” besides the usual “they don’t like us” justification.
Which also happens because of reciprocity, as King Hammurabi of Mesopotamia put it, “an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth”
Countering the poisonous nature of evil reciprocity, somebody once remarked, hate can’t drive out hate, Love does. Darkness can’t push out darkness, Light does. If we therefore treat people because of how they treat us, we won’t be different from them, if anything the matter escalates.
We should all think big and beyond the surface. The truth is that we are not different, we are the ones that have created the differences, believed them and gave them power as a result becoming normal and true to many. The reason I say this is because as little children, such boundaries don’t exist, why then exist later?
I believe that as we continue to objectively discuss racism and tribalism at all levels of society, many of us will become better humans and treat one another with respect, value and dignity.
We live in a world where double standards is the new normal. We say one thing and mean or do another. I know of nations that condemn white supremacists while they treat some of their tribes in their communities almost the same way white supremacists treat blacks overseas.
I chose not to again fall in the evil trap of racist and tribal labels. (Nobody should belong to any tribe or race. It’s evil and is a hoax- it’s not true). The fact that we are a bit different in appearance or speak different languages doesn’t make labels right either.
Even siblings don’t look alike, and it doesn’t make them strangers to each other. Even twins have some differences.
I am not what they say I am, I am what the lord says I am.
We are all souls and human at-least.
I take this opportunity to salute all people (black and white) that have desisted, run away from and condemned racism/tribalism and with faith, I believe that those who still hail racism shall see the light too.
I am proud of blacks that have forgiven and not revenged and I condemn those that have acted like or even more than white supremacists. I am equally proud of Africans that ditched a shallow and naive endorsement of ethnicity and pray that others will follow suit.
Racism/tribalism should have no place in our society. (Rwanda is trying, we can at least learn from her unity and reconciliation initiative that has demolished social divides and built the nation out of the ashes)
I encourage all of us to condemn racism/tribalism wherever we are. Let us teach our children the ways of the Lord, teach them good values and show them God and goodness in every person despite how they look like.
Let us all rise wherever we are and in whatever we are doing such that we condemn this evil.
I still choose to be a soul and human.
Even when trials like George Floyd’s test me, I still choose to be a Soul and see others as the same.
Even when trials of discrimination based on tribal differences in some parts of Africa test me, I still choose to be a soul and see others as the same
Even when my memory brings back slavery, effects of colonization, etc, I still choose to be a soul and see others as the same.
Even when campaigns of white supremacy rage and boil my blood in my veins, I still choose to be a soul and see others as the same.
Even when I personally encounter or suffer racism, I still choose to be a soul and see those afflicting me as the same.
The world deserves better, everyone deserves better and it starts with me and you.
The writer is a social commentator based inKigali.
The views expressed in this article are of the author.