Racism, Never Again.

in hive-174578 •  last month 

Sick. We have sickness in our hearts, and our minds. Viruses, diseases, colds are some ailments that the human body will have to suffer at one point or another. We have to keep fighting it, at which it infuses a set of effects and consequences in the meantime. What does that sickness have to effect our body, and what consequences does that have to our actions, and how we perceive things in life. They're all terrible, but our sciences, with all the knowledge and experience that it has since accrued over generations, will heal them.

Yet, there are some plagues that have remained stubbornly incurable to this day, and lest we change ourselves, we may never rid ourselves of it. Racism is one of those diseases, harnessing hatred for those that are of a different race. It's part of a broader issue concerning prejudice and discrimination within the circles of human civilisation. Sometimes, we hate others based on what God they pray to, which cultures they practice, or the background from whence they came. To dislike others based on what they are by birth, and not who they are as a person.

A Cycle That Remains Unbroken.

Credits to: Kirokaze Pixel - Daily Routine

As of the past few days, the whole world that was once occupied with treating a virus that had mutated from nature, now turned its attention to a disease that was borne from the darkness of the human soul. A 46-year old George Floyd had started his day as ordinary as can be expected, but following a climactic turn, it would turn out to be the last time that he will ever see anyone, including his wife, and two daughters. A misunderstanding led to police officers locking him into a stun, kneeling hard on Floyd's neck before the airflow was shut permanently, despite cries that he wasn't able to breathe.

This single incident lit a match to spark a raging fire, itself teetering over a house of cards layered in oil, ripe to burst into flames. It exemplified the evilness that society had to live with, culminated by decades of historical events unfolding. Since the dawn of slavery, to the preaching of equality, it had been boiling for far too long. That was the effect of racism. What then, are the consequences? As we've seen there has been massive rallies made in Floyd's honour, and the symbolism that his unfortunate death had manifested.

Most were peaceful, asking in common solidarity for change. Disobedience, they cried - to stop all that was being done, and sending a message that was clear to note that such things shouldn't happen. Then, there are those few hoping to relay an even stronger ultimatum to the established system of order. Windows shattered, doors broken down, stores looted, mobs attacked, buildings set ablaze, fire raging, and blood swept the ground. Anarchy, they wanted - to create chaos and express their innermost passions with fury, in a way that terrifies everyone.

Credits to: CNN

As someone looking at this as an outsider, I was utterly shocked. What is right, and what is wrong - I have no answer. I don't know, and I might never understand as to the rhetoric of creating fires, and destroying the world around you. Besides, all this aggression may have a principled meaning behind it, but remember that there are innocents whose lives are in harm's way. Moreover, if we've sunk ourselves to such lows as needless violence, then haven't we stained the values of the society which we aim to protect? I can only ponder, but I'm left with more questions than answers.

This reminded me of a dark episode in Malaysia's history, and that occured on May 13th, 1969. As a multi-racial nation, us Malaysians celebrate our diversity in this small country that we call home. Our skins might be different in colour, but we share a mutual respect and understanding. Yet, there's bountiful amounts of divide, as even politics are forged along racial grounds. This came to a clash on the general elections of 1969, when a crucial electorate saw a shift in power from the Malay-dominated ruling party, to the Chinese and Indian-ruled opposition.

Sparks of discontent turned rapidly into violence. Pistols whipped, swords drawn, and clubs clutched, the masses attacked anyone with contrasting skin tones to theirs without mercy. My grandfather, who at the time was spent in retirement after fighting in the Second World War, had to barricade his family behind closed doors. Sharpening bamboo sticks into lancers, he joined others who wished no part in the fighting and defending themselves, as marauding gangs and secret societies were mobilised.

Credits to: MalaysiaKini, and New Straits Times | A city under curfew, and a few snapshots of the destruction.

Just as how the Coronavirus augments a racial clash into something ever more dangerous, Malaysia in the 60s was still reeking with Communist guerrillas hoping to capitalise on the violence. Once the government had control once more, 196 bodies remained, as thousands of wounded were sent to makeshift hospitals in schools, and stadiums. The unofficial tally was higher, and arguably more accurate given the circumstances, standing at 600.

It wasn't the first such case in our history, as there were many that came before and after it, but the May 13th Incident was one of those key moments that redefined Malaysian history. It reminded us of the dangers when we judge people based on what they are, and not who they are. This is what happens when we prioritise supremacy and privileges, rather than seeing that this person is just as human as we are. They have their own lives, and they only seek to relish that with those that they love. Does that make them any more different than you?

Since our evolution, humankind has sailed through the vastness of our oceans, and trekked into the emptiness of space. We've tunnelled through the largest of mountains, built bridges across the most ravaging of rivers, and we've created towers that pierce the sky. We are capable of achieving the wildest dreams possible, yet we've not been able to overcome the simple difference in race? Don't we all share a common humanity among us? Does the difference between the colour of your skin make you better, or worse than others? Don't we all share aspirations in life, to love and be loved?

Credits to: Kirokaze Pixel - Derrick Piece

Racism has never been, and should never be acceptable. There's a lot of space in our universe, and in our hearts to coexist amongst ourselves. More to that, our humanity asks for kindness to each other. We're all human, and the more we hate, the more of our beloved soul that we kill, and what's left of it will remain forever distorted.

I only hope that the rallies behind George Floyd's death will help to call for more attention against racism, but we must do it with great care and moderation. We have to cry a clear, strong voice to those that still have darkness in their veins. Keep the peace, and stand against discrimination of all sorts. If not, then the cycle continues, and this plague is one that we'll carry across generations, from our children to the next. It takes great courage to stand up, and break that cycle.

"You reap what you sow. Force answers force, war breeds war, and death only brings death. To break this vicious cycle, one must do more than just act without any thought or doubt."

~ Khan, from Metro 2033.

Thanks for reading! For more updates on my blogs, or the more minute things in life, feel free to follow me on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Medium, and maybe give a shout there as well!

While you're at it, follow along @zacknorman97 for more, coming soon :-)

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It's really depressing to watch these events unfold. Even today, when we have advanced so much in many aspects we haven't gone past to racial discrimination. There are lots of videos of dark-skinned people getting harassed by the police. There's probably a lot more untaped cases. Floyd's case probably triggered the suppressed frustration of the people.
Lots of people are actually terrified of African people because they are brainwashed to think that they are dangerous and violent, while the truth is anyone can be just as dangerous and has nothing to do with race.
I read your comment about "Africans aren't welcome here" banner. Just horrible to imagine what those people have to go through every single day.

It's pretty despicable to know how much we can discriminate others so easily, and I'm happy that I get along with the foreigners that live in my apartment complex, regardless of whoever they are. Whether it's a short glance through the door, a brief "hello" at the elevator, or exercising together at the gym... it's nice to see some smiles, and remember that we're all human :-)

You're right in that there's certainly a lot more cases of discrimination going around, even the most subtle of slurs can really hurt. As you've said it well, there's a whole lot more untapped cases other than George Floyd's. I think the reason why this particular incident got so much attention, is that every moment has been capture in such vivid detail, and in the public too!

From the moment he was shoved to the ground, the officer kneeling hard down on his neck, his cries of not being able to breathe, and even the officer looking straight into the camera... Until Floyd just stopped moving completely. Life, suffering, and death all captured so quickly. Really sad.

It was really hard to watch a man closing his eyes forever. How can a person be that inhumane and keep kneeling down on the neck when he repeatedly cried of not being able to breathe. That's no duty, but a criminal act.
I hope justice is served and the criminals officers get their time inside bars. People are already fearful of the police and this aggravates even more.

Same here. Worst, society needs police officers to keep us safe. Now, those goods ones are being criminalised, just because a couple of bad apples killed someone in plain daylight. I do hope we see the swift hands of justice come to play, as well.

As if the corona pandemic is not problematic enough, now we have this. And by "we" I mean humanity, not each person specifically, because like me for example, I know about the incident but I can't tell for certain how it was over there when it happened and up until the riot. I do feel sorry for George Floyd and his close ones, but I can't say anything about its aftermath, whether how this "message" is delivered the right or the wrong way. Looking from a 'bystander' perspective, the anarchy seems very unnecessary. But, if I was more involved in some way than simply just reading the news, I'd probably be raging as well because you're right, racism has no place in any society.

Yeah, and worse of all, it's happening in the US, where the Covid outbreak seems far away from being under control. I have the same feelings like you to, and as someone looking at this from the outside in, I can't fully comprehend the exact circumstances. I can only observe, and while I still wonder if all the protests have gone a bit too far, I too would probably be somewhere in the midst of that chaos had I been there first-hand.

At my apartment complex here in Malaysia, there's quite a few African students and immigrants living and renting rooms, though a lot of them left before the lockdown. A year or two ago however, it looked like some of the locals here didn't like it as much, as they later hung a banner over the top of the front entrance that basically said, "Africans aren't welcome here".

I mean, what the absolute f**k?! Even my mom, who doesn't normally talk about these racial issues, was utterly appalled by it. I was rather busy that day, but thankfully some people brought the banner down before I was able to do it myself. Really, it's surprising to me why we haven't been able to overcome the simple issue of looking past a person's skin colour/religion/culture, and seeing them for the human that's in their hearts 💔

Here's my Twitter #POSH link :-)

Here is a plague that has long remained incurable, as it leeches onto the soul of our common humanity. Will we ever heal ourselves?

My new #Blog #BlogPost on #HIVE:

🔴https://t.co/t3I44SdeDQ#writerscommunity #writing #HiveIsAlive #HiveBlogShare #POSH #BlackLivesMatter

— Zack Norman (@zacknorman97) May 31, 2020
  ·  last month Reveal Comment

The most widely published estimates were that 500,000 to more than one million people were killed,with some more recent estimates going as high as two to three million.

Oh my goodness, I never heard of this incident having happened in Indonesia, even though we're just neighbours. It's terrible, and far more severe in how much bloodshed it created in its wake! I'll definitely need to take a look at that documentary, and now more than ever it's a pertinent subject to discuss.

It's truly sad to see these things happening, and that after everything humankind has accomplished in its history, there's still one thing we've not yet been able to do - love each other. Always, there's some hatred for one another, and it leads to acts of violence like this. It's such a shame, and I do hope these protests can serve as a wake up call. I'm only afraid that we'll have to do more damage in the meantime, and that eventually everyone will just forget about it.