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.
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.