Monday, October 26, 2009

Racists and Humans

A few incidents got me thinking...
- a video I saw on RD's blog

- A video I saw on facebook

- a conversation I had with hubby
He's involved with a project that finds sponsors for the kids of the armed forces who need financial assistance. He was telling me how some people ask specifically that the kid they sponsor should be Sinhala and Buddhist. How some refuse to help if the family in question is Muslim or Tamil. These have to be kind people in the first place, because they want to help someone. But why is it that they can't see beyond the race? Didn't these kids fathers serve the land? Shouldn't they be picked above the others because they fought a racial war and didn't consider their race?

Why do people act this way? Upbringing? I think I was a bit 'race sensitive' before I met my husband because I was brought up to see the differences. I wouldn't have called me a racist then, but I guess I would have said things like "I'll never marry a Tamil or Muslim." I guess my husband sort of made me realise that it really doesn't matter.

I think the kids born to the diaspora too are fed racist hatred by the parents. That's why I think the Sri Lankan kids in countries like Canada, Australia and UK still fell so strongly about the racial divide in Sri Lanka.

I strongly feel that it's mostly the grownups that set the mindset of the youngsters when it comes to these racial issues. I think parents should make it a point to bring up their kids so that they would see no difference between themselves or anyone of another religion or a race. They should be brought up with the notion that we are all just humans.


  1. If only half of us could start thinking this way now.. we ll have some hope to give our kids in the future.. Great post Su

  2. I totally agree with you Sue! It's really sad to see young minds poisoned with this kind of hatred... and the kids of the diaspora are even more susceptible to this kind of indoctrination by their parents because they'd probably never meet a person from that other race in their life...

    What I've learned from my personal experience is that having mixed-race schools (with proper mixing in classes from the earliest times, instead of having a separate 'Sinhala class' and 'Tamil class') can be really effective in bringing down these kinds of divisions in society... :)

    I think you must have seen this video but I'd link to it anyway:

  3. Very perceptive post... I also have wondered about those laying "conditions" when they donate... because, as you said, they're doing a good deed to start off with. The kindest explanation I can come up with is a feeling of solidarity for ones own kind (race, religion, school etc....) a sort of, "if we don't look after them, who will.."

  4. People tend to think in terms of their own community. It appears that the community and the country and not one and the same, in the minds of some.

    Most people would find nothing objectionable if a Paletinian wanted to help only Palestinian children or an Afghan only Afghan children, instead of opening there largess to all needy children in the world.

    However it is troubling that sometimes people from the same country are not viewed as being part of one community and it belies the claim that the land is united.

  5. My parents were typical, politely racist 1950s English immigrants to Canada. I think I was supposed to realize that being a white Canadian of British heritage somehow made me superior to others. Fortunately I grew up in a very ethnically-diverse neighbourhood in Toronto, where I had exposure to all kinds of cultures. My friends were not all white! I could see for myself that judging people by skin colour or religion was ridiculous.

    I think it is mainly fear that motivates this sort of hatred.