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Racism: An Education

Racism: An Education

Racism is not about being called kaffir, nigger or monkey. It is not about bananas being thrown at you at a soccer match or being taunted with monkey sounds.

Racism is not about a white old lady meeting you in a confined space and then she instinctively grabs on to her handbag. Or when you pass by her car at a traffic light and she nervously checks if the doors are locked. It is not even about the number of Black nominees at the Oscars.

Racism is when whites come into your country (uninvited), forcefully strip you of all aspects of your identity, enslave you on various plantations around the world, and force you to work for them and their children, for nothing.

Racism is when whites take over your country, its economic wealth, kill you if you resist and impose their entire alien way of life on you and your people through military and other difficult to detect forms of violence.

Racism is when, after doing all of this to you and your people, whites still have the nerve to blame you for your state of powerlessness and attribute this to your genetic intellectual inferiority, laziness, inherent criminality and lack of entrepreneurial spirit.

Racism is when whites determine (without your permission), not just just where you will be born, where you will live, whether or not you will receive an education or job, who amongst you will go to jail and which of you will be co-opted by the system, but also what language you will speak or which religion or god you will bow to.

Racism is when you live in a socio-economic-political system wherein you must constantly stress about whether articulating the pain of your condition might not get in you in trouble, offend others or constantly having to account for or explain your every thought and action, to the very people who believe you have the intellect of a monkey.

In the final analysis, racism is about whether you will live as a slave or free person. It is when the very people (white people) who have invented racism do not just arrogantly tell you (the victim) what racism is, but also arrogantly prescribe to you how you must react to it.

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Veli Mbele

Veli Mbele

Veli Mbele is an Afrocentric essayist and secretary of the Black Power Front.

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