By Ahmet Abdulaziz….
Though slavery and racism are two different topics, particularly in the case of black skinned Africans, whose forefathers were brought to America centuries ago as slaves, the two terms become directly linked to each other. The black people in America are the children of Africans whose people who served the white masters for long long periods, as their slaves.
Thus the contribution of the black slaves, in establishing the United States of America, cannot be ignored. Unfortunately, no one acknowledges this fact.
Abraham Lincoln was the first President who took one concrete step towards acknowledging this fact. By signing the “Emancipation Proclamation” on 22nd September 1862, he changed the legal status of slaves and declared them free. Thus legally the slavery in the United States of America came to an end.
Yes, slavery ended, but racism did not. The generations of white skinned people who had been treating the black people as their slaves, could not adjust themselves to the changed reality. The black people were free legally, but discrimination continued and is still continuing. To put it short the masters of yesteryear failed to treat their ex-slaves as equal to themselves.
Years passed, yet the mentality never changed. This peculiar mentality existed everywhere where the white masters had ruled over their black slaves. South Africa, Rhodesia, and some other areas witnessed the same for a long period of years.
The slavery ended but racism did not. The laws failed to change the mentality. The menace of racism is still going on.
The latest anti racism campaign is going on America in particular and has been supported by human rights activists world over. But will it change anything? Will it change the mentality of the suppressors? Will it change racism in the world? Indeed all white people are not the same. I am very sure a large number of white people world over are against racism, but still the racist extremists are in a position to negate the end of slavery and racism.
In August 1963, Martin Luther King announced his “dream”. But nothing changed. Nelson Mandela spent years in jail to end racism. He did win by getting laws passed in South Africa benefitting the black people of South Africa and in other joining states. But has racism ended?
Unfortunately no. Even the election of Barack Obama, as the President of the USA, could not sweep racism out of America.
The politicians, the artists, the songwriters, the singers, and other activists world over are struggling to end racism in the world. But so far there is not success.
In the past too, incidents have sparked a violent reaction from dark skinned people, particularly in the US and the world in general. But all these ended up, without any major success.
The point to note is that human behaviour cannot be changed through laws only. Something much more is needed to be done, to put things right. Racism is also the same. It requires something more than the formation and application of laws, to eradicate this menace.