, 14 tweets, 4 min read Read on Twitter
My wife and I took time during the summer to show my daughter YouTube videos of the day @BarackObama won election as POTUS in 2008. We told her how we were so elated seeing a black family in the White House. Of how black pundits were crying on TV as we were in our living room too
We told her that even though it was happening thousands of miles away, Obama's victory spoke many things to us like the audacity of hope & the possibility of dreams. Above all, it made us really feel that for the first time, the world was getting more united. How so naive we were
Fast track to 11yrs later and considering recent history, the world has never been this divided. Racial divide has never been this pronounced and hate has never been this promoted in the name of nationalism. You can almost say in retrospect that Obama's victory made things worse.
Ofcourse I don't believe Obama's victory in 2008 made things worse. On the contrary, I believe that it only revealed an underbelly of hate that we thought we had overcome. It only permitted those who felt they were been replaced to find new justification for their hate.
I referenced recent history for a reason. Distant history is made of gory details of slavery, the holocaust, ethnic cleaning, genocide and many others too graphic to describe. All aided by a collaboration between science and hate otherwise known as the science of racism.
In the distant past, scientist collaborated with disciples of hate to justify racism, antisemitism & legal discrimination through anthropology. Such science has now been denounced as there is no scientific or genetic fact to support superiority of race on the basis of skin color.
In 1950 UNESCO convened 100 scientists, policymakers & diplomats who put out a statement dismantling the idea of race, racism & racist research: “Scientists have reached general agreement in recognising that mankind is one: that all men belong to the same species, Homo sapiens.”
But if like me, you thought the science of racism was dead you are wrong. There is now, an avalanche of material pushing this ideology. It used to be in the fringes, now they are boldly promoting it in the intellectual space no thanks to support from powerful political figures.
I spent considerable time of my summer vacation studying "Hate". I watched documentaries of the Genocide in the Balkans and Rwandan around the same time. I watched @FareedZakaria #StateofHate. I saw the role played by powerful politicians, and institutions like the Church & Media
Underneath the actions of these individual actors was a fundamental belief in the superiority of race or tribe which led to the justification of the objectification & dehumanization of those thought to be inferior. In the past, it was easy to defeat the proponents of eugenics...
....with superior facts and science. Today, it appears that superior science is not enough. Powerful politicians (with the cover of Nationalism) and backed by neo-social scientist are providing institutional and intellectual support. The time to be guarded is now more than ever.
I fear for the world my daughter and son would live in. In 2008 after Obama's victory I thought it'll be better for them. That no one will target them for being black and that no one will hate them for belonging to a tribe. I saw a future that doesn't look like the one I see now.
Now I hug them a little tighter whenever I have to let them out of my sight to places I can't guarantee how they'll be perceived. I wonder what new realities they'll face when they come of age to confront a world that can hate them for no reason other than the color of their skin
Finally, I wonder in what way my actions, inaction, speech, tweets or silence could have contributed to that reality they will surely confront. Perhaps the most significant is the fact that I am daily confronted with this question – Is there something more I can do about it now?
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