Racism Is Evil

The Kurdish Globe - - LAST PAGE -

we were con­stantly ex­posed to what I still choose to call racism. At school and in the neigh­bor­hood we were the “Ira­ni­ans“who had come to “steal their food, drive on their roads and study in their schools“.

Of­ten the most vivid sto­ries of our child­hood may just be the most painful ones. I still re­mem­ber my math­e­mat­ics teacher who would line up the stu­dents who had failed to pro­duce that weeks home­work and pun­ish them by hit­ting them with a ruler on the palm of their hands. The over­all pun­ish­ment was widely ac­cept­able, but what would make my pun­ish­ment of that week worse was the fact that she meant I de­served more hit­ting be­cause I was from “the other side“, “I was the Ira­nian“.

The tran­si­tion to the next des­ti­na­tion thou­sands of miles away was not eas­ier, but I must ad­mit that de­spite not speak­ing a word of their lan­guage nor be­ing com­pre­hen­sively close to their cul­ture, the Nor­we­gians wel­comed us with open and warm arms, far warmer than what we had known on our soil with our own peo­ple.

To­day and as an adult who ex­pe­ri­enced racism both among Kurds and in the West I would like to think that I am tougher and have devel­oped thicker skin to­wards so­cially ig­no­rant peo­ple. Un­for­tu­nately how­ever, any racial ex­pe­ri­ence can break even the thick­est of all skins mostly be­cause we find it hard to ac­cept be­ing de­hu­man­ized due to the color of our skin or eth­nic be­long­ing. Few days ago on the train I was dis­ap­pointed and fu­ri­ous to learn that an older woman nearly threw me off board with her ver­bal in­sults be­cause I am a for­eigner. I find it dif­fi­cult to ig­nore such con­temp­tu­ous rude­ness and so I an­swered de­serv­ingly. I be­lieve peo­ple who give them­selves the right to make racial re­marks must be met with an ap­pro­pri­ate pub­lic lec­ture in such way that they dare not to so con­fi­dently ex­press eth­nic or racial slurs.

The num­ber of for­eign­ers are grow­ing by the day in the Kur­dis­tan re­gion and some or maybe even many of those for­eign­ers are most prob­a­bly go­ing to face prej­u­dice at least once dur­ing their stay. I there­fore hope that the Kurds don't for­get that they have been and are still con­tin­u­ously dis­crim­i­nated against be­cause of their racial and ethic dif­fer­ences, thus learn that de­spite re­li­gious, eth­nic or racial dif­fer­ences we are all born equal hu­man be­ings.

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