Put a stop to the racial di­vide

Post - - OPINION - RIKESH ISHWARLALL Pi­eter­mar­itzburg

HOW are we dif­fer­ent from each other? We don’t all look the same. We have dif­fer­ent skin tones, hair types, some of us are tall and some short.

We are all of dif­fer­ent shapes, sizes and age groups. We dress dif­fer­ently, talk dif­fer­ently and are each unique in our outer ap­pear­ance.

But are these su­per­fi­cial­i­ties (ap­par­ent, rather than sub­stan­tial dif­fer­ences)? Re­ally, what makes us dif­fer­ent?

I can un­der­stand fruit or veg­eta­bles be­ing sep­a­rated ac­cord­ing to outer ap­pear­ance, but peo­ple? These ap­par­ent dif­fer­ences have been used to di­vide hu­man be­ings since time im­memo­rial.

Of­fi­cial doc­u­ments still re­quire racial clas­si­fi­ca­tion. The more im­por­tant ques­tion that should ap­pear is: Are you a racist? Yes, No, Not Sure.

It is only when we speak to each other that we find we are, in fact, more sim­i­lar than dif­fer­ent. When al­lowed the op­por­tu­nity to share our thoughts and opin­ions, we start bond­ing with like-minded peo­ple and the os­ten­si­ble dif­fer­ences fall by the way­side. Our ideals and goals are in most cases very much the same.

Per­son­al­ity is the real dif­fer­en­ti­a­tion, not race, ac­cent, age or any other phys­i­cal char­ac­ter­is­tic. These are the re­al­i­ties that bind like-minded peo­ple.

It is rather un­for­tu­nate that we are con­tin­u­ally bun­dled, by race, with peo­ple with whom we sel­dom have much in com­mon. This is at the cen­tre of racial stereo­typ­ing, and keeps sow­ing dis­cord.

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