With forgiveness as our torch, and imagination our sword
We’ll untie the ropes of hate and slash open the minds of the bored
And we’ll start a world so equal and free
Every inch of this Earth is yours, all the land and all the sea
Imagine no restrictions, but the climate and the weather
Then we can explore space together forever
– Rou Reynolds
It’s pretty rare for the content of this blog to stray from my own self-indulgent musings or highly erratic commentary on the literary industry. In fact, I can only recall one post ever doing so. It was written some time ago and labelled Mona Lisa’s and Centrefolds; a piece that was essentially a middle finger to someone I knew and their derogatory view of women. I’m an arrogant piece of work and this page is testament to that. It has given me a soapbox to stand atop of and preach my stubbornness to anyone who will listen. But today I want to set aside my own ego and talk about something a little more serious. I want to talk about race…
…Believe me; I can hear the collective gasp of my readership at the mere mention of a controversial topic. I’m overtly opinionated at the best of time, so I understand and support any apprehension that you may feel. Regardless, I’m going to press ahead and make my argument. Because I have witnessed far too many racial incidents lately that I feel compelled to weigh in on the topic. Someone has too.
Any man or women who judges a person based on the colour of their skin, their heritage or their religious creed is a piece of shit. Plain and simple. If you are someone that feels comfortable to judge somebody based on their faith or their ethnicity then you are a sad, sorry individual that deserves no place on this earth. We live in a supposedly democratic society in which we demand free speech and the right to express ourselves as individuals, yet so many of us are perfectly fine to condemn or ridicule others for wanting the same basic human rights. It seems that we are a world of ignorant arseholes and bigots who care only about our own interests and have no real regard for the culture or beliefs of our peers.
We see racism occur every single day in our society, and oftentimes we do very little to stop and actually take note of its existence. From the bigot on a train cussing out a black security guard just trying to do his job, to the keyboard warrior who slanders the construction of a mosque on Australian soil, through to leaders of organisations such as ISIS, and even the fear-mongering media and politicians who want as to be afraid of anyone different to ourselves. It really has to stop. Something has got to give. It is 2014 for God’s sake, and although I’ve previously stated that I can’t see a future in which I have a family, if I did, I’d be so ashamed to bring them up in a world so ready to cuss out and vilify one another.
I know that people will oppose that statement. They’ll say things like: But I’m not a racist! Sure sometimes I distrust people who are culturally different, but that’s because most terrorists are… True. Most terrorist that attack your country are culturally different. But ask yourself this: how many soldiers from your country are currently serving within another’s boarders? And how many of that countries inhabitants would view those men and women as terrorists? Because I can confidently say that even though those men and women are acting with best intentions, those intentions are not always wanted.
Even just assuming that someone is more likely to be dangerous or pose a threat to your belief systems or safety is in itself a case of racism. I myself am happy to admit that at some stages in my life I have been incredibly insensitive and racist. Thankfully, in those lower moments I’ve had the good graces to keep my heinous thoughts to myself and my mouth firmly shut. I remember once catching a flight not long after a series of terrorist attacks overseas and finding myself standing at a boarding gate casting a suspicious eye over anyone who looked different to me. Jesus, that guy has a headdress on. He might be a suicide bomber! Or I don’t like the way that guy with the beard is pacing over there. He looks nervous. Like me might try and….
Yep. I’ve had those racist thoughts. And I’m betting most of my readers have at some point too. But unlike some, I’m prepared to admit when I have strayed into this mindset of vilification and stereotyping and can give myself a wrap across the knuckles for doing so.
Recently I’ve been witnessing a lot of negativity surrounding the rights of Islamic women and a slanderous campaign to ban the burqa. The campaign is hate mongering at its finest; accusing Islamic women of having something to hide from society, and demanding that they unveil themselves if they wish to exist within our supposedly free social system. The whole idea is ludicrous, and the fact that anyone could be so put out by something that has no immediate concern to them makes my mind boggle. I couldn’t give a shit about whether the woman next to me was wearing a bikini, a t-shirt, or a burqa. It’s no business of mine as to how anyone choses to dress. In fact, if I was going to cast judgement it would probably be directed at the girl getting around with her assets hanging out for the world to see. She ought to gain a little more self-respect and leave something to the imagination.
A few days ago I read an online post by some halfwit piece of shit who tried to compare the wearing of a burqa to wearing a balaclava in a public place. His claim was that if a woman of Islamic faith was able to wear a burqa within a public shopping centre then he should theoretically be able to wear a balaclava and conceal himself from the world. The post gained a lot of support from fellow ignorant losers, but failed to touch on a few important points…
Firstly, anyone who thinks that wearing a mask designed to conceal an identity is similar to an article of religious face is a fucking piece of shit. And anyone who supports such blatant racism and degradation of faith is just as worthless. Secondly, as a white middle class male living within Australia you are in effect, the son of immigrants. Your ancestors came here illegally and claimed this land as their own, showing disregard for the true indigenous owners of the land. So, if you want to get technical with your ‘go back to where you came from’ hate mongering, you better pack your bags and back the fuck on up; because by your own twisted logic you don’t belong here anymore than that Islamic woman trying to go about her business. And finally, imagine how you would feel if you were living in a world where your race was ridiculed, isolated, and disparaged because a minority of fanatics can be loosely associated with you.
Imagine waking up every fucking day and being forced to suffer through sideways glances, muffled snickers, and the judgement of uneducated arseholes. Imagine being judged because of something you believe in, or because of the colour of your skin…
…You know what? Fuck it. Let’s cast aside the politically correct bullshit. You want to know what the difference is between a burqa and a balaclava in your little public security rant you backwards fuck? A woman of faith will happily remove her burqa for security purposes in a private setting if need be; preferably in the presence of a woman, but if needed she will in front of a male too. You on the other hand, refused to remove your balaclava when requested multiple times. You’re not a hero. And you’re not a role model. You’re a sorry piece of shit who deserves his fucking teeth kicked down his throat for inciting hate and ignorance. The fact that you think you have a right to undermine a faith you clearly know nothing about only serves to highlight your own short sidedness. I hope to God that someone tracks you down and breaks your fucking jaw for your little stunt.
Breathe Chris. Breathe. Let’s get to the point of all this.
Here we go…
How much longer are we going to be influenced within our society by the ignorant, the miss-educated, and the bigots? How much longer are we going to allow the opinions of people of a certain colour or religious creed to be shaped and altered by those with a big mouth and undersized brain? How much longer are we going to continue trying to convince ourselves that we live in a fair and free society when there are people suffering persecution for their skin colour or faith every goddamn day?
Free your mind. Open your eyes to the negative bullshit and hate all around you and make your own decisions. You can’t judge an ethnic class or culture based on the actions of a few. We tell our kids that you can’t judge a book by its cover, but it seems that if that book is a Quran, or the Torah, or whatever the fuck else runs incongruous to our own beliefs, than we are happy to judge the shit out of it.
But we can’t keep living like this. It has to stop. We as a species have to come together and do away with the squabbling. Divided we are weak. But united we can save ourselves from our own narrow-mindedness and self-imposed racial oppression. Take a look at all of the death, destruction and sacrifice around the globe caused by cultural division. We are fighting wars that cost us millions of lives and tear apart the fabric of our society. We get hit with a stick, so we find a bigger one and hit back. And this game of racial tit-for-tat continues until we are trading sticks for arms and leaving battlefields awash with blood. We are supposedly the pinnacle of evolution on this earth, yet we are the only species engaged in war. We are the only species who kills out of hate and intolerance.
Love one another as I have loved you; treat others how you would like to be treated; an eye for an eye. We are all singing the same tune just in different tongues. It’s time that we learned a little of one another’s dialect and started making music together rather than competing for the same damn airwaves.
Free your mind. End the vilification. And if you still believe it’s your god given right to degrade and vilify, send me a message. I’m more than happy to beat some sense into your racist head.