Black Protests! – Are we serious about racism?

Photo: Scott Heins, Getty Images

Amidst the COVID19 pandemic, the world is showing some great concern on Racism. When George Floyd died in Minneapolis in the US, after police officer Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck for almost nine minutes while Floyd was handcuffed and lying face down on the street, a large protest was seen in America and also in different countries around the world. The environment of protest that creates after the killing of Floyd, brings a large number of people into the streets, especially in America and all of a sudden it looks like the fear of the ongoing pandemic has gone from them. It shows how sensitive is the issue of Racism among people.

The protests around the world on the killing of an innocent person indeed show the human consciousness of this kind of anti-social activity. Whenever any guiltless person is killed, protests can be seen everywhere, whatever the reason behind the killing is. But if we look through the contemporary incidents we can see that whenever racism is involved with the issue, the protests become stronger and violent than any other issue. The incident of America proves this fact and as usual, we could see a violent protest around the streets of America. The basis of this protest is only Racism here.

But this talk is not placed to discuss this very special issue of Racial discrimination. A point related to the issue is being felt more important to enlighten this time. Everyone is just showing their hatred towards the classification based on physical appearances between people. The voices against such discriminations are definitely a good sign for a better future. But to find a conclusion on the issue, we need to have a close look at some very sensitive aspects firstly, which are being neglected by all the people, unfortunately. If we continue the same ignorance towards this issue, the struggle against Racism would never be solved for sure.

As the word Racism is proved as a most sensitive issue from the ancient days, we also need to be more sensitive while studying and reacting over this issue. Hence, here is a question for all. Literally where Racism does exist? Is Racism all the time, followed by death only? Has Racism seen merely in hurting incidents? Apart from those destructive activities, no single incident ever shows any kind of Racism?

Whenever an unexpected circumstance takes place on the basis of race or caste, the term Racism comes there very spontaneously. Whenever some discrimination is seen, some words like Xenophobia are uttered very fluently. On the contrary, while the time of taking advantage of being praised, strangely no Racism is seen there! No protest is formed anywhere! Why is it so? Why we are ignoring the other ways of Racism which are being celebrated in our day to day life in a very familiar way? Only because there is not any hurting fact? Then who is free from this cheap mentality of acting in a Racist way, if all of us are accepting the other ways of Racism?

To be clearer, let us take an example of a recent story. When African woman Zozibini Tunzi crowned Miss Universe last year, most of the news media, including the leading media like “TIME”, “CNN”, “The Washington Post”, “The New York Times”, “BBC News”, “ALJAZEERA”, etc then published that news like “Black woman wins the competition”. All news became news at that time only for the reason of Black skin! As if it was a pageant of Skin color! The feedback and reactions were also indicating only to the point of Color. The main purpose of all news was to show that winning a beauty competition by a black lady is not an easy task! All reports and analyses echo the same thought that Black is unexpected! Is this prejudice, not White supremacy? Is this not a Racialism? When the news media itself prepares a Color-based classified report clearly, does it go out of discrimination? If Racism means the classification based on biological differences between peoples, then how the word ‘Black lady’ is free from Racism?

The tennis stars Serena Williams and Venus Williams are well known to us. But, unfortunately, they too are being offered such adjectives in that very popular way. The only identity of the duo becomes Black beauty often. Can not we notice any kind of Xenophobia here? If the peoples are so much concerned against Racism, then why they make no protests during these activities?

One more important point is to notice that, it is often seen that the black color is used as a medium of protest. We can see it from using black profile photos in social media to show a black color flag to the politicians. To stain a white shirt with black ink is like a major powerful activity of the protesters. It clearly shows how the black color is ruling crowd psychology in a democratic way.

Here in India, few people claim regularly that the advertisement of a certain fairness cream promotes racism in it. On the contrary, whatever is being promoted through the advertisements or the complaints, interestingly, the people that are using the creams show merely a Black phobia in them, consciously or unconsciously. The large selling rate of the creams, the huge responses on the fairness tips that we see in social media, distinctly prove the same tendency in our society too.

Hence, here comes the main question to those media which are also fuelling the protests against Racism. Have they never noticed any Racism in their own practices? While terming someone as “Black woman” or “Black man”, what logic, they can establish for it to classify on the basis of biological difference?

Black Protests! – Are we serious about racism?

By: Sangeeta Sarmah Read time: 16 min