EDITORIAL COMMENT: Racism

2016-01-19 06:00

The last few weeks of comments and observations shared on social media have shown us that racism is still alive and well in South Africa.

More than 20 years into our “new South Africa” we still find people holding on to prejudices that should have been discarded long ago.

Many are even quick to use racism as an argument against rational criticism, especially with regard to the government.

While some may claim that racial tensions are a complex problem, made up of skewed history books, cultural difference, class systems and generations of indoctrination, none of these points provide any reason to treat another human being with disrespect.

Science has shown us that on average, humans share 90% of their DNA with other humans with only 10% distinguishing one population or race from the other.

And archaeologists have shown us that broadly speaking, we all share the same ancestors.

At our very core, we are all made up the same. In fact, pigmentation is merely the result of humanity’s adaptability in nature and the body’s response to ultraviolet radiation.

Further investigation shows that darker complexions were developed in the tropics, closer to the equator, where there is more need for protection from harmful sun rays.

Why then would this be any reason to treat anyone any differently?

Others say that racial belief structures have been passed on through generations and would be impossible to change.

Cognitive psychology, however, has shown us that with a little work, it is indeed possible to change thought patterns.

Perhaps it is time to start reconsidering the way we see the world, and to start changing our thought patterns?

The last few weeks of comments and observations shared on social media have shown us that racism is still alive and well in South Africa.

More than 20 years into our “new South Africa” we still find people holding on to prejudices that should have been discarded long ago.

Many are even quick to use racism as an argument against rational criticism, especially with regard to the government.

While some may claim that racial tensions are a complex problem, made up of skewed history books, cultural difference, class systems and generations of indoctrination, none of these points provide any reason to treat another human being with disrespect.

Science has shown us that on average, humans share 90% of their DNA with other humans with only 10% distinguishing one population or race from the other.

And archaeologists have shown us that broadly speaking, we all share the same ancestors.

At our very core, we are all made up the same. In fact, pigmentation is merely the result of humanity’s adaptability and the body’s response to ultraviolet radiation.

Further investigation shows that darker complexions were developed in the tropics, closer to the equator, where there is more need for protection from harmful sun rays.

Why then would this be any reason to treat anyone any differently?

Others say that racial belief structures have been passed on through generations and would be impossible to change.

Cognitive psychology, however, has shown us that with a little work, it is indeed possible to change thought patterns.

Perhaps it is time to start reconsidering the way we see the world, and to start changing our thought patterns.

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