This I Believe

Karuva - Berea, Kentucky
Entered on October 6, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: prejudice, race

I recently read a news archive article about how soccer star Thierry Henry was racially insulted by his coach – the coach was trying to motivate one of Henry’s teammates by telling him to show that he could play “better than that black piece of sh**.” That comment literally took my breath away. I have always viewed football (i.e. Soccer) as a sport that managed to unify people from all parts of the world; that was able to surpass language and cultural barriers because it is so universal. The comment coach’s comment opened my eyes as to how racism is still prevalent in all societies. I grew up in a country where there was no racism (post- independence Zimbabwe) – rather I never saw it and so I guess that I had very naïvely assumed that it was no longer existent, or at least I wished.

I believe that all people are made equal and that the color of skin is exactly what it is, just a color. I believe in the motto of my school Berea College, a verse taken from the bible that “God has made of one blood all peoples of the earth.”

I believe that the color of my skin is not a good enough reason for you put me down, deny me a job or on the other hand feel obligated to give me a job, punish me for something that would be fine if someone of another race had done it, curse me and refuse to associate with me. I believe that the term “nigger” should be completely banned – even amongst black people. But so should “cracker”, “half –breed”, “beaner” and any other term that demeans one’s heritage and/or skin color. I also believe and know that racism is not a white/black issue like society always makes it out to be; there is much more to it but we think in that manner solely because the other races have not had their own movements. We need to stop masking these issues with the hopes that they will vanish on their own. We are almost at the point of no return; if we do not do something now, we never will be able to.

I am honestly afraid for the future generations because all the steps that were taken during the civil rights movement are being retraced at an alarming rate while we look on and smile for the fear of political incorrectness. One example of this is the Jena 6 case currently going on. It sounds like something out of a history book – like Scottsboro Boys or Emmett Till. I believe that racism can be destroyed; just stop worrying about infringing the rights of self proclaimed racists to spread hatred and chaos. I believe in the power of one. That one person can truly make a difference – not to the world, but to those around them by serving as a real and personal example of love across the imaginary lines that are diversity. And that if we all use our power to act as one, we will be able to unite as one complete power to fight the long overdue battle against racism.