In these tough times, when the whole world is fighting the war against COVID-19 we see the well- existing virus in our society at the forefront yet again. This is the virus of RACISM that exists in our society from the very start.
The Floyd Case
George Perry Floyd, a 46-year old man was killed by a police officer Derek Chauvin on May 25, 2020. He forcefully knelt Floyd on his neck for 9 minutes while Floyd lay down helplessly, handcuffed with his face down on the streets of Minneapolis, Minnesota. According to the reports, Floyd was arrested in suspicion of using an inauthentic bill.
The other two officers restrained Floyd while one made sure no one intervenes them.
The next day all the four officers were arrested. However, this incident led to many massive processions and protest all over the U.S. in many places porters went violent and caused damage.
This shameful act of racism, police brutality, and lack of police accountability raged the whole world and was condemned by many including leading icons and most famous and influential personalities around the globe through representations on social media.
The last words of Floyd were “I can’t breathe”. Certainly, in a society like this, it is definitely difficult to breathe. Floyd’s case also brought back the previous case of Eric Garner in the highlight who was killed similarly from choking by one of the police officers in NewYork in 2014.
Police brutality and racism are no new and though many people are shocked as they highlighted the existing evils of our society clearly. With so much development around one cannot imagine something like this happening in 2020, that too, amidst pandemic.
But someone has rightly said, education and development cannot give you conscience and teach you humanity! This incident definitely made us ponder that are we really developed as a society?! Let us try to look at the root cause of such incidents even after years of so-called ”sophistication and education”.
Structural loopholes existing all over the world
The root cause of any societal issue lies in its structure. There are some problematic vices that lie in our structure so deeply that we never realize that they exist!
Racism and police brutality is not only the issue of the U.S. but the whole world. Here, we have tried to analyze some deeply rooted notions by the virtue of which we all somehow have nurtured and grown to be racist. Ironically, the average skin color in India is brown!
- From the very start, we have been taught about colors. If you ask any child about the skin color, they will relate the skin color to the shade of beige. Thus, we have only taught one skin color which is fair and bright. We have normalized it so much that other colors seem inferior. Hence, we have educated in a certain manner that without realizing we put a fair color as natural ‘skin’ color!
- The advertisement industry which boomed in America has time and again endorsed the product to look ‘fair’. None of the products encourages us to be in our natural tones. This leaves us with the insecurity of being naturally ‘us’. Similarly, the entertainment industry in every nation mostly encourages fair-looking models with respect to dark ones. The songs, their lyrics also imply being fair as ‘beautiful’ and ‘acceptable.’ All this boosts the culture in which dark-colored people find themselves inferior and second class citizens. Women are more poorly affected than men as they keep trying to fit in the beauty standards according to which white is pretty and beautiful, especially in terms of marriage in India.
- Going back to history, Britishers and Americans have always tried to rule all over the world and gain supreme and absolute power, just because according to them their white-color makes them superior to others. Due to their successful rule in many countries, generations have grown perpetuating the thing that whiter color of British has made them supreme and other colors are bound to serve them. This notion still rules in America, and results can be clearly seen. Though the British and American rule has ended and all the countries have become free, this notion continues to exist even today.
- We all are aware of America’s long history of racism and how people are discriminated against on the bases of colors especially in so-called modern and western culture. For more information about this, you can refer to the article here.
- Whole youtube and other platforms are filled with the knowledge of “how to get fair”
Thus, from the above arguments, we can infer that this racist behavior has come from the way things have taught us from the very start. And with the growing capitalism- the western phenomenon we are just uplifting this racism and making it more deeply rooted. It is important to set the boundary of this capitalistic behavior and focus on educating society, rather than only fulfilling profit-making agendas.
Apart from all this, the sad part is even after so many protests and awareness people tend to concentrate on negatives and keep trying to bring others down! People are still fighting about the matter of selective solidarity.
What we actually need?
Yes, it is important to point out the hypocrites but it is more important to understand the real issue and stick to it.
It is important to identify structural loopholes and work on them. It is time to change our educational systems and educate ourselves from very early change. It is important to unlearn certain things and imbibe new ones. It is important to point out the root cause and correct them.
It is important to attain more sympathy and empathy within us. It is important to stop judging people and let them be. It is important to vanish the beauty standards. It is important to understand the very need for all this. Yes, all this is so ideal and feels too ambitious, but it is important at least to set our boundaries and regain humanity.