Saturday, October 17, 2009

Race Relations- no not NASCAR

Cliched photo of a 'post-race' world
(Note: I am not trying to cause any drama here, nor am I talking about anyone, astagfurillah, I'm just giving my own views about what I see and hear in my own real life, not the blogs)

For people who say they are colorblind:
Honestly, I can write more than a post dedicated on the ignorant idealistic few out there, but I'll try my best to shorten it.

No body is colorblind. Race and religion are a part of everyday life and it effects how we perceive and judge someone. No matter how much we try to be equal and fair to everyone else, we're still human, and judging before knowing is bound to happen. It is those few out there who extol the virtues of a 'no race' society that endanger the minorities. Now this can extend to Affirmative Action and reverse discrimination but that's another story which has its own particular beginnings.

[Excerpt from Wikipedia:
There are two general perspectives of color blindness and this schism in the term's meaning has potentially broken it down into two debated definitions. Especially among liberals, the term "color blindness" may be perceived as a technique that is either positive or negative toward racially marginalized groups: supporters of color blindness tend to perceive it as act of equality in that it involves the beneficial, deliberate avoidance of privileging any one race over others; critics tend to perceive it as an indirect act of oppression in that it involves ignoring and overlooking the privileges already bestowed upon certain races over others. From both perspectives, color blindness may be perceived as intending to help minorities even if critics claim that it may unintentionally harm them.
I'm describing the negative aspect of colorblindness that bothers me]

If everyone were equal, yes alhamdulillah it would be a perfect world, but for those toting the particular hadith of denying your race or nationality because it is rotten, remember that Allah swt made us into different nations tribes so that we may get along. If we coexisted in a total color blind society, many individuals and their experiences would be ignored due to the 'tendency to overlook things' in such a society. Because we'd all have to be fair, the racism person A experiences wouldn't matter since 'shhhhh,' race cannot be discussed.

Race relations in many countries have been damaged because of those in power, the majority of certain races, so I honestly cannot say that by denying my ethnicity, or my skin color, everything is going to be alright.

I do not have the privilege to do so.

Yes, I am definitely a muslim first and alhamdulillah -Go Ummah!-, but in a multifaceted world in which the manipulation of race has caused hatred, dividing and uniting people, I know that I will be judged for my outer appearance.

It's just those people who bug me, those who (unknowing of their privilege) talk about how society has changed and that by dropping who and what I am, I can be free from the shackles of discrimination and oppression.

Oh how wrong, I personally think they are. This is all just my own opinions of course, some people may actually agree that one should denounce their own culture and identity to adopt the muslim one.

But I prefer adapting my own previous identity to mesh with my Muslim one. I don't think my culture or race is rotten; I think those who deny the immense cruelty this world can produce are ignoring the truth.

No one's colorblind m'kay? I think even stating that shows that one is naive. I think one can be accepting of other races and religions, and we can all try to look past race to see the character of the person; but I don't think I can enter any society and not be looked down upon or hated on by at least one person because of my 'difference.' None of us can.

In order to be united as an Ummah and as human beings, we need to accept our many races and cultures and nationalities, not throw them away once we take shahadah or rediscover our faith. It's the multiculturalism that enriches a society not total assimilation to one culture, whether it be Arab or Indonesian (no specifics just random muslim populated nationalities/ethnicity)

~Modest Justice
(I'm very interested in Race Relations, Gender Studies and History which talk about all of these things, let's just say this issue is one of the many that are very important to me)

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Salaam sister,

Finally here you are writing. J thought you were DEAD, hhahahaha. Your blog is the first I open when I sit at my desk..... Llove to read your big thoughts.

Wa salamalaikum
Adam

Mona said...

Good post. I hate when people are talking about race and someone says "I don't even notice people's race" It's not wrong to notice it, it's natural to, but it's wrong to judge people because of it.

Stacy aka Fahiima said...

So true. You should see the jaws drop when I speak to a Somali for the first time :-) Cadaanka fiiri!

Hanging out with all Somalis let me know what it feels like to be the minority at times. It can be really tough.

malekat_el7oriya said...

good lord that was a well written post.
i htink you used ever vocabulary word in my text book (naiive much?-yep :D)
but anyways what you're saying is so so true! most people who are point their views negatively based on their judging need to read this post.
it's kind of funny though because at school i don't think i'm viewed as any "one" color being that i'm originally from iraq (and am somewhat darker than whites in color)
but anyways people say that ever since the freeing of slaves and such america has gone from being racist in views to being cmpletley tolerant but that's not really true. People are still being viewed as minorities and having to get accustomed to the racial criticism that makes up our world. So in essence nobody can really be colorblind because race is something that's noticed whether people like it or not.

phew that was long sorry to bother but i love reading your posts again!
:DD

Candice said...

I agree with a lot of what you said. I don't think it's necessary to forget your culture and history for Islam. Like you, I think that you can mold who you already are into an Islamic you.

I think a colourblind society doesn't exist. It IS naive to think that it does or even CAN exist... There will always be some who judge based on nothing else than colour.

I think though that the major difficulty is culture. Even the difference in culture between African Americans and White Americans. Sometimes it's not the colour itself, but everything else. I like to think there are plenty of people who don't see colour as any sort of reason to judge a person. But they still end up getting influenced by something that is more related to culture. The person's way of being or living...

Mrs. Cullen said...

Well said. No one is color blind.

Constructive Attitude said...

great post! so true.

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