Saturday, March 08, 2008

When will we really grow?

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are entirely mine and are not representative of any group or organization I might or might not be consciously a part of.

A few weeks back, I was watching this movie "A Time to Kill" which tells the story of how an African American man seeks justice in the South where the Whites dominate the society in every aspect. It is how a father who recklessly shoots the rapists of his daughter justifies the reason behind such an act. And how despite all the odds in the "white" society, it shows how we still have people around us who can think beyond the peripheries of color and creed, rationalize a human being through his activities, instead of the color of his skin or religion.

The movie made me really step aside behind a little bit and think of the biases we always cherish in ourselves:

"I won't ever date an African-American guy",
"The manager is a Black person?!",
"Oh yeah, he is a Muslim, he should undergo strict security check at the airport,"
"Oh, he is a Muslim - isn't he finding it difficult to find jobs here?"
"Oh he comes from India, don't people in India sleep on streets?"
"Oh India, right. I heard it's very dirty out there,"
"He is an Asian guy. No point asking him out for any Friday night plan: he only understands staring at the computer screen,"
"Oh Hispanic, those brown skinned people - must have fled illegally to the US."

And the list could go on. However, it is really unfortunate. And the irony being - everyone of us does so in some form at some point of time - biases that we ourselves have generated, gathered from our friends and acquaintances or simply heard somewhere. But how of many these make sense? I agree we almost always can define traits (often negative) for a set of people - since it is so easy to make conclusions then; but how many times does it universally hold? How many times do we actually give a thought in judging the person through his acts, behavior and outlook than by the color of his skin, his nationality or his religion? Seldom.

Why is it that since more than two hundred years since US got independent, there were no African-American presidents? Or that when did we last consider a Muslim guy doing something constructive for the society? It is sad, but true that there are certainly African-American people who could have been US presidents or Muslim guys who probably want to fight against the so-called religious terrorism, instead of endorsing them.

But sadly, we have always overlooked them. We have preferred living in a world driven by our biases - simply because it makes us use our brain lesser and may be simplifies the horrendous mundane and selfish lives we have been leading all this while.

We talk of the "rise" of humanity; but I don't see it coming, unfortunately. When will we break free those shackles? When will we really grow out into individuals who really deserve to be the dominators of the world?

1 comment:

Uday Kumar said...

Did u watch "CRASH" movie? It is one of the most touching movies based on these topics.