In the windows of time much can be seen, peace is possible, love can be above all, hate is intense, that hate can decimate all hope, windows of harmony, civil strife, meaningfulness, warring, redemption, barbarities. The mind’s eye translates what the eyes see and what our ears hear but for many much is lost in translation. The muddle-minded and reasonable-minded are alongside in the swirls of the same cesspool, at times our hands reaching out for each other’s. In calmer moments, we can hate one another, the once reaching hand clenched as a fist.
Racism rolls in the deep, tearing us apart, some of us drown. But who told of us racism, that we are different, of cultures so at odds that as human beings we are born apart, or torn from one another? Who is it that first tells us that despite we are indeed of one ‘colour’ that instead we are distinguishable by colour? Of colour made many.
In the suicide prevention work I do, in research, in the stories I capture, in the coalface work I do, in responding to hundreds of suicide affected families each year, I see only people, sameness. I see in each person, in each suicide affected family every other person, every other family. Yet there is a madness in humanity where we are told we are different – ethnically, culturally, with values and faiths. Yes, of course, nation-building exploits these attributions. We are pitted against each other. Who benefits? Every suicide affected family I have sat with, indeed every serious trauma affected family, no matter their cultural content and sensitivities they have poured out their hearts, they have cried the same, spoken the same, everything the same.
There has been slavery, indenture, all forms of barbarous and inhumane exploitations; in the windows of time we have seen greed and power at all costs as the bedrock of the cesspool. So low have we sunk that humanity lives all too often inhuman, with elites contextually sicker in their thinking and doings, in their effect on others, sicker than the broken bodies of the masses; elites with extraordinary power but trapped in disordered thinking, ruined minds, carrying on aberrant with wilful destruction.
We now imagine difference as a starting point and the subsequent theorizations, critical race theories and of poly-cultural, multicultural and mono-cultural societies. We should start at the origin, not at the bastardisation of humanity where there onward there has been a tearing apart of what was once one, of that which we are born inherently into. We have been corralled into battles, into race theories and identity politics instead of our sameness despite how we wish to play out and live our lives. We are denied freedom. Identity is a liability because it has become so big in our minds, bigger than what nature intended, and diversity excludes instead of including; monstrous battles. The distinguishing of people as if there are multiple identities gives way to the manifest of stigmatisation and the advent of discrimination, of dangerous falsehoods. To resist understanding the origins of a problem culminates in perpetually languishing in the problematic.
Racism is a tool, indeed a weapon, to exploit people. No nation that peddles a dominant culture is free from the ugliest forms of racism. Cultures that peddle themselves as above others have lost sight of what is humanity. Culture is demographical and categorical but it is not defining of our humanity. Inherently every culture should be defined by our humanity and this freedom guaranteed; our mortal coil is a brief experience, of only so many days on this earth and none of these days guaranteed.
The social justice and human rights journey is a struggle, arduous and regularly defeated in the windows of time, avalanches block the journey, but the journey continues though it becomes longer and the horizon never in sight. The social justice struggle’s worst enemy is disordered thinking, that for far too many of us the mind’s eyes loses truth in its translations.
- The 13th century’s Durante degli Alighieri (Dante) wrote, “Consider your origins; you were not made to live as brutes, but to follow virtue and knowledge.”
Who are we? Where are we from? Where do we go to?
The abyss of racism is deep, it is haunting, scary, and only those who have been in the abyss can articulate its haunt, the terror. For those who avoid the fall into the abyss the efforts are wearying and diminishing, diabolical complexities to navigate and veils to hide behind. Only those victimised into this abyss have felt the darkness – paranoia their sight – only they translate in the mind’s eye in a frame of dialectical cognition the suffering within the abyss. The brutal hits on the psychosocial self in the haunting abyss challenged only by the fright and terror of pitchforks at the precipices to the abyss.
Pitchforks and standoffs, pitchforks and miseries, pitchforks and death – racism takes lives, not just ruins lives. The prisons are filled with victims of racism. Poverty is littered with victims of racism. Aberrant behaviour is borne of racism, anger displaced to the self and to others, by both the perpetrators and victims of racism. Racism has toxic translations. It poisons the mind, weakens the heart and debilitates the soul. It makes for more than just nervous societies, but for colosseums of terror, of warring, of insanity. Narcissism, anarchy and chaos strew violence. Those who gave rise to this, who sowed the seeds, are those who orchestrate ill-gotten gain, but build citadels and anonymity.
The British colonialists were not instructed by the masses, but by elites. The British were the world’s biggest slum builders – of all time thus far; dividing peoples, fracturing peoples, delivering narratives of mass poverty, thrusting upon people tales of cultural inferiority, racialised lies. Their legacies tragically thrive into the ages. The filthy deeds of the colonialists, who invaded every region on the earth, who themselves were borne from within sick minds, of madness to rule humankind, make humanity a dominion, property, denying people the freedom they are born into. Their filth is not in remnants today, the historical remains contemporary, racism institutionalised, in every structure, still as omnipresent a weapon as ever.
It is has been said that no lie lives forever but the ages prove this is not so; lies live as if forever in the windows of time, generation after generation; lies live through the course of lifetimes. As with the litanies of lies told in the presumed heyday of the European colonialists, in the centuries of human slavery, that great nations and economies are being built, that civilisation and the Christian faith are reaching humanity, that there is a striving for equality and the alleviation of poverty, so too these lies continue today. Each lie, in each generation, is bolstered by more lies, a world of lies. That despite billions of people harpooned into the direst poverty and stresses by colonialism and ‘post’-colonialism, so today humanity is lied to that hundreds of millions of people are being lifted out of poverty, into the working and middle classes. So too these lies will cascade uninterrupted into generations unborn. There is more poverty today than ever before, there are more life stressors today than ever before, more people dying in wars than any before, more danger on this earth than ever before, and in intertwined in all this is racism, which continues to be played out. More people suicide today than ever before in human history.
Racism is not just an individual act, it is not just prejudice. Tragically it is insidious, pernicious, it is evil.
Racism is a complex maze of institutions and structures of whom only the few see the blueprint. The perpetrators continue to use racism, to play out a burden of ‘civilising’ Black, Brown and Yellow, they play out all these colours and associate inferiority, dangers. It happens that ‘Whites’ dominate the structures that exploit the tale of racism – but those who are prepared to assimilate to the obscene tale of a greed so destructive it has humanity in peril, who degenerate to disordered thinking to repress to a stricture their cognitive self and to deny their soul, and the more aggressive their disordered thinking, then they can join in the presumption of spoils. There is no racism among the rulers of the world. Here is where racism is seen for what it is, nothing more than a weapon, for racism is not a truth but a lie. Racism is just that, a weapon that whips in hate, hoodwinking the classes, while the thinnest sliver that is the ruling elite remain invisible. Only at the top of the pile does it not matter whether one is Black, Brown, Yellow, White; that’s the only bit that can be argued today that has changed – because indeed it’s never really been about colour.
We are one colour made many. Racism provides for this lesson, that one can betray fellow sufferers and suffer less, and that a few can get to the table despite leaving behind their suffering kin to rot and die. You do not have to be White to betray your sisters and brothers.
Despite racism’s lie, proven by those once said distinguished by colour in reaching the very echelon of the corrupt, racism is sold wholesale to the masses. Racism has the masses fighting with each other – with politicians referring to Brown asylum seekers as cockroaches; a reference to those who risk their lives in Mediterranean crossings. Cockroaches! – cockroaches?
Racism has made the devil of the Arab, a crusade against Islam, but established a covenant with Whiteness, the West and Judeo-Christianity. In the racism wars it matters little to humankind that children wash up dead on beaches in the crossings between Turkey and Greece in the bid for asylum.
White immigrants are ex-pats and Black, Brown and Yellow immigrants are both migrants and a threat.
This plays out as refugee camps, immigration detention facilities polluting landscapes, jails disproportionately filled with Black, Brown and Yellow. In Australia, nearly 100 per cent of police watch-house deaths are of young Black Australians, of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders – a racialised narrative of poverty condemning them to disparities with crime, arrests, sentencing, incarceration, self-harming and suicide, with homelessness.
We need to hit the streets and radicalise the conversations, smashing the narrow corridors of discourse which pollute our parliaments and deceive us because lies have proved to live as if forever. Racism is a lie that continues to live.