Racism and hate in society: are they due to ignorance or what?


The late Lucky Dube, a famous reggae musician from South Africa once said, “when I see a black man, I see the image of God. When a see a white man, I see the image of God.  And that’s the way it should be. We belong together.” Unfortunately however, this is not the reality in many situations such as with the cold-blooded killing of black Christian worshippers in Charleston South Carolinaxenophobic attacks by indigenous South African’s on foreigners, the raging controversy over Sandra Bland death and many more race and hate related issues in the media lately. It is a shame and beyond belief that even in the year 2015 despite all the intellectual and technological progress of society, some sections of society still feel superior to others on the mere basis of skin color.

I honestly believe without a shadow of doubt that the major factor behind racism and hate is simply ignorance. Anatomy, medicine and genetics prove this categorically – blood transfusion, organ transplants, and childbirth have no racial barriers. History, archeological and scientific data, such as the overwhelming genetic similarities found among all humans in the Human Genome Project, also point to the fact that the whole human race, irrespective of color or geographic location, is but one family.

If the above illustration is not enough, we could borrow something from astronomy and astrophysics textbook to drive home the point that racism and hate on the basis of skin color have no place in our modern society and that human beings on Earth originated from a single source.  We are told by these scientific disciplines that everything we see around us such as plants, animals, planets, stars, moons, galaxies etc started from a single source or explosion called the big bang. If these huge heavenly bodies that are billions of years old and light years apart from each other in some cases are all from the same source, humans are more so from the same source, originating only a few thousand years ago.

Interestingly, this topic is touched on by the Holy Quran in chapter 49 verse 14 which states, “O mankind, We have created you from a male and female; and We have made you into tribes and sub-tribes that you may recognize one another.” This shows that divisions into tribes, nations and races in different geographic regions are for the purposes of diversity and consequently learning about one another and for physical adaptation into each region. Moreover, the prophet of Islam, Muhammad, stated, “O men, what I say to you, you must hear and remember. All Muslims are as brethren to one another. All of you are equal. All men, whatever nation or tribe they may belong to, and whatever station in life they may hold, are equal. Even as the fingers of the two hands are equal, so are human beings equal to one another. No one has any right, any superiority to claim over another. You are as brothers.

It is true that humans from across the globe look different in appearance and abilities; the hard truth is that, we are genetically similar. Our forefathers may be forgiven for indulging in slavery and racial segregation for lack of knowledge but here in 2015, where insurmountable evidence from science, archeology and history points to the fact that we all from the same stock, it is intolerable to believe in superiority based on race. Diversity is the sole reason why human beings and any other living species that has survived the test of time for that matter exist today. Animal and plant breeding teaches us that inbreeding and thereby a lack of diversity can result in the accumulation of deleterious genes with potential to cause diseases and even extinction. We could imagine the horrific consequence of a single race inhabiting the planet. Different human races on Earth should serves as a source of our strength against future genetic defect going into the unknown future rather than as a source of animosity or superiority.

Instead of entertaining the race biases and hate that still unfortunately exist today, we must take full advantage of the intellectual progress of modern society and rid ourselves from these blemish once and for all to build a better society for our future generations.

About the author

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Seidu Malik

Seidu Malik obtained his PhD in Pharmacy/Microbiology from the University of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia and worked in environmental microbiology as research associate for 2 years. Seidu was awarded the prestigious American Society for Microbiology (ASM) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) postdoctoral fellowship for research work in molecular basis of drug resistance in Mycobacterium tuberculosis. From 2012 to 2014, he was at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill as a postdoctoral research associate where he worked on protein export systems in M. tuberculosis. Seidu is currently serving as a secretary pf Islamic Education for the RTP Chapter of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association.

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