Tolerance and locusts

Who are we to judge?  The reason (as far as I can gather, but I’m no historian) that the Chinese have cultivated delicacies such as rats and locusts and some other seemingly odd food choices is due to their history of extreme poverty – millions died in the fighting between the Communists and the Nationalist in the ’50s.  Such a huge country, it’s hard to even grasp the concept of millions of people just starving to death.  So if your donkey or cat gets hit by a stray bullet in a war and it dies, you eat it.  And if you’re trying to make the best out of a terrible situation, you season it and try to make it edible and voila – a delicacy is born.

Anyways, thinking about how we stick up our noses in contempt and disgust at the culture and choices of “others”, people who are not like us, always baffles me.  Islam is a religion that teaches equality.  All you have to do is picture masses of pilgrims on Hajj for a visual reminder of the complete flattening in terms of race and class that should be practiced.  Moosa A.S. was a very dark man (not someone who looks like Christian Bale).  If our Ambiyaa A.S. were not all Indian or Arab or white or brown, but varying colours, how dare we be racist?  Wasn’t Adam A.S made from sands of all colours – meaning that he was mixed race.  So that means that to some extent we are all mixed race.  And I have heard (I’m not sure though) that Isaa A.S. too was not white.

Why is it that in India and South Africa and some other “brown” countries we see so many skin lightening creams?  The legacy of colonialism has left deep scars on the psyche of the people who were subjugated by their “masters”.

It’s depressing that so many years of imperialism has actually created implicit and unconscious biases towards lighter skin – we’re racist and don’t even know it, according to some studies that tested split-second reactions to images of people of different races. This means that we have to work extra-hard, we have to work consciously to defeat our prejudices and biases.

Have you ever seen a mixed-race child?  They are gorgeous! I don’t know what it is but the more I look around, the more I find that interracial couples have the cutest kids.  Maybe there’s some genetic explanation for that…

I don’t think that babies are born racist.  I know a lady who adopted a baby of a different race, and he seems to believe that he is the same race as his parents – he cannot fathom that he is “other” than them, even though he barely looks like them. This must mean that racism is taught.

So tolerance can be taught.  First we need to unlearn our own prejudice, and then re-learn the better way – and then of course, teach our children tolerance from the beginning.


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