Sunday, July 15, 2007

Are you Racist?

Sounds like the world's worst opinion poll question, doesn't it?

Substitute Racist with Communal, Casteist, or any of the other "-ists" you can add after any of the "-isms" of the world, and I bet over 90% of the populace will say they are not. But the fact is that a majority of the people do suffer from some kind of discriminatory behavior. I do. Much as I hate it, I can say that I too suffer from some form of discriminatory behavior (and I would not like to take it further, except saying that I am working on improving my behavior). The more I think about it, there's nothing you can do to change the mind of people who are not comfortable with certain people. You can only do your bit to convince them that you can't really generalise people into silos.

Case in point:
1996 World Cup. The LTTE struck in Colombo. The Australians and the West Indians refused to play in Sri Lanka citing player safety, despite the LTTE announcing a cease fire specifically for the World Cup.

Cut to the 07/07 bombings in London from a couple of years ago. Horrible horrible event, and the worst possible thing that could happen to a peace loving country. Al-Qaeda has announced that Australia, the US and the UK are their targets. The Australian cricket team was preparing for the Ashes in England at the time. They stayed, and played out the series.

So, how come the same country feels safer when they are announced as targets and not when the terrorists say they will not attack them?

But I am not calling anyone racist. The Aussies felt a lot more comfortable in the UK than in Sri Lanka. Bound to happen. I am more likely to feel at home in Edison, NJ or Sunnyvale, CA than in Topeka, Kansas(if I am in the US). You can't change the way people think.

It all comes down to the lack of information you have about some other country / people. Globalization has brought these issues to the forefront, and globalization will help solve them. Trade between people will help interaction between people, and remove personal barriers. Something tells me, global trade will trump global terrorism and the world will be a happy place. Any other way, and your grandma was wrong.

Good would not always trump evil.

(Oh..By the way, the Aussies lost the world cup in 1996 and also the ashes in 2005!!)
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