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An inconvenient truth about racism

Racism is a system that projects racialised identities. Simply put, people are racist because they have assumed an identity that is embedded in whom they have been told they are based on the assumptions implicit in these systems.

For example, suppose I tame a pigeon and raise it with chickens, it will grow up thinking it is a chicken and will live on the ground like chickens. This way I have created an environment that has made a pigeon assume an identity of a chicken. Systemic racism works the same way.

And here is the thing about this reality… racist behaviours cannot be changed merely by calling them out. And by this I am not suggesting racist behaviours should not be called out, but rather that it’s not enough to call them out. In fact this often just drives racists underground, a fertile ground of malignant growth.

My point is that until humanity finds a way of dismantling the underlying systems that give people racialised identities, we need to understand racism will always be with us. 

The inconvenient truth is that the world socio-economic systems at the very core are foundationed on racism (and patriarchy and classism). The only way we can therefore rid ourselves of these ills is to construct alternative systems.

This is in fact exactly what Jesus purported to do when He introduced the “Kingdom of God”. This system radically liberated His followers from racialised, patriarchal and classist identities (until Christianity was captured by Constantine) to the extent that the colonialist powers of the time deemed them a threat and persecuted them unto death.

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