Martin Luther King Jr Day is observed on the third Monday of January each year, the day closest to his birthday on 15 January. This year, it was held on Monday 18 January. Today, my #100WordsOnSaturday post is about the evil of racism that continues to haunt our world, years after the Civil Rights movement and various legislation. Sadly, this true story comes from the Indian sub-continent where often racism comes in many colours!
Darren Sammy, a West Indian cricketer was in the Indian Premier League team, the Sunrisers and didn’t realize that his own team mates were picking on him.
Racism Comes In Many Colours
“Kaalu!” his teammate yelled across the grounds.
He smiled. He was proud that the team thought he was a “strong stallion”.
Little did he know that it was a racial slur. And when he found out he was shattered. He realized ‘Kaalu’ referred to the colour of his skin!
How could they do this to him? Hadn’t Indians experienced racism in Western countries?
Today he learned that Indians have a lot of racist tendencies. The colour of one’s skin. The slant of one’s eyes. The family you were born into.
“Racism comes in many colours,” he seethed.
Today I’d like to share a passage from The Help by Kathryn Stockett.
“Once upon a time they was two girls,” I say. “one girl had black skin, one girl had white.”
Mae Mobley look up at me. She listening.
“Little colored girl say to little white girl, ‘How come your skin be so pale?’ White girl say, ‘I don’t know. How come your skin be so black? What you think that mean?’
“But neither one a them little girls knew. So little white girl say, ‘Well, let’s see. You got hair, I got hair.'”I gives Mae Mobley a little tousle on her head.
“Little colored girl say ‘I got a nose, you got a nose.'”I gives her little snout a tweak. She got to reach up and do the same to me.
“Little white girl say, ‘I got toes, you got toes.’ And I do the little thing with her toes, but she can’t get to mine cause I got my white work shoes on.
“‘So we’s the same. Just a different color’, say that little colored girl. The little white girl she agreed and they was friends. The End.”
Baby Girl just look at me. Law, that was a sorry story if I ever heard one. Wasn’t even no plot to it. But Mae Mobley, she smile and say, “Tell it again.”
Today, we need to remember that we’s the same and treat everyone with respect!
I’ve re-started the 100WordsOnSaturday here. The feature will be around social causes/ special days/special causes.
In case you missed the previous three posts, here they are:
If you’d like to join me, please leave a comment with your link on my post/s. Next Saturday’s theme will focus on data privacy as 28 January is Data Privacy Day #PrivacyAware.
Thank you for this post Corinne, I think your 100 Words pack a necessary wallop. So many people think racism is 1) Black and White, and 2) no longer existent and 3) back to number 1 and 4) back to number 2. This post helps to show that racism truly does come in many colors and varieties. I loved the book and the movie The Help. Blessings for the week ahead, Michele
Wow! You said a LOT with only 100 words. Thank you for nudging me to think about racism. You are so right – it’s not just a black/white issue. And “The Help” was one of my favorite books. Perfect passage you included here.
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That is so hurtful. Sadly Rascism is so ingrained in our conversations that we don’t even realise we are being racist when we comment on someone. It can be seen in a conversation, in our advertisements ,media movies, practically everywhere. I love the excerpt. It is such a sweet and positive story, and can have a wonderful impact on the mindset of little girls.
It is so sad we Indians when we are on foreign soil in the west, we complain about being racially discriminated against all the time on the basis of our brown colour but we do the same racism against the blacks. And, education serves no corrective role here. What happened to Darren Sammy was highly unfortunate.