The Absurdity of Racism
(Published in the journal, The Ambition [Vol. 19 No. 8])
By Zeshan Shahbaz
Before we are anything else, we are human. Before we are black, white, yellow, brown, blue, purple or any other shade of colour, we are human. Factually, it comes down to human beings spread across this planet Earth where colour, creed and language are nothing but states of nature1. This not only demonstrates the absurdity of racism but also shows the nonsense of ethnic nationalism. Actually, the word Racism is a misnomer itself, because, in the context of this planet Earth2, there is only one race and that is the human race3. Also, by recognizing this reality, labels like "majority," "minority" and "visible minority" become irrational. In a society made up of human beings there is no such thing as "majority," "minority" or "visible minority" – these terms simply aim at pigeonholing segments of human society.
The Deadly Sin of False-Pride
Racism derives from self-deluded pride4. If someone finds pride in things such as the colour of their skin or what their tribal ancestors did then that's really 'false pride'. Logically, how can one have pride in something, that they personally had nothing to do with, or, that is completely independent of their will? Rather, logically, one would have pride in what he or she, as an individual, has productively done.
Humanity as One Family
I leave you with the words of the late and great American human rights activist, Malcolm X. This was his response to a question on integration and intermarriage: I believe in recognizing every human being as a human being, neither white, black, brown nor red. When you are dealing with humanity as one family, there's no question of integration or intermarriage. It's just one human being marrying another human being, or one human being living around and with another human being5.
1. “Among His wonders is the creation of the cosmos and the earth, and the diversity of your languages and colours: for in this, behold, evidences indeed abound for all those who possess knowledge.” (Qur’an 30:22)
2. Human beings, as a species, are deemed the most capable of higher intelligence on Earth.
3. This argument demonstrates the irrationality of 'racism' and 'ethnic nationalism' in the context of humanity alone, however, we can take this line of reasoning to its logical conclusion. Say, one day, we come across intelligent extraterrestrials from another planet -- how would we look at ourselves then? Answer: Before we are anything else, even before we are human, we are, ultimately, Sentient.
4. As revealed in the Qur’an (see verses 2:34 & 15:30-33), the infamous sin committed by Iblees (Satan) was the result of false-pride. It was Iblees’s prideful attitude of viewing himself as superior to Adam, because Adam was human, which caused him to disobey God’s command of paying homage to Adam. In other words, Iblees was being racist towards Adam.
5. The Pierre Berton Interview, January 19/1965.
Zeshan Shahbaz is the founding member of The Institute of Higher Reasoning (http://instituteofhigherreasoning.page.tl/) and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org