What did Captain Kirk, William Shakespeare and Nelson Mandela all have to say?
‘Racist?! Nah, nah, mate, I ain’t no racist!’ says the racist.
‘I don’t have a problem with anyone, just as long they stay in their country and don’t come over here, alright?’
Oh I see. You’re not a racist. You’re a xenophobe. Actually you’re both; let’s be honest.
Racism is prejudice, discrimination and antagonism against another human of a different colour, race, religion or even location, with the belief that you’re somehow better. And xenophobia is the fear of foreigners and strangers.
Captain Kirk – yes I know he’s not real – but he did say some very pertinent things in the 23rd century including: ‘The prejudices people feel about each other disappear when they get to know each other.’
And even cooler stuff like: ‘You know the greatest danger facing us is ourselves, an irrational fear of the unknown. But there’s no such thing as the unknown — only things temporarily hidden, temporarily not understood.’
And once we do get to know and start to understand each other, we find that whilst we may all look slightly different, prefer distinct food, worship variations of God… or not, and speak in our own tongues, underneath these ancestral masks of identity – we’re all the same.
And taking a quote from William Shakespeare: ‘If you prick us, do we not bleed? If you tickle us, do we not laugh? If you poison us, do we not die?’
We all have the same needs, desires, fears and faults, we all have the same problems, and we’re all just trying to get by. Let’s also try to get along.
And finally this quote – heard a lot lately and with good reason – from Nelson Mandela:
‘No one is born hating another person because of the colour of his skin or his background or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love. For love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.’