I once went to a market with a close family, and I happened to be checking out some books, novels actually. The guy at the stand stared at me for some time before he whispered to his colleague with whom they handled the book stand, “Kan hij lezen?”( which is dutch for, ‘ Can he read?’). I didn’t mind that at first because its only normal to assume that a foreigner may not speak the native language. So I wasn’t bothered, I simply acted like I heard nothing. It’s what they did immediately after that that shocked me. They giggled and chuckled softly! Well, I was shocked but simply acted like I heard nothing. The man then came out from the stand and started being very friendly, took me around the stand, told me about most of the books and we laughed over a few jokes. That night however, I kept thinking about it. The hypocrisy!
I think we all ought to look deep within ourselves and ask ourselves the big question as regards to race. “Am I racist?” And let’s not let our actions fool us because they don’t fully define us. It’s the inside that really does. And that’s something practically everyone already knows but simply overlooks. I enjoy taking walks in the evening. I was talking to a friend on one of these walks and somehow the conversation shifted to race. As we talked I asked her if she thought she was racist and to my surprise she said yes. She really said yes. To be honest I was impressed by the honesty. She didn’t look at her actions( talking part in charities and other such projects in the south) to defend herself! No! She simply looked within and said yes! I am! To put this in perspective, I am one of about 6 black students in my school. Of the 6, I happen to be the only immigrant. So when you factor in issues like language barrier, different cultural background and social life perspective, it’s really hard to make friends around here. So here I was, with probably one of the few people one may think isn’t “racial” given the fact that they willingly accepted to take a walk with me(by now you should have figured that I’m black), and yet they admitted to being you know, that word. I admired that kind of admission, because it shows there is hope. It really shows that one is well aware of what lies within them. Something, I seldom see.