I guess there are many reason why one group of people should see themselves as different to another group. In a tribal world with hunting grounds and competition for food and space there would often be a need to defend what is ‘ours’ and to fight off, battle with, or go to war with other groups that attempt to take it from us. This kind of group identity and defence makes some sense. The problem that we seem to be facing in the modern world is why do we see groups of people that we live with and share the same country as different to us?
Currently we see the USA replaying the racial unrest of the 1960s. The evidence seems to be that a man, I really don’t see the need to describe him as black, was illegally killed by a policeman, again I really don’t see the need to say he was white, in what is seen as a racial attack and possibly a deliberate murder. At what point can we start to simply be people, human beings, rather than ethnic groups, races and nationalities?
I keep saying it, and probably will for the rest of my life, but it really is this simple…
If we all look after each other then we will all be okay
Sadly we do not. It would seem that the path to hate is a lot easier to travel than the path to love.
Prejudice exists in all and every level of society. Are men better the women? Gays better than straights? Black better than white? Indians better than Chinese? Vegetarians better than meat eaters or vegans better than vegetarians? Muslims better than Christians? The list is endless and it is based in group identity. Once we form a group, ‘us’ you are either in, and one of us or you are outside of the group and one of ‘them’.
Colour and class
Having worked and travelled around the world I observe that in many societies, even black societies, light skins have higher status than darker skins. As I observed this in different countries I began to realise something. Those people that were the leaders, the higher status group, didn’t go out in the world that much. They stayed at home in their castles and palaces and high end properties. The common people, the workers, were outside most on the time in the elements, sunshine and rain. Their wether battered skinned were darkened by the sun and the wind. Soon it was pretty clear that those with darker skins did the most manual work outside and those with the lighter skins had no need to go outside and had lighter coloured skins. Suddenly the colour of your skin indicates your status.
I suspect that this happened in most societies around the world throughout our evolution. You can still see the same thing going on across the world especially in the Middle East. In situations like the USA the contract is stark. Sadly so is the history. It seems strange to me that the white folks aren’t on bended knee apologising for their mistreatment towards black people for hundreds of years.
The Karma of Empire
When it come to groups of us and them the ultimate are the empire builders. What can it be that makes one country, or group of people, think that it is okay to go around the world stealing people’s countries, taking their resources, abusing their residents to the point of slavery. Many of the financial houses in Europe were built on just such empires financed by slavery and opium.
To take groups of people by force from their native country and make then work for you for no reward and do whatever you wish of them, to own them beat them and sell, to hold the power of life and death over them is likely to lead to a lot of resentment and repressed anger. The current events in the USA, with the unnecessary killing and loss of George Floyd, can quite easily release 400 years of repressed anger held by generations who were used as slaves and who, even now, suffer and lack the status of the rest of their fellow citizens.
The British Empire spanned the world and mistreated and abused millions of people for many generations. the other Empires of European countries did exactly the same thing. Well, those Empires have peaked and are coming to an end. The power base is shifting and Europe may not become the third world but is likely to become the second world. The first world is more likely to be India or China. The American Empire has also probably peaked and may well now be in decline. Other empires are now trying to take the world stage. Both Russia and China have ambitions that may well make them the world powers of the future.
How we treat other people is important not least of all because it is the right thing to do. But as it says in the Bible ‘The sins of the fathers will be visited on their children’. There maybe much repayment required of the post empirical countries.
Stay safe and look after those around you