God created us as equal humans, but we divided our humanity into thousands of categories of color, race, tribe, culture, tradition, and religion because of our ethnocentric thoughts.
God created us, but we created racism, and we let it divide our homes, our countries, and the world.
I want to use my words to take a stand against racism, to say:
Shame on you, racism.
Shame on you, racists!
The virus of racism affects our families, friends, schools, universities, and offices, as well as relationships between our tribes and nations. I lose sleep thinking of it and get up at night to write about how it makes me feel. Tonight I sat up until midnight trying to forget the racist words I heard today from an educated and stylish Pashtoon man who sees me as inferior, a freak, based on my tribe. Cheap Tajik, he called me.
Often people in our tribes have cultural differences in that they know different languages and wear different styles of clothing or some tribes have facial features that appear more Asian.
Pashtoons are one of the most populated tribes of Afghanistan. They consider themselves as the native citizens of Afghanistan, as “real Afghans.” Some of them will imply that people who are Tajik, Uzbek, or Hazara are non-native Afghans from central Asia. They think these groups are the descendants of Chinese warlord Ghengis Khan.
Some Pashtoons like to point out that they descend from kings and rulers of Afghanistan for hundreds of years. They often are conservative about their views of women. I think Tajiks are often more openminded—men and women can eat together and shake hands.
All four tribes have cultural differences, but we all share the same religion and our national languages of Dari and Pashto.
Pain fills my chest and sorrow fills my thoughts, and I wish I could banish that man’s words from my mind. I write to empty my heart, to put the bitter words on paper. How sad and disappointing to experience racism from an educated person; what can we expect from the uneducated?Racist, burn your clothes and throw away your tie, your name-brand shoes. Shame on you.
I suffer an escalating shock every time I experience racism. I will take a stand against it. Racism is the seed for the crop of un-civilization. Civilization emerges from fair thinking. Racism is not civilized at all.
Racists of the world, wherever you are, when you look at me you seem to forget that I am like you: one head, two legs, two arms.
When you look at me you see a label, a single word tied to a tribe or color: black or white, Tajik, or Hazara. Hazaras were long oppressed but today Hazara girls are being educated more than some other groups that still believe in old, discriminatory practices against women such as honor killings.
You categorize me by caste and class and religion. You ignore my human value and try to bully me for my own heritage, all because of a single word.
Shame on you, racists!
Shame on you, racism!
Photo by Balazs Gardi
Source: Afghan Women’s Writing Project | Racist, Shame on You!