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Amelia Roosevelt

 

Not Identifying You

Posted On:13-May-2020/7:36 pm

Can you recall filling your job application form?

 They ask you your full name, gender, religion, race, place of residence… So many details to pinpoint you. Whenever I do this, it brings back memories of our Biology class.

Human taxonomy: Kingdom – Animalia, Phylum – Chordata, Class – Mammalia, Order – Primates, Family – Hominidae, Genus – Homo, Species – Homo Sapiens. Being that Homo Sapient divided further by country, gender, caste, generation and whatnot… we are kind of barcoded from the birth.

In my previous article, I agree that identifying ourselves through our lineage brings us a kind of pride and confidence about who we are. It is a kind of a micro view. If we considered the same in a bird's eye view of how justifiable are those divisions among humans, considering the impact brought by the same what could there be? 

In the early years our family name used to recognize us - Who were the distinguished or honoured in the society - Who played what role. Those indicated who lead the community, make utensils, grow crops or protected the community. That was a system of “who belongs where” identification. With the industries and gathered wealth this classification more expanded towards “who belongs what”.

Whatever the basis - it was always based on inequalities. Differences, advantages and disadvantages. In short, it was the reflection of politics in social life – “who gets what”. Segregating us to different social groupings having different opportunities. This lead to hierarchical differences, inferiorization and unequal resource allocations. In simple terms some used this to corner the other, to humiliate the other or to judgmentally evaluate the other.

That is painful. More painful when it starts echoing around you at every step. Reminding you, you are not going to have that opportunity, you are blocked from that society and you are less powerful than the other.

Anthropologist Stanley J Thambiah once cited in his article, “Reflection in communal violence in South Asia” (Page 178 of Perspectives on modern South Asia edited by Kamala Wisweswaran in 2011);

“A member of parliament representing Orissa state once said thirty years ago, in the course of a debate: “My first ambition is the glory of Mother India. I know in my heart of hearts that I am an Indian first and Indian last. But when you say you are a Bihari, I say I am an Oriya, when you say you are a Bengali, I say I am an Oriya. Otherwise, I am an Indian".

The topic heading explains the outcome of segregation.

Inequality leads to hatred. Pinpointing your difference at every occasion leads to violence. Proofs are everywhere, I need not show you.

In the beginning, segregation according to ethnicity, religion, social status has allowed socially similar people to come together to build communities. People sometimes divided on different occasions (according to the blood group in medicine, skin colour in haute couture, hair type in hair care etc.) to give them appropriate treatment. Living beings were classified in Biology to understand origins and evolution.

Today these differences are used to divide and govern. To build up patriots and traitors in politics. To foster distrust and hatred. Whenever you point out your origins to make a separation from the other, remember it paves to a broken society. A society with lost trust, faith and bonds.

Never use your identification to shatter the other.

Identify yourself with the whole - You are a human.

Takeaways:

1 : Everyone of us brings an impact to our surroundings

2 : You are the individual who builds the whole

Category:  Life / Subcategory:  You are an individual you are the whole

Tags: segregation, division, social politics, violence and its roots, inequality, differences, classified humans

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Adaego M. Azi

17-May-2020

Amara, I agree with you. There is nothing worse that lumping people together because they fit a profile. It is just as bad living in Nigeria--people from other countries in Africa always assume that all Nigerians are the same--how awful being stereotyped by your own people. I did hear about that shooting in America--how terrible. Amelia, very good duppydom. It makes me wonder if there will ever be a time in the world, when all people are thought of as human first and not segregated.

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Amara Kone

14-May-2020

Amelia--Africans are very proud of their heritage--after all, Africa is Akebu-Lan (Mother of Mankind). But none of this matter when you are an African living in America. In terms of ethnicity, I have no similarities with American blacks, but American whites do not care. They see my black skin, categorize me as an American black, and treat me accordingly.

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Bruce Peters

14-May-2020

D.C., I saw the video on CNN and could not believe it. It was so obvious that these three were rednecks driving around in their truck with guns looking to shoot someone. I hope the dad, son, and the idiot taking the video all get 100 years in prison. Amelia, I agree with you--inequality leads to hatred. Nowhere is this more evident than in the U.S. Then hatred leads to class differences--for example, the coronavirus is impacting black and brown people worse than white people.

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D. C. Lawrence

13-May-2020

Amelia, well said. The thing that surprises me the most is that in the year 2020 people are still so tribal-it is still us vs. them. And there is still so much prejudice and hate in the world. And yes, these man-made distinctions based on ancestry/race are often used in governments to mandate legislation to future hinder the progress of the others-further perpetuating hate and discrimination of the others-just look at the Trump Administration. Just to illustrate my point about bigotry still perpetuating our society: the following story has been dominating the news in Canada and the U.S. of late. A young black man was jogging through a neighborhood in the middle of the day and two Caucasian men (father and son) tracked him in their truck and shot him dead, while someone else in the truck videotaped the entire incident. They later argued that they thought he was a robber and they were making a citizen’s arrest. The police and District Attorney got the video and did nothing about the incident for 74 days; and the only reason why anyone heard of shooting was because someone leaked the video. What I do know, is that this would never happen to a Caucasian jogger and if it did, it would have been in the papers, on television and on the internet in a matter of hours. This whole situation is truly offensive and outrageous!! https://www.indiatoday.in/world/story/georgia-authorities-black-man-gunned-down-father-son-arrested-1675654-2020-05-08 Good read, Amelia.