Monday, 20 October 2008

I found this essay I wrote
like, 3 years? The if i could change the world one.
It's pretty lame. I didnt expect to win but I guess I wanted to share my view on the whole race/religion thing.

If I could change the world
The world that we live in has an abundance of problems. Racism, Religious discrimination, war, poverty, pollution are just some issues that connect to us in one way or another. Have you ever wondered what could possibly be the root of these problems? Well, I strongly think that it is Racism and Religious discrimination. That is why if I could change the world, I would make everyone of one race and religion.
Let me start by explaining how all the problems I’ve stated above are interconnected. We start with racism and religious discrimination. Someone somewhere could have made a rather harsh statement that offended many people of a certain race or religion which might lead to war, the second problem. Innocent people who are in the middle of this war will suffer a great deal and thus poverty due to lack of food and basic necessities. The bomb blasts which contain many toxic chemical gasses which will cause pollution and the depletion of the ozone layer thus the greenhouse effect which will harm us, the human race. See my point?
Racism. What is it? We’ve all either read about it, experienced it personally or know of someone who has, but what is it? It mainly refers to the beliefs, practices and institutions that differentiate and discriminate against people based on their race. Primarily, it refers to an assumption that the human species can be divided into different races, coupled with hostility toward people of a certain race and that races differ in value. Some people even believe that races can be placed on a ranked hierarchical scale!
Racism is divided into three major categories which are individual racism such as when someone like an employer does not hire, promote or fires you in whole or part due to your race. The second is structural racism, which starts from individual racism to become a structure of a one-race policy. The last is ideological racism, racism without knowing someone of that race but has an assumption or conception about that certain race. Researches at the University of Chicago and Harvard found out in a 2003 study that there was widespread discrimination at the workplace against job applicants whose names were merely perceived as “sounding black” even though they had excellent qualifications and many years of experience.
Racism goes on everywhere everyday all around the world, in schools, homes, offices and many other places. I too have been a victim of racism as one of friend’s father does not like her mixing with other races with the exception of her own. I am a born Mix and my roots can be traced back all the way to Pakistan and Mongolia but it does not mean I am any lesser than a Chinese or that I am a terrorist! The United Nations uses a definition of racial discrimination laid out in the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination and adopted in 1966 which states, “…any distinction, exclusion, restriction or preference based on race, colour, descent or national or ethnic origin which has the purpose or effect of nullifying or impairing the recognition, enjoyment or exercise, on an equal footing, of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the political, economic, social, cultural or any other field of public life”. Remember, you cannot fight racism with racism; the best way to fight it is with solidarity.
Religious discrimination is also a big problem that we face daily. Religious discrimination is treating a person or group lower because of their perceived “inferior” or “valueless” religion or treating someone differently because of what they do not or do believe. While many religious and secular authorities nowadays tend to stress that religion is something personal, the highly social nature of most religions creates conflicts between religious groups, and thus discrimination.
Adolf Hitler was the most heartless of all human beings in racial and religious discrimination. He was against the Jews and tried to eliminate them from the face of our earth. He without doubt is the German leader responsible for the Holocaust, which killed millions of Jews, the disabled, homosexuals and gypsies during World War II. He used to say, “If I can send the flower of the German nation into the hell of war without the smallest pity for the shedding of precious German blood, then surely I have the right to remove millions of an inferior race that breeds like vermin.” Apart from Adolf Hitler, The Klu Klux Klan or better known as the KKK whom are also similar to Hitler in many ways as they are a group that advocates anti-Semitism and show hatred to anyone who is not white.
Lamb Gaede and Lynx Gaede are 13-year-old American twins whom are getting attention for the angry and hateful lyrics they sing in their pop act, Prussian Blue. They perform at gatherings for the Klu Klux Klan and wear T-shirts with Adolf Hitler smiley faces on them. They both think that Hitler was a great man who was trying to preserve his race and country and do not believe in mixing races as it will be a “big mess”. Their mother, April, is a racist who has brought up the girls to believe that whites are the superior race. She has been home-schooling them, teaching them her version of history that downplays the Holocaust.
Much effort has been exhausted to eliminate racism and religious discrimination to promote equality and unity among people of different races and religions but they have all failed miserably. Malaysia’s newest project is National Service, a three month program whose main goal is to promote unity and understanding among the students of different races and religions. This project will benefit in many ways other than Racism and Religious discrimination. Racism and Religious discrimination isn’t born, it’s taught. If 11 years of schooling does not change that, how can 3 months? These values should be taught at a very young and vulnerable age.
Why do we seem destined to define ourselves with labels? Labels are mere words. If we want others to know what we are, why not show them? Show them through action. Actions still speak louder than words. I do not care if you are a Buddhist, a Muslim, a White, a Christian, a Hindu, a Black, a Jew, a follower of any countless other faiths, traditions, paths, colour, race or religions that are spread throughout this World.
We are all one. One human family, one world, one universe. As the Dalai Lama says it, "All human beings come from a mother's womb. We are all the same part of one human family. We should have a clear realization of the oneness of all humanity." Only when we understand this, there would be no racism or religious discrimination.
I thank you for letting me share my views. Sharing is how we learn from others. Through sharing comes understanding. From understanding comes trust. From trust comes friendship. From friendship comes hope and admiration. From all of these great things there comes peace. That is why if I could change the world, I would eliminate all but one religion and race.


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