Skin colour does not equal ‘values’

Vivitar

We have to speak up and speak out about racism.  The only thing that’s required for the triumph of racism, fascism and neo-Nazism is for all those who believe in unity, diversity and the power of love to be terrorised into silence.

That’s what’s going on.  But we will not be silenced.   We will not be terrorised.  And I am not, repeat NOT going to sit back and let racists use my story – MY story – to justify their pathetic arguments.  This is a real comment that was made about The Video, which I have not edited, only copied and pasted:

“And yet they call me racist here in America because I won’t date a black man. I’m a realist and sociology student at University. I understand that the difference in values and culture between people can severely affect how they work together even just as co-workers much less as a romantic couple which in the end is a crap ton of work. And if you’re not starting from the same expectation and desire and values then you’re going to fail.”

 And my response, also unedited:

 

 

You ARE racist if you’re saying you ‘won’t date a black man’. Period.

 

Racism is judging people on the colour of their skin, which is exactly what you are doing. You can’t say anything about a person’s values or culture on the basis of their skin colour. NOTHING AT ALL.

 

Guess what? It wasn’t lions or second wives or my failure to adapt to obscure Maasai customs that drove us apart, it happened because I was still committed to grassroots activism and Lesikar got passionate about mainstream, Western-style, divisive party politics and so we ended up going in different directions. So please don’t make assumptions about a relationship that you know nothing about.

We actually WERE starting from the same expectation and desire and values. We wanted to preserve the Maasai culture (because I’m passionate about connection to nature, creativity and community, I always have been and I always will be) and help people to get an education without losing that sense of self.

 

Lesikar changed his values; I didn’t.

 

I resent the suggestion that we, or our marriage, ‘failed’ in some way because it didn’t last forever. 

We had seven years together, we learned a huge amount, we created amazing projects (including a school that has now been running for 10 years and educated over 350 young people, many free of charge, and a project to save teenage girls from FGM) and we now have two beautiful daughters.

 

I wish I could tell you all about them. 

I wish you could meet them.

Mixed heritage is a beautiful, beautiful thing.

They are incredible people.

 

Yes, mixed marriages take work.  But guess what, so do ALL marriages.  You can’t assume that you know something about a person’s values by looking at the colour of their skin.  You can’t assume that their values are different from yours if their skin is a different colour, any more than you can assume you have common values if it’s the same.

 

I’m finishing up my PhD by published work in Education for Sustainability, which is all about values, so this is a topic that I DO know something about.

 

We, as a human species, can do better than racism and fascism.

 

Cattle and goats don’t discriminate against against each other because some are brown, some are white, and some are black with white spots.

 

As for those who are calling themselves `Christians’ while carrying out vile acts of racism… Sorry, no.  Jesus would NOT go there.  Never.  He’d be standing up for the oppressed, not perpetuating oppression.

 

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