Traveling teaches you many things about life, people, cultures and the world around you. I analyzed the systems around me and observed things at a macro and micro level. Sometimes I would get so exhausted by analyzing all the political propaganda in the streets. The corruption and the false government promises to their citizens. Including, the skin bleaching creams and soap adds. I have grown tired of seeing the same type of men and women on TV with faire skin, long hair and unnaturally thin looking bodies and shiny abbs. When I first watched TV in Sri Lanka, the first word that came to my mind was “robots”. We have become robots. Is this how we really see ourselves as being, feeling and looking the same!? Many times I had to tell myself, “Iraimi, breath and keep calm!”
I have learned that we are all connected. I realized that some of the issues that the youth in Scotland and London have are similar to the ones that youth have in Senegal and in Sri Lanka. One of the common threads between all these places is that our youth do not feel empowered by their communities. I have seen that the youth that are labeled “drop outs”, “delinquents” or “most vulnerable” are the most brilliant youth that I have ever met. They are labeled this way because they are not thinking, learning and being the way that the school system wants them to be.
The people that do not fit into the “normal box” are labeled as “those people” and “others”. The focus is put on how different they are, leaving no opportunity to show all the similarities that we share as humans. Yes, if you were not aware we are all human. There is a dominant force in our society that labels a group of people that do not fit into their “robotic categories”. When the negative language and stereotypes are effective enough to marginalize the group of people, it then becomes socially acceptable to hate, discriminate and oppress. They are labeled as bad, not suitable for the society, ideas and images play on television, on adds and in speeches over and over and over. Then people begin to have fear because “those people” are so different and they do not fit, they tried and tried to make them conform with the “normal people”. Then when everything fails, oppression and hate towards “those people” becomes acceptable.
Through out history we have had many examples of this. I do not have to name them, you all know what they are. This type of hate and oppression leads to the distruction of people, cultures, ideas, community, peace and love. Most importantly, it leads to genocide. With all of this hate and oppression against each other we ourselves will become an “endangered species”. At the moment some people may believe that they are wining the “battle” by oppressing and denying people their human rights. Soon in enough they will see that they have also crippled themselves. No good comes from putting others down. Although, Jesus was unable to convince people that he was the son of God, he did not oppress or hate them.
We must come together for equality. You can’t talk about protecting human rights if you are excluding people just because they do not fit in your robotic, comfortable box called “normal”. At the end of the day we are all human and we should all have the same rights. Stand up for human rights, decolonize your mind.
God Bless you