Tag Archive: racism


You know that saying if you have nothing nice to say, say nothing at all? I always wondered what made some people so deliberately…..nasty towards others. As an author, in order to have some insight into the world in which I and others live, try as I must I can’t avoid the news. My home page is set to MSN so once I get on the internet, that’s the first page that comes up. Let me be honest from the get-go. I’m a comments reader. I like to see what reaction people are having to what’s going on around them and no, I don’t go lurking on the internet prying into other people’s thoughts. I don’t fancy being one of the “shit stirrers” or being stirred for that matter. I pretty much do the same thing at the cinema. I note the reaction or non reaction of others to certain scenes that may be funny, scary, vexing or sad to me. I know what you’re thinking. I spend too much time paying attention to others. Well, in a way yes. Being observant, as I like to call it, have pretty much helped me to keep my hide safe from predators and the like. Anyway, that’s for another topic.

I’m bringing this up because as our world gets smaller; as lines become blurred; boundaries are erased and walls are knocked down, our penchant for intolerance, fear, prejudice and downright hatred of anything unfamiliar has become more obvious. Don’t get me wrong, the human race has a disgraceful history of what fear and/or hatred of the unfamiliar can bring about. Out of respect for the victims of that dark history, I will not mention them here, but you’d have to be living under a rock to not know to what I’m referring.

You’d think we would have learned from those days and try our damnedest to avoid leaving a stain like that on our species but nope. If I had the power to communicate with every one who posted a snarky, insulting or beastly message on Twitter, Facebook or any social media (YouTube is the prince of them all. You should see what goes on in there), I would ask, “Is it so difficult to present your opinions and thoughts in a respectful manner? Does it hurt to utter words that are not dripping with bile and venom?”

We’re supposed to be creatures of higher intelligence. We’re supposed to be able to present our thoughts and ideas with respect for ourselves and those around us. At school, in English class we learned to write argumentative essays. A good essay was one that presented both sides without demeaning one or the other.  Similarly, in debate competitions, any attempt to make derogatory comments about the opponent would immediately get you and your team and your school disqualified. Politicians are the worst examples at debating. I don’t know about the rest of you who may or may not be reading this, but I wouldn’t trust anyone who spent more time mud-slinging instead or trying to convince me that he/she is the best person to manage the country’s affairs.

I sometimes wonder what it would be like if we were to shut down all social media outlets, barricade the invisible doors, build back those walls between races and cultures. Would we be better off? Would we be nicer to one another if we only  had to deal with that which is familiar? Or is it too late?

The human race has already clocked past 7 billion. The world is getting smaller. I don’t believe we can afford to create conflict when really none is necessary. Imagine two hundred very angry people in a room the size of your bedroom. Care to guess what kind of experience that would be? Of course if your bedroom is the size of a football field then you won’t have a clue what I’m talking about. Those of you who can imagine this, expand your eyes afield a bit. There are 7.2 billion people living on a planet that’s choking and suffocating under our collective weight. Add the weight of our malcontent and you have a disaster waiting to happen. I don’t think we can stop wars by simply being courteous. I’m idealistic, not delusional. But it’s a start. I’d prefer we start somewhere than go nowhere.

We’re a difficult species you know. Complex, brilliant, inspiring and deadly. That’s a lot to deal with.  The hard knocks of human co-existence can be softened by just saying something nice. No need for sonnets and poems and ragas and ghazals. You can keep it simple. And if it hurts to be nice or polite or respectful, just say nothing at all. Trust me, no one will mind.

The evolution of the human race has come to a grinding halt. That should be a headline for a newspaper article. Perhaps I should start one. The Daily Human, now there’s a title. We have grown by leaps and bounds as a species but as humans, our humanity is quickly drying up. In a conversation from Gene Roddenberry on his reason for creating Star Trek, he talks about a utopian planet where as a species, we as humans can learn from one another and grow to become mature and wise. Well, if only he could see us now. We’re far from where he envisioned we could be. In fact, I think we’re in reverse.

Right now, we’re in the era where politicians can thump their chests and say ‘my bomb is bigger than your bomb.’ The human race is still fighting over swathes of land and water than none of us can take to our graves.

We live in a world where it’s acceptable, nay, fashionable to ridicule and mock excellence and hard work, but it’s perfectly fine if you revere mediocrity. Just look at how many ‘reality’ shows there are out there and many if not all are rooted in materialism because after all, why work when you can rake in the moola by dehumanising yourselves for other people’s entertainment? That was a stupid question right? How dare me.

Then there are the ones who don’t care. They don’t care if the polar caps melt and the human race has to resort to living on ships or ark like vessels. They don’t care about stripping the planet of much needed forests. They don’t care because as far as they’re concerned, they will be dead by that time and won’t have to suffer. Their descendants on the other hand will have to revert to the days of Noah’s Ark or just save time and money and grow gills. Oh well, our species first germinated in the sea, so we might as well go back.

Now we come to science and technology. What’s that? Shouldn’t these be a sign of advancement and evolution? Well, you would think so. Of course, as a species we have gone to the moon and back, we can see the vastness of the universe courtesy NASA and the Hubble Telescope and we have been able to plumb the depths of the ocean. We’ve advanced as a species but as humans, we’re slipping back into our basest instincts. Let me say this, science and technology should be and should have been paired with a generous dose of common sense and compassion. We can make life in a test tube, we can make life last longer, we can save lives but with one fell swoop of a missile or bomb we can also take it away and for what? Because your religion is better than mine? Because your skin colour is better than theirs? Because you are so superior to others that you are completely oblivious to the fact that when you die you too will rot and disintegrate into dust or ash? This is the year 2016, we should be past all that by now.

With all of our advancements, many still fight and kill over that which cannot be proved 100%. As long as proof isn’t tangible, then there is always room for doubt and debate. So why fight? What’s wrong with being different?

Billions of years ago, when Earth was first born by the cosmic energies in space, according to scientists, microscopic organisms were transported to her by way of continuous meteoric bombardment, possibly from another planet which was destroyed earlier. From this happy incident, all living species came to be on Earth. We’ve all evolved from something that was once something else. We’re all different and similar at the same time. There should be no reason not to appreciate these differences and in so doing we can celebrate the similarity in our humanity.

Our humanity is what sets us apart from all the other species. We have the ability to empathise, to care and to be compassionate. What can be seen today is apathy, the sense of ‘it’s not my problem so I don’t care’. Not everyone is like that though. There are many of us who are still fighting the good fight. Some will inevitably weaken and join the hoards who whistle and walk away and act as if nothing is happening and there are those who will fight for as long as it takes. I hope I can remain a fighter.

For those of you who have forgotten, we are not renting this planet, we’re not borrowing the time we spend here, we’re visiting a home that belongs to many others. As visitors we need to respect our hosts and hostesses as we would want them to respect us.

It would be a really sad day if and when the human race falls from grace and return to clubbing one another over the heads and squabbling over territory. But then again, how far away are we from that?

David Gaughran

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