Thoughts on Racism

This story is slightly old. I was a student in a school in north India. In our class was a boy from a European country. I will skip the details about his name, country of origin to avoid hurting anyone’s sentiments.

His father was a pilot, and they were in India as part of a delegation instructing Indian Air Force pilots how to fly a fighter jet that had come in from their country.

I am from South India. My skin tone a shade darker than the rest of the children in my class. Every time I passed this kid, he would throw racial slurs at me.

Even today, forty-three years after this incident, I remember every word he said. It never occurred to me to complain to the teachers. Nor did I ever have the urge to kick him. All I would do was walk by, feeling sad. I would have loved to be his friend. Talk to him, learn more about his country and maybe a little bit of his language! He left our school after a couple of months. Over the years, I have met and worked with folks from different parts of the world. I realized that not everyone has this air of racial superiority. There are good, decent, hard-working human beings in every corner of the world.

That said, even today, after all these years, what amazes me is how an eight-year-old child could bring himself to abuse another eight-year-old. Did he somehow feel that he was superior to me due to his skin tone?
Is this feeling of racial superiority inherited or indoctrinated? I never got the answer to any of these questions then.

Watching the news, I guess I will never get the answer to some of these questions.

2 thoughts on “Thoughts on Racism

  1. Children are natural bullies and many remain that way throughout their adulthood. Any difference, slight or great, is fodder for their mill. Why this is, is just human nature. Which is why kindness is so rare, so prized. Thank you for sharing this story. Such good insight.

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  2. Racism makes no sense, and it can be unlearned. The problem is that wealth accumulation and capitalism depend on artificial class structure. Rich people encourage racism to justify the poverty that their wealth hoarding perpetuates.

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