From: Across the Divide Board

Don't count people by race and colour

Posted by: Harrack Balramsingh
Date: November 11, 2000

I call on citizens to emulate the life of Nelson Mandela and Mahatma Gandhi who sacrificed their personal freedom for the benefit of millions. Because of this, many have been encouraged to stand taller, speak louder and fight more passionately.

They were revered by many because they accepted all people as brothers and sisters regardless of race, religion and colour.

We should all devote ourselves to the progress of humanity, since it's only those who feel compassion for others, regardless of race, will be able to make a difference to society. There is no instrument of change more powerful than the well lived life.

Many people say they want a colourblind society, but they continue to count people by race and skin pigment.

This needs thinking through

Posted by: A. H. Hotep
Date: November 12, 2000

While I believe your general intent is honorable, I want to disagree with your view of Ghandi and Mandela in relation to their positions on fighting racism.

Nelson Mandela and Mahatma Gandhi are not the type of role models we need to deal with racism; they never understood the root cause of the problem so they never offered any reasonable solution.

In some respects, Mandela is a statesman, but he does not have a clue how to deal with racism in South Africa.

Your view that Gandhi sacrificed personal freedom for millions and he accepted all people as brothers needs further investigation. You should try getting copies of Ghandi's racist comments about African people that were published in the British newspapers. The Myth of Mahatma Ghandi By: Velu Annamalai, PhD

He also did not try to get rid of the Caste system in India; he extended the Caste system by introducing another category, the Harrijans. I consider Gandhi one of the world's greatest conmen.

I do not believe many people want a colour-blind society; they try to give that impression to dodge the issues. Many people feel superior and that superiority is normally based on colour, gender, hair texture, material wealth etc. So many people do not want to be placed on an even footing with all people because that means distinctions will have to be based on merit, and you know what that means; many who feel they are on top would suddenly find themselves unemployed.

Ordinary people need proper education and a leveling of the playing field and their true brilliance will make others seem worthless.

Anyhow, people cannot really become colorblind, as the seeds of racism have been deeply sown. People will have to do the work to learn about themselves throughout history to be able to elevate above these superficial prejudices. There is no other way; there is really no way to mask laziness.