Stunted By Reality Just another know-it-all talking about life, business, technology, sports and music.

25Nov/11Off

Maybe it’s because we’re less than human

A lot of reason has been lacking amidst all the stories about racism and racist comments by famous people in the media and especially in sport. I guess it shouldn't be expected that the majority of the mainstream media can eloquently state some of the issues surrounding race. In any event apart from the 'racism is wrong because it's wrong argument'; by way of tone a lot of the coverage has been indifferent. The comments of too many readers have been even more unsympathetic than is comfortable for any minority to read. At worst racism is still very much alive and at best too many people do not understand why its bad to insult someone by refering to the coulour of their skin.

Human zoo in Stuttgart, Germany, 1928

Human zoo

The major point that I believe has been missed is around the issue of why racism and hate speech is wrong. The belief that some people are inferior or even less than human has for centuries been the cause of some of the most atrocious crimes committed by humanity. Sadly those crimes continue today and it's significant that just as the headlines are riddled with stories of famous people racially abusing other famous people, the murderers of Steven Lawrence are once again on trial for their own horrendous hate fuelled crime.

The media really needs to put across to their readers how there is a direct line connecting the fact that some people are seen as less than human and the way they'll be treated by society. Whole sections of society have been killed, denied their rights, denied a vote and denied access to justice having been categorised as inferior.

Racist words by their nature are meant to spread the same message that has resulted in those great crimes. Standing by and paying no mind just means that another generation will grow up believing that we are not all equal and therefore it is okay to subjugate people of an 'inferior' race, gender or sex because well they are less than human aren't they?