While it hurts to have one’s image simplified and dehumanized to portray a goofy, impotent caricature, is does human potential no service to draw your identity (and how you identify others) by any label, reverent or otherwise. It pains me to see people divided amongst themselves for “their cause”, the kind of division that our human problems thrive on.
There are no Tamil problems. There are no Jewish problems, or Tibetan problems or Chinese problems, or LGBTT2QXYZ problems. There are human problems with symptoms that we identify by our effect on our lives individual. If you look no further than this, then this is all you will see. A vast see of disconnected victims. Each suffering because the world hates them, and is stacked against them specifically in malice and ignorance. If none of us look farther than our fury at our oppression, then we will institutionalize this view, and then sides will be drawn, and already the problem is unsolvable. If you do not agree wit h x, then, in the name of human rights, you are officially a racist, and a homophobe, and a denier of the worst kind.
If we divide, then do not stop arbitrarily at one demographic, one sweeping feature. To define by race or religion alone shows where your interests lay barely. Define totally. Distinguish every contour. Use this as a means of finding a solution, not shorthand reference so as to support the solution you’ve preferred. Measure and define each being down to their inherent particles, peel every genetic print, characterize every deviation from the “norm”, quantify the hues and tones, and value the experiences and their subjective meaning to you, and tell me you can still find a group in that whole mess. You can’t, save one. All that is.
The root causes of problems must be address. Discrimination is borne of ignorance and fear. I don’t like the other, whom I don’t understand, and so of whom I’ve made many spectres and ill omens. “They’re inherently prejudiced”, and I find my supporting evidence, and I make myself right. But I don’t address their fear. I build it up. I bark and say “accept me, you ignorant fool!” and I judge them as they do me, and I’m right to do so, ’cause they started it.
Laws exist to hold together a “civilization” despite this fear and ignorance. We do not bridge the differences, and we do not create in our media and education and tradition a satisfied, self-secure being. WE make a self-conscious, fearful, over-specialized one. Good at shopping and agreeably following the suggestions of emotional arguments presented by authority. We are right, in one calculation, that the problems are ingrained behaviours and cultural assumptions. But in every colour person, of every creed (including the skeptical and “Athiest”) and at every level of class. The mistake is shifting the blame to others.
We create the meaning in our lives. If I decide that the colour of my skin, and the successive traditions of my genetic and geographic relatives (however impertinent either may be to the reality of my life) are highly sacred, and condition myself to respond with massive indignance and hostility at their offense, then I will suffer of my own doing. If my whole group does so, then our children will likely know nothing else and persist the tradition. If our village is regularly raided and our temples burnt and desecrated, our people refused work for their strange beliefs, then we inevitably suffer for the loss and lack of resources, the malnutrition and discontent that will follow. But the tears we cry for our god and his shattered image in our heart, or for our ancestors and their inviolable sanctity, those are wound we inflict on ourselves.
To draw harder, thicker lines in our policies will only create more cracks for the in-betweeners to fall into. The rub is that we’re all in-betweeners. We have the social need for love, inclusion, and wanting to be like one another. Beautiful. Let us not allow this to create the division we seek to bind.
We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.