It is an old saying, ‘ Do not judge a book by its cover’. I always grew up believing that. But I think, time and again, we always come across instances in daily life where we end up judging people based on their appearance. And the worst instance is when one is judged racially.
The latest happening of this type occurred in my own city- Dubai. Apparently a Black businesswoman was refused entry in the Movenpick Hotel Jumeirah Beach because she was misjudged as a prostitute. I was appalled to learn that it was not because of her clothes or her mannerism but her ‘skin colour’ that led to the misconception. Once the hotel staff realized who she really was, they apologized profusely and explained that earlier that night, some black women were trying to solicit their visitors. And naturally, they thought she belonged to the same crowd because well, she was a black too.
Such instances are a rarity in this part of the world but when they do happen, one realizes that the world still is filled with narrow-minded, racist jerks who haughtily flaunt their God-given fair skin and are critical of those who have a darker shade. I personally know a relative (and I am ashamed at her for this) who used to treat her house servant to the likes of an untouchable. She would re-wash the dishes the maid had already washed and then eat. She would not allow the maid to touch her baby kid. I felt very disgusted and saddened to see that my cousin, who is such a sweetheart with everyone could be so heartbreaking too.
Not only the whites, even the browns mock and ridicule the blacks. It is so absurd considering the fact that firstly being black, brown or white is not really a matter of one’s choice. Blinded by progressive science and technologies, I think we have forgotten that many prevailing issues are still beyond the capability of humans. And I also fail to understand how the percentage of melanin in one’s body determine their levels of intellect, superiority and greatness.
Years after condemnation of apartheid, years after Nelson Mandela’s efforts to reform the system, we realize that there still might be a long way to go. We realize that for some, respect does not come easy. It still needs to be fought for.