Thursday, November 14, 2019

The grammar of racism

Stories and News No. 1179
 
Kone Yossodjo is nineteen years old and today he runs.
He runs for his country, the new one, Spain. Which is also new, at least faster, if not better, also thanks to him.
Five years ago, Kone was forced to run not for something, but from.
From his own country, the old one, the Ivory Coast. Which, past or present, will also be his land forever, perhaps poorer and less fast, but that’t not his fault. And when surviving involves running away from something, of which one is completely innocent, what will come out from that will be good, and so for everyone.
Today he is a future star of athletics, in the largest and most populous nation of the Iberian peninsula. In the last year he has won 5 races out of 11 and is currently the absolute champion of the 5000 meters in Andalusia. The most surprisingly thing, not even a year after arriving in Spain, after being arrested and then transferred to a center for minors, he began to show all his talent, propelled by a magical and special wind that the chair judges could not detect, like many people from the atrophied human senses.

It's called hope, period. Without looking up or down, ready to take everything that will be there on arrival, as long as it is there.
In short, now he runs for his land and no longer from it.
I believe it took years, hard work and pain, sacrifices and unspeakable difficulties. And yet, on the safe side of the finish line, where most of the time we watch in the stands with our thumbs fond of the upside down position, we could really make the difference in a much more immediate time and, definitely, with much less effort.
We could just make a mere lexical conversion. It would be enough to change articles, pronouns and prepositions, simple or articulated.
For example, every now and then, we could stop talking about migrants and start communicating with them. And if any one of them should inevitably become the topic of our speeches, we should begin to say something about him, not before doing the best we can to know his personal story, instead of hastily putting him inside the usual macro faceless and rights-less category that as a society we have invented one of our worst days.
At that point, it would be clear to everyone how absurd and even stupid it is trying explain our opinion about the immigrants, since ‘them’ would no longer exist, but an indefinite number of lives each one different from the other, where everybody has got load of experiences distinct from the others, just like those who claim to grind them all together in their heads, and then, a second later, issue a quick, summary judgment.
Maybe, with a good dose of optimism, we could hope that at the dawn of the new day, observing the umpteenth ship packed with people, apparently merged with each other in a botched painting, where the colour of the skin would be the only shade that the brush of our impoverished imagination has been able to recognize, we will start to correct the grammar of racism.
Because choosing to engage with someone who needs our help does not mean being against everyone else. And if not even the logical analysis succeeds in making it understandable, let's try with humanity.
Let's try again, again, and again. Because as long as the Kone’s of this world won't surrender, well, maybe we won't have to do it either.


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