Thursday, January 30, 2020

Who are the racists?

Stories and News No. 1187
 
We are in the kitchen of a normal apartment, sheltered by a very ordinary door, maybe next to yours.
Inside there is a father and a son like many others.
Or perhaps, like some very precise ones, because of an overestimated crossing of lights and electromagnetic radiation called skin colour.
The two are at dinner. Mom is still at work, but she will be back soon and everything will be back in place.
In the meantime, the man does what he can.
"Dad?" Says the boy, ten years of curiosity and desire to go beyond the unspoken.
"Yes, Ephrem."
"Who are the racists?"
"We've already talked about it, I remember."
To be honest, the man is right, since the unavoidable topic had already been addressed some months ago. Blessed is the family that enjoys the benefit of postponing or even avoiding the most uncomfortable conversations.
"No, Dad, I'm not saying the meaning of racism, the other time you talked about it for an hour..."
"Sorry, but it's an important thing, right?"
"Yes, right, but... you know, when I’m out at school, on the basketball yard or at the park, well, there is a fact that I have not understood..."
"Ephrem", exclaims the father immediately attentive, finally giving up his fork. "Did something happen to you? Please, tell me..."
Also the child abandons his pasta and – a typical feature of his personal set of gestures, he frowns and crosses his arms on his chest in an almost adult way.
“I don't understand. Everyone, the teacher, the coach, even my classmates, movies and cartoons, the books that they make us read and those that you and mommy bought me, they all say that racism is a wrong thing, there those advertise too... those with good purpose..."
"Do you mean public service announcement?"
“Yes, and then there are also those videos with

actors, rock stars and even football players, they all seem to be against racism. So why are there still racists around? Who are them?"
The father is moved not by one, but a whole fleet of different and contrasting emotions and sensations. Among them, he is impressed and also proud of his son's depth of thought, but at the same time he is also frightened. Because if his test as a parent turns out to be like that when Ephrem is just ten years old, what will he be asked in the days to come?
Nonetheless, the man has a weapon to his advantage and it regards the presumed chromatic peculiarity mentioned above that he shares with his child. Despite at different times, he had the identical opportunity to confront the same doubts and after reflecting calmly he tries to answer in the least rhetorical possible way.
“You see, Ephrem, maybe you’re not going to hear what I am about to tell you, out of here. So, consider it as a sort of personal dictionary with which to identify people who – despite without openly confessing it, they discriminate others basing their beliefs on how they are made or what their origins are. As you have just explained, most of our fellow citizens hardly describe themselves as racist. Let’s say never, okay? But at the same time, often with pride, they admit it using other definitions. Well, many of the latter are just further ways to declare their racism without being criticized. "
"Can you give me some examples?"
"Examples?" Exclaims the man before letting out a short laugh escape. “I have plenty of them. You know, in this country, you can be nationalist but not fascist, secessionist but not necessarily patriotic, etc., but everyone has one thing in common. "
"Which one?"
“They are all racists, Ephrem, underneath, or in a perfectly consequential way. But they don't have enough courage or honesty to say it. Thus, they hide behind accepted and nowadays even praised words, despite the fact that in the past they have even been associated with terrible persons. "
"What words are you talking about, dad?"
What should be a normal speech of a father to his son, inevitably becomes a kind of heartfelt and very much attended outburst.
“I’m talking about the nationalist, who venerates borders and walls, with which to keep people necessarily different away from him. The so-called sovereignist, who obviously prefers the idea of being able to do what he wants within the shelter of the aforementioned lines on the map, or to behave with impunity as an intolerant towards foreigners. What is the identitarian, Ephrem, if not someone who has got an extreme need to catalog people basing on superficial and marginal criteria such as skin? What do you think the conservative wants to keep intact if not the right to feel superior to others? Just as the traditionalist would do everything to avoid losing his unjust birth privileges. The patriot stands as a bulwark of his land and State, but in reality he’s thinking about the favorite features he sees every day in the mirror. Not to mention the capitalist, who we could consider one of the founding fathers of racism, see the latter as one of his most successful tools to possess the goods and means that he has seized with a fraud called private property. And what about the nativist, the worshiper of the birth certificate as an element of distinction, that is, a racist on paper? Obviously, the authoritarian, who invokes the strong man who will allow him to insult and bully the people without legal permission. I could add, of course, fascist and dictatorial, colonialist and warmonger. They are all racists in complementary but coherent ways. But in your opinion, in our country, from who the secessionist wants to separate if not those whom he considers inferior? And the anti globalist? Do you think that that he wants to keep away Korean mobile phones and Japanese cars, or the wretched people that his own country he has contributed to making so? The isolationist will not close before great TV series or German beer, but only in front of the hand that rightly asks for help, if not restitution. This is where the protectionist was born, in the urgent need to assist the stolen goods. That's where the negationist and the revisionist come from, from the desire to hide their visceral racism exposed by history..."
Well, only at this point the father realizes that his son is having a hard time following him, even though at the beginning he understood the essence of his reasoning.
"Forgive me, Ephrem, I lost myself a little..."
"Yes, dad, almost like the last time," confirms the boy relaxing and showing an understanding smile. "When you talked for an hour."
At that moment they hear the beloved sound of the key. Good news, mom is back.
The woman enters the kitchen and after saying goodbye to both she notices an unexpected silence.
"Are you all right?" She asks curious.
"All right," replies Ephrem making everyone happy. "Dad just explained to me that there are many racists around us, but precisely since they are racists they are afraid to admit it and then they hide behind other words."
"Really?" Asks the woman to her husband with a doubtful expression.
"Almost", says the man fondling his son's curly head affectionately and with renewed pride. "But I hope one day to have his ease in understanding and above all telling things."


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