I confess that sometimes I just don’t understand this world we live in.
We clap and cheer technological innovations every year. Yet centuries have passed but no “innovation” seems to have been made in the area of overthrowing bigotry, racism, and xenophobia!
C’mon World! What gives?!!
Just look at the endless examples in these recent months of the Covid-19 pandemic. Ugly, horrific, jaw-dropping examples of one dominant race lording it over another that’s too small in numbers and voice to be able to defend themselves.
And in many instances, there wasn’t even a case for the hapless victims to defend, since the problem these racists accused them of was completely baseless. Like wrongfully accusing and then cruelly beating up an ethnic Chinese Singaporean and her Malaysian friend in Melbourne of bringing the Covid-19 virus from China to Australia!
Quite frankly it wreaks of hypocrisy and senseless bigotry, and I blame us all for it.
Why are we patting the backs of the likes of the Elon Musks, Jeff Bezos, Steve Jobs, Jack Mas, etc, of the world? All they did was innovate and invent devices that dull our minds, blur our eyes, and handcuff us to laziness and convenience. All the more so they can line their already bulging wallets even more, and elevate themselves from the reality the rest of us face daily.
The rest of us who aren’t “good” enough.
Who aren’t “white”, “black”, “brown”, or “yellow” enough.
The truth today is that it’s not just the white people who behave badly towards the rest of the world. It’s every “color” of people who’s more numerous than another in any geographical location on God’s green earth! At some point, each race would display the same kind of bigoted cruelty towards the “lesser colors” in their immediate vicinity. We can daily read about these examples in the news and on social media.
I think the time has come for mankind to redirect our resources away from merely reinventing the next iPhone (with what is probably just incremental improvements in function and versatility anyway). Or the next self-driving electric car. Or whatever wow device or gadget people crave.
As Shira Ovide aptly wrote in the New York Times recently, tech won’t save us, but people will!
I mean, what’s really all that tech innovation worth at the end of the day? If people around the world still refuse to treat others who are ‘different’ from them with basic decent respect, welcome and kindness, then what good is having all these nifty gadgets?
We as a human race should work harder to weed out this age-old problem of xenophobia once and for all. Let’s put our collective hands to the plow and seek innovative ways to eliminate this blight in our human history.
And it doesn’t require an Einstein-ian brain either.
For a start, each of us can individually step out of our comfort zone to get to know someone in our community that’s not from our usual social circle. Find out more about his or her culture and practices.
If no such person exists in your immediate vicinity, expand your search. Better still, move somewhere else where you can find him/her/them (Of course please only do this when restrictive measures in your home country have been eased).
It’s not impossible. Really.
And thanks to Covid-19, we now have a greater awareness of xenophobia’s wide-scale damage and repercussion. And we have the collective willpower, prompted by the cruel loss of (to date) over 220,000 lives to a virus that is “color-blind”, to try and save more lives.
I mean we did put a man on the moon, right? So why not put ourselves in another’s shoes right here on earth? Why not work on figuring out how to stop all these senseless mistreatments of each other?
Just because we’re scared of the unknown? Just because we’re more self-centered and selfish now, during a pandemic like this Covid-19? A crisis that’s gotten the whole world in a heightened state of fear and suspicion?
C’mon World! We can do better!!
To me, the full elimination of xenophobia in our lifetime would be the greatest “innovation” and legacy we could bequeath to future generations.
Who’s with me?