Hitler and the Jews, Apartheid in South Africa all conflicts that originated from some sort of racism. Turmoil in Ireland, war in kosovo all ethnic conflicts. Ever since the beginning of time people have been plagued by racism and ethnic conflicts due to minor differences ranging from religion to appearances. When we talk about racism we think of discrimination and prejudice based on race and when we hear ethnic conflict we think of conflict and turmoil within a race. We see that these two words have obvious differences but, what we should note is the amount of pain and senseless suffering they can bear.
Just recently this year, we were confronted by the crisis in Kosovo, a conflict fueled by political differences. During this conflict the Serbians were accused of genocide, after they killed 200 or more Ethnic Albanians. A few years ago we saw the gruesome effects that apartheid had on the people of South Africa; when the government forced the segregation of the black and colored population from the white population and in which many black and non-white South Africans lost there life for protesting. Effects that can still be seen even today. A conflict that was based merely upon the color of one s skin. Apartheid lasted from 1948 through the early 1990 s and can be one the worst cases ever documented. The death toll that came from this conflict was staggering.
Why? is the question that is usually asked. We hear the reasons all the time. If its not political or religious its either ones appearance or skin color which is just plain old racism but, why is not really the question the question is why would people make their differences lead to so much pain? The answer is simple, its fear. Not the same fear we feel when the lights go out or the same fear we feel when we see a really big dog. It s the fear of not knowing what to expect, it s the fear of change.
We see this fear in the history of the United States with the treatment of the black slaves after they were set free, mostly when they were given the right to vote. They were discouraged, attacked and cheated out of there right to vote. All this effort because of fear, fear of not knowing what it would be like to live in a country where black people had a say in how it was run. We saw it in Germany with the Holocaust, the killing of thousands of Jews just because the Germans were afraid of seeing the Jews; people of another race live on the same economic level as them.
If we look as far back in our history as our history books allow us to, we see that Human beings have suffered from this fear of change for a very long time. If the Earth could speak it would tell us of many conflicts that have occurred all because of the fear of change. We see that many if not all of the conflicts were fueled by some kind of racism, ranging from religion to ones appearance. Even though many people think that we have come a long way in our world today it can still be seen that the human race has only just begun and that we have a long way to go.
Further more it is hard to believe that in this day and age on the verge of a new millenium that this world is still plagued by racism and ethnic conflicts. It seems that as long as Humans can t learn to overcome there fear of change that the world will not see an end to the bloodshed that is caused by racism and ethnic conflict. We will not get to see the better and brighter world that so many of us dream about but in reality are not working towards.
In conclusion, we see how much pain, suffering and bloodshed that a racism and ethnic conflict has caused. We also see how much weight a simple emotion as fear can carry. We see the obvious difference racism and ethnic conflict has, but we also see the awful similarities that they have. We know why it exists and how to solve the problem but does the solution out weigh the means? Is the solution that hard to accept? Is it worth seeing the loss of human life? Is there an answer?