How can these seemingly unrelated concepts have anything in common?
The Central African Republic continues to boil before the eyes of the whole world. Most recently, Salih Dido, who was the Deputy Mayor in the city of Mbaiki was murdered as a large crowd of witnesses watched the incident unfold.
His neighbors and bystanders didn't intervene to stop the outrageous act when 100 people raided Dido’s house, because they were too afraid of any response by racist gangs that claimed to be Christians.
This is a significant example that shows what racist violence is capable of: However, the situation is not very different in other countries and more importantly, racist incidents are now common in almost every area.
The situation is so grim now, it is now not surprising to see racism rearing its ugly head during football games. Most recently, UEFA started an investigation into a Spanish football club, after it was alleged that they carried out racist acts. UEFA also fined some Serbian, Russian and some teams from the southern part of Cyprus due to such acts.
In Brazil, young people of African descent coming from poorer parts of the city called ‘Favelas’ were banned from entering the shopping malls because they looked ‘suspicious’.
To sum it up, xenophobia and hate crimes are rising at an alarming rate in many countries of the world, and particularly in Germany, Norway, Sweden and Brazil.
Many believe that prejudice and anti-immigrant propaganda are fuelling racist sentiments and German Internal Affairs Minister Thomas de Maiziere agrees:
''We need the minds and hearts to be more open. We go to Turkish grocery stores and love the Anatolian food, but when there is a problem, the prejudices come out. We want everyone to live safely in this country.''
Since the general consensus is that prejudice leads to xenophobia and discrimination, the first step should be eliminating prejudicial attitudes.
The media can play a huge role in achieving this.
Racism and the media
The media’s role was widely discussed after Anders Behring Breivik brutally slaughtered 77 people in Norway in 2011.
Some media outlets immediately reported news about the Breivik trial to the rest of the world with the pretense of being a ‘free media’, but what they did in truth was –maybe unknowingly- fostering racist fascism and violence.
Although Breivik is clearly a psychopathic murderer, he was hailed a hero by racist and fascist groups that are hostile to Muslims and immigrants. His hateful manifesto (one he largely copied and pasted from an earlier anarcho-primitivist) was published by thousands of websites.
His pictures, speeches, videos and generally racist disposition during the trial, were enthusiastically followed and spread by various European fascists.
This large-scale propaganda emboldened and inspired racists and fascists in Europe and elsewhere in the world.
It is for this reason the media has to carefully avoid publicizing or spreading any news that could amount to fascist propaganda, or could incite hatred.
Everyone should do something to rid the world from the clutches of racism
In addition to social life, politics can also be sometimes used to generate a hateful attitude, which has been a common phenomenon lately.
Given the diversity and intensity of fascist propaganda, it becomes even more important to counter fascist ideas and explain why prejudice is wrong. To summarize the steps that can be taken:
- Statements of violent people that enjoy bloodshed should not be published by the media.
- The trials of such people should be held closed to the media and concluded swiftly to punish the perpetrators.
- The media should not allow itself to be used as a propaganda tool by monsters to advertise their dark worldview or get their hateful messages across. Everyone should act responsibly and decisively regarding this.
- Governments and politicians should show a determined stance against all forms of hateful recourse and racist attacks.
- And needless to say, legal responses should be stricter.
However, the most important step is doubtlessly taking preemptive action, which is wiping out racism through education.
Nipping it in the bud
The basic thing about intolerant, judgmental and bigoted people is that they invariably have predisposed ideas that they simply haven’t given much thought to.
These prejudices naturally cause them to disdain, reject or discriminate against others, which fuels even more violence and hatred. These prejudices are the root causes of racism.
The only way to reclaim the people who were lost because of an education system that told them they are animals, and deprived them of their spiritual values, would be through education.
Education should not be about only giving technical facts; it should incorporate an infusion of spiritual values.
People need to be shown that human beings bear souls, therefore they are valuable and that their ethnicities, skin colors or other physical attributes are wholly unimportant and the only thing that is important is their character and soul, and that they deserve respect as a result.
Only in this way can racism be curbed and the problem quashed before it turns into something bigger; otherwise the pain and suffering caused by future atrocities will continue to grow unabated.
Sayın Adnan Oktar's piece on News Rescue: