Hey Donald, Diversity is Beautiful

In the roughly translated words of Leopold Sedar Senghor, a Senegalese poet, cultural theorist and founding president of the West African nation, “Racists are people who have mistaken their anger.” I am sure these words came from the certainty that no one is born with hatred towards other humans. I am quite convinced that Senghor understood that hate was developed and learned. In this way, it is not only plausible but also very understandable that when a person is faced with an angering issue, he or she will look for answers outside of those issues. If the blame is then put on anything or anyone, then that anger will be immediately diverted unto the new found catalyst.

In times of trials and tribulations, it becomes difficult to think straight or rationally in order to evaluate the accuracy of a problem. However, this shouldn’t mean that we are limited to this binary way of looking at our situation as though we are incapacitated when faced with anger and various other emotions. It could then be interesting to see if the root cause of our problems is in truth the cause of our tribulations and evaluate whether or not the source of the information isn’t biased. Right?

For example, imagine the extent to which Donald J. Trump’s campaign has impacted the United States and the effect on its image for anyone watching from outside. In truth, the ones who actually believe that the actual financial and social problems the US faces are caused by immigrants as he lavishly presented it multiple times throughout his campaign are very few. A recent study showed that Trump only made it this far not because of racial animosity but because his supporters felt strongly against some liberal stands of Democrats. Unfortunately, because of his imprudent and loud comments many believe that his entire party and all of his followers are unexceptionally racist, which isn’t completely true. Isn’t generalising also and imprudent decision to make this assumption? I bring this up not only because it is a current issue but a perfect example for the aforementioned deferred anger. That being said, if we believe that we can all learn to be in control of our anger and train ourselves to think rationally and evaluate situations objectively then we can avoid projected anger – can we not?

Going back to the initial idea though, following this understanding and coming from a genuine belief that all humans are generally good, we might be able to agree that we can enjoy each other’s differences. Senghor, has also said something along the lines of the riches that diversity brings. In truth, where would the beauty in exact replicas in all things living be? Isn’t what makes our Earth what it is, the variety of fauna and flora? Had it only been one type of flower or one type of animal, what would we have known.

The learning possibilities are endless as soon as we choose to embrace them. The bountiful number of cultures, traditions and customs we can learn from can expand our minds as well as our understandings both of our world and of others. After thinking about what diversity really means, I came to a conclusion. It isn’t simply about saying that we accept the ‘different’. It is obviously senseless to state such a fact and not live by it. I say this because sometimes we accept others for what we like and when there is something we dislike we don’t tolerate them anymore. Don’t get me wrong, we shouldn’t tolerate everything especially if they can put our lives in danger. I am talking about simple religious, racial, cultural and gender differences.

How keen can we get when it comes to introducing others, mostly visiting tourists, to our culture? Don’t we make them try the various foods, religious ceremonies, music, dances and make them see the different traditional clothing attires? Are we in a position to say that we can say the same about ourselves when it comes to others? Can we start by taking a sincere interest in the cultures, music, food and clothing of others? I mean after all we have over two hundred countries in the world without even counting the different ethnic groups within each so how else can we live harmoniously if we cannot see the beauty in our diversity?


By Christine Yohannes
Christine Yohannes writes about social change, performs at public events and conducts poetry workshops in schools. She has established a monthly event entitled

Published on Nov 01,2016 [ Vol 17 ,No 861]



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