Some people believe we do not live in a racist society. In fact I did not even want to title this “Raism” because it sounds so harsh. I want to make it softer. But Rasicm is not soft. It is harsh and it is alive and well. Some people believe that there is not discrimination. Some people believe that everyone is treated equally and has equal opportunity. Being an American in Africa has proven this to be false, over and over again. I wrote about this a few days ago in a blog titled “Americans”.
There is discrimination against poor people, sick people, gay people, handicap people, women, different religions. It is all there. Alive and well. And you are lying to yourself if you believe that everyone has the same opportunities. And that everyone can succeed if they just try hard enough.
Here is what happened at the Entebbe airport yesterday when we arrived in Uganda. We went through the visa line, we got our luggage, we filled two carts. Jill was pushing one, I was walking closely behind her pulling a carry on and Adey was behind me pushing a cart. There is a check point at which luggage can be pulled aside to go through an x-ray machine. We stopped and the guard waved us on. But he stopped Adey and pointed to the machine. So we all started moving that way. Again he waved me and Jill on. We said “She is a part of our group”. He looked at us. He looked at her. He frowned and he decided to wave her through. Adey, a professional, beautiful woman, an Ethiopian in Uganda, was treated differently than 2 white people at the same time by the same person.
This is our world. A while later we were driving in the car and the song “We are the world” came on. Ideals being played loudly through song, but still not being lived out.