I’ve recently come to the conclusion that racism in itself is an illusion of superiority, obviously, that’s what everyone believes it is, but the reality is it’s the opposite of empowering to the racist party itself. The “White power” movement is very strong in certain areas of the world, and the most common type of propaganda perpetrated by them is against people of African origins, though, not limited to them. I’ve realized that in and out of itself being racist against a certain group shows a certain insecurity to one’s own race, as most of the propaganda shows black people with large penises and unrealistic level of idiocy. Much like a bully on the playground, this hatred might present itself as a form of dominance, but is a rather an insecure and sort of tribute to the perpetrator’s respect towards the people they “hate”. However, on the other end of the spectrum, as I’ve witnessed in Australia is a much more destructive and systematic form of racism. Aborigines in Australia are allowed a certain degree of leniency based on their race and right to ownership of the country in the sense that they receive welfare and certain superiority in the eyes of the law. This in itself, I believe, is a very destructive mentality, allowing them to be lazy and live a life of their own choosing with little to no repercussions. The larger portion of society would jump at a chance of a life where they have to do little to no work, and simply enjoy their life on a daily basis, resulting in a strong form of societal oppression, as they have no need for the institutionalized means to achieve their own cultural goals, completely disconnecting them from the majority of society, creating a minority on the basis of race. To truly achieve equality of any sense, I think both modes of racism should be made clear to the societies they are in. Direct, physical and ideological racism is the lesser devil, especially since the direct harms are obvious in the actions and can be limited by society and/or the Law. But when the Law itself creates a more racist and biased form of destruction that works on a slow and steady route, there is little that can be done by society to fight against it, especially if it creates the illusion of superiority towards the minority that is being subjugated.
Renting out an apartment is a complex mixture of social dynamics, barter, charisma and language. Saudi Arabia is one of the countries where selling, buying and renting is written in the genetic code of the culture. Today, a future prospect of a tenant was provided to us by the man that washes our car, along with many others to make a living; a Bengali middle aged man trying to make a living. The man wishing to rent was a Pakistani family man. As per normal, I extended my hand to shake theirs, only to be returned with a limp hand and a surprised look on their face. I felt as if I had made a mistake shaking hands with them, as if the culture calls for something other than a hand shake in these situations. While showing them around the apartment I realized that I hadn’t made a mistake, rather an act of kindness in their eyes. After finishing, I shook hands with them once again, this time however, the future tenant had a firm handshake, while the broker was still surprised by the act. After a talk with my father about what I had seen, it was made apparent to me, that Saudi’s in general do not shake hands with expats, seeing them as lesser men. This came as no shock to me, but it made it no less disgusting. I’m happy knowing I showed a man that he is no lesser than I am because of my country of birth, or my birth parents. It makes sense knowing that people who do not touch, are bound to have a gap in their understanding of each other. I must add that this is not racism, maybe not even culturalism, rather classism at it’s best. It’s a truly sad thought, knowing that in 2014 we still maintain the mentality someone can be better than another person simply because of their heritage and amounts of money they are capable of making due to their racial and geographical background.
Tl;dr Saudi’s don’t shake hands with expats, they’re better than that.