By Mohd Haroon, The Stateless Rohingya
Racism built people into a society that was set up into self-destruction so that the builder can look for perpetual ruling. It was the way we have seen a long history of racism in a thinly veiled disguise over large and unaccounted overseas bank accounts and power by successive military generals in Myanmar. The military- made racism not only oppresses its victims of all minorities particularly Rohingyas, but also blinds the oppressors, who sear their consciences with more and more lies until they become prisoners of those lies. They cannot face the truth of human equality because it reveals the horror of the injustices they commit. In this paradigm, Aung San Suu Kyi, because of her inability to reign in the military and thus turns a blind eye to, is caught as a silent oppressor. As food for the racism to keep going the military’s secret and as an arm’s length association with the bigotry Ma Ba Tha, empowered the latter to preach injustice and violence in Arakan to sweep tragic harvest of numerous disappointments and deaths among Rohingyas.
Until the philosophy which holds one race superior and another inferior is finally and permanently discredited, the endless unnecessary wars raging across Arakan, Nagaland, Kachin, Shan, Mon, Karen will not simply go away which would in turn keep shackling Myanmar’s society with never-ending misery.
We cannot reform institutionalized racism and systemic policies if all stake holders are not positively engaged. First, the military should be forced to change their mind for greater good for the motherland, must go back to the barrack and then there wouldn’t be a need for religion to mingle with politics, thereby creating channels for justice needed to give rise to the society we would like to see, one where we are all equal under the law. Certainly, we can end racism with love and compassion for human lives. We can demand that NLD government change its emphasis on minority and racial distinction.
On Myanmar conundrum, Mr. Kofi Annan, a world class problem solver proposed a solution on a similar ground;” Ignorance and prejudice are the handmaidens of propaganda. Our mission, therefore, is to confront ignorance with tolerance, and isolation with outstretched hand of generosity and acceptance. Racism can, will and must be defeated.”
Then, all the races in Myanmar together will have a chance to focus, work on reinforcing the elements of love and compassion on the universal human psyche. Now is the time when we must dissent from the indifference. We must dissent from the apathy. We must dissent from the fear, the hatred and the mistrust. We must dissent because Myanmar can do better, because Myanmar has no choice but to do better.