Whenever I do a 3Talk TV interview on racism I seem to act as a magnet for white supremacists who email to regale me of the innate inferiority of black people. They seem to forget that I am a Jew which means I’m likely to be “miserly” with my support for the race-based pseudoscience used to justify the murder of six million of my tribe.

Here is the real science: any non-physical differences are almost certainly cultural, but there are far bigger differences within racial groups than there are between them. You don’t need science to prove that. Just look around you and you’ll see that you can have more in common with a person from another race than a person from your own. That certainly was true for Barack Obama’s parents.

Yes, blacks may be over-represented in the performing arts and whites may be overrepresented in mathematics but there are many great white performing artists and many great black mathematicians, proving that these differences are not racially bound. Just look around you and you’ll see that evil, stupidity and racism have no color. Genius, ability and virtue have no color. Actually there really is only one race – the human race.

In my personal development novel, Quest, Inc. Dr. Carter King puts it like this:

“Frank, do you really believe that God made a terrible mistake when he brought an entire group of people into the world?”

I too have suffered from that mental disability called racism. It’s easy to mistake colour for something more. Growing up in segregated South Africa I remember a teacher telling us that the single biggest difference between people was their race. I believed her. I’ll let my book, Quest, Inc. express what I finally realized when I attended an integrated university.

If anyone had told Frank he was about to go into a room full of black people and, within a short time, he would forget that they were black, he would have thought them a liar. Yet that was exactly what happened. The color of Marvin’s skin became about as interesting as the color of his socks. What really grabbed Frank’s attention was not what he looked like, but what he said, not what he was, but who he was. Up until that moment, it had never occurred to Frank that he might have more in common with one black man than he did with many white men.

Perhaps we are evolutionarily programed to seek a group identity, to exalt in “Us” and diminish or at least be suspicious of “Them”. But can we really draw pride in a group identity that we didn’t choose? I am a white, male, heterosexual, Jewish, South African. That’s what I was born. Nothing in that list was earned. The difference we make is not in our tribal affiliation but in how we make the world a better place. Judge me on my actions and I’ll be sure to do the same for you.

What’s your quest?


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