Labels…I associate labels with products; you know ‘organic’ food, ‘healthy’ food, ‘sweet’ food, or ‘petite’ clothing, ‘maternity’ clothing; the list goes on…
However, it seems as though labels have become more than just informing you what kind of product you’re buying. Labels now apply to people. Now it’s black, white, yellow, red-head, Muslim, Orthodox, Catholic, Jewish, fat, skinny, tall, short, academically-challenged, homeless, Gay, Asian, Arab, African….once again the list goes on.
I’ll be honest, before I watched the video below, I knew there were human labels, but I wasn’t aware of how much we indirectly use them.
Now the first thing that is discussed when an incident happens somewhere in the world is, ‘Oh is he black? Yeah he probably grew up in the streets’ or ‘I knew it, he was Muslim, they’ve all become so radicalised now’. It’s become second nature to associate a label with a human. Honestly what does it matter, what religion or ethnicity the criminal came from? He/she is a criminal, that’s the only label that can be given (ironic huh?).
We all know that no baby is born racist. When they grow up old enough to crawl or walk, they don’t run away from a baby that has a different skin colour to them. SOCIETY teaches them to be afraid, SOCIETY gives US labels, WE… give each other labels.
Nowadays when you’re walking in public and see a big guy with tattoos, we immediately think ‘ he’s probably part of a gang’ or if we see a woman covered head to toe we think ‘she’s oppressed’ or when we see a down syndrome individual we think ‘oh he’s disabled’ and when we see an individual dressed all in black we think ‘he’s a depressed goth’. Tell me, when you were in pre-school did you see anyone different to the other? Did you separate people into groups? No! Media taught us that eventually.
Labels create nothing but conflict, they are one of the main reasons why feminism, classism, sexism, racism and every other ‘ism’ exists. If we didn’t create labels, wars wouldn’t exist, we wouldn’t be in an ‘us against them’ situation.
You may choose to be ignorant about this, “because the truth can be denied, not avoided”, whether you like it or not, you’re guilty of this, and so am I. That does not mean that we continue with our mistakes, because that’s ‘what everyone else does’.
Let me draw a picture for you, have you ever thought about how people are labelling you? How would you feel if you were labelled a word that doesn’t represent at all who you are?
If you’ve been a victim of open labelling, don’t let that form your personality. Labels mean nothing! Labels are for objects, YOU are not an object, THEY are not an object, WE are NOT an object. WE are HUMAN, that have mixed genetics. No word defines who you are.
So no more saying ‘That’s how we black people do it’ or ‘That’s so white’ or ‘What a Jew’ or ‘He’s probably a terrorist’; none of that, because what good does that do to you? All that does is create an invisible barrier between you and the next person.
So next time you question why there isn’t peace in this world yet, remember labels have played a big part in everyone’s life.