Despite of the numerous claims that racism and discrimination is not part of the American community today, racism still exists and flourishes. The autobiography of Kola Boof titled “Diary of a Lost Girl” is the perfect example of modern day racism. Kola Boof, the Sudanese woman, tells the story of her life, about the death of her parents, slavery in Sudan, and hopes for better discrimination-free future. In her book Kola has managed to touch a very disturbing topic – modern racism.
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Notably, the book is not about the racism of white people against black people, it is about discrimination of black women by black men. Even though it is hard to believe, slavery is very common in many parts of the world. People live without any rights, freedoms and are not able to change anything in their lives. Black people are openly oppressed in Sudan and are denied any rights. As Kola writes, her grandmother rejected her only because she was too black, she saw the murder of her parents, became the porn star, was the mistress to Osama bin Laden, and finally settled down to raise her sons. Kola’s life was difficult, but she managed to guide her own life, to challenge existing rules, and to face racism with protest.
Racism is one of the topics which is not openly discussed in American society, not because it is forbidden, but because Americans seem not to notice its presence in everyday situations. Discrimination, according to the American legislation, is the crime, and people cannot be denied freedoms, rights and opportunities based on skin color or ethnic origin. Nevertheless, society stereotypes other nations and attributes specific characteristics to different nationalities. For example, the global community thinks that every Russian drinks vodka instead of water, that every Arabian person hates American nations, and that women in India have no right to choose their husbands. As the result, these stereotypes influence the attitude of people to representatives of these nations. Attitude shaped by stereotypes is the pure racism.
Kola’s book is referred to as the story of survival. It would be unwise to reject this reference. Kola told her story openly and honestly, without caring about the public opinion, about the reaction of Muslim community and American society. Racism does not seem to be the central theme of the book, but it is present in every single line of her story. For example, she writes that even in her country of origin, Sudan, black males desire to marry women with lighter skin because they are considered to be more prestigious partners (Boof 2006). This is another form of racism, attitude shaped by the cultural stereotypes imposed by the community.
Kola Boof survived rape, murder of her parents, rejection my family members, and beatings. Her father was killed because he spoke against slavery and racism. Kola has no intention to be silent and her book is the open protest against existing practices and discrimination in modern world. Racism must not be tolerated and the book of Kola has become the guide, the true story of modern day racism. She shows the true life, not the one presented in movies or taught in schools, but the real life of the black woman in black society and American community and the modern racism and pressure in Arabian countries. Racism exists, even though the global society refuses to accept this fact and continues believing that our world is free of discrimination and that all people have equal rights.
Racism has the long history and even though it was not always marked as racism, discriminatory practices were very common. Recalling the Biblical story of Jews in Egypt, their subordinate position as slaves and their rescue by Moses, it is justifiable to say that this historical episode deals with racism and fighting against it. Jews were enslaved only for having ethnic origin distinct from Egyptian. However, they did not give up and left the country in the search of their new home. The story of Kola’s life is analogy of Biblical passage. She also did not give up and went to United States in the hope to find peace and fair treatment.
World War II was also led by racism. Hitler was the powerful leader and he managed to convince the German nation that it was the superior nation and deserved better treatment. The war was started with the desire to enslave the world and show the global community who had the right to guide their lives. In the result, hundreds of thousands people have died for racism believes and even more died in the fight against it. Fortunately, Hitler was not the winner. Racism was the leading idea beneath terrorists’ attack on September 11 when the group of people decided that American nation did not deserve to prosper. They were led by the desire to show the whole world that American nation is weak and vulnerable. They chose American nation because from early years of schooling they are taught that United States is the country of devil.
Kola’s book is autobiography, however, it is not only about author’s life, it is about current ethical problems of modern world. Kola describes different episodes from her life while at the same time she leads the reader to think about the life of global society, ethnical differences and causes of racism. It is worth to note that most of the communities would agree that racism is unethical and wrong in its essence. Nevertheless, there are many communities in which racism is openly practiced and supported. Can the attitude be changed? Probably no, because racism is taught and is the foundation of many cultures. However, it does not mean that the global society should accept racism as cultural norm; community should fight against it, just as Kola Boof does.—————————————————————————–
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