YOU AREN’T WHITE OR BLACK | You are human!

If you are familiar with history, you will readily agree with me that languages changes with time. The English we speak today wasn’t what was spoken by the ancient Anglo Saxons, it may shock you to know that what evolved to become the English language was a German-language dialect. The English language has continued to evolve with time, some words are regarded as Old English, some are regarded as archaic while the language itself has diversified to so many variants including American English, Australian English and so on. The Igbo language, for example, has undergone a lot of diversification that there are more than a hundred dialects of the same language to the extent that some Igbos will not understand themselves if they are all to communicate in their diverse dialects.

Just like what is going on with languages, traditions evolve and then dissolve, they come, they change and they go! People also change their nationality, I have Nigerian friends who are now Americans! It is also quite simple for one to transform into another race with the possibility of plastic surgery and some kind of genetic changes. People who feel they have problems with their gender have also tried changing theirs and become what they want!

But one thing is, with all these craze and fanaticism for change, there is something we cannot change no matter how we try, this thing is a mark that remains constant in every one of us regardless of the language we speak or the colour of our skin. It is our humanity! Whether you identify as Igbo, Hausa, Yoruba, American, Briton, Irish, Asian and so on, we all share humanity in common. Unlike we always think, humanity isn’t diverse, we are just the same! We share the same colour with different shades, we share the same shape with different variations and we are all human!

There is nothing cultural, ethnic, colour and linguistic about our blood. No matter how we wish for something different, we are the same. Our language and the idea of ethnicity is just mental programming. Inside of us, religion, race and language don’t exist. What seems to make us different is what has been planted in our mind.

“Unlike we always think, humanity isn’t diverse, we are just the same! We share the same colour with different shades”

When the kidney of a black man is transplanted into the body of a white man, it will still work perfectly fine! The kidney won’t change simply because the original owner and the current owner aren’t speaking the same language. An Indian can donate blood to a Chinese and it will still work fine! When all men are cut open, we won’t know the difference because inside of each man, there is only one identity which is “humanity.”

No matter how we try to protect our language and culture, maintain the things our ancestors and forefathers have handed over to us or make monuments of the ways of life developed and passed down to us as a heritage, we will truly lose them one way or another. Languages will fade away and evolve to something new. Latin came, it was powerful but Latin is gone! Look at the Ancient Hebrew, Aramaic, Greece, Celtic and so on… They are all gone. The Igbo language is dissolving and forming hundreds of languages and with time, just like Latin, it would go and may just be reserved by history and on the papers. The English language is changing; slangs are gaining official status, replacing some words and making them archaic.

“We can trick ourselves all we want into thinking that we are different but one thing we can never deny about ourselves is that we are human.”

We can trick ourselves all we want into thinking that we are different but one thing we can never deny about ourselves is that we are human. Whether transgender or homosexual, it doesn’t change anyone’s humanity. Humanity is a touch of God that can never be wiped away! Apes may look like humans but no matter how they are shaved, dressed, trained or made up, they can never be mistaken for humans. There isn’t anything like American water or Nigerian air! There isn’t anything like the British cloud or Chinese stones, the atmosphere may change with the rotation of the earth, we may stay at different times and different seasons but we are still human! This is why a Nigerian can migrate into the United States and become a citizen! Today, migrants are also serving in leadership positions in other countries; this is because they have broken the barriers of language and culture.

We may be trained and groomed to speak different languages, we are raised to get used to different foods and follow diverse religious paths, we may see things differently because of our backgrounds but always remember that you can train yourself beyond what you have been trained into! You can get yourself to understand that we are humans regardless of what we were born into. This is why it is wrong to hate other people because they seem to speak a different language or possess a different shade of the same colour! You were made to believe that you are Igbo, Hausa, Yoruba, American, British and so on but we all share the major thing in common! We share humanity in common.

The kidney of an Ape cannot replace that of a human because we aren’t the same. The Lion may be called a Cat but it is not compatible with the Pussy cat, they cannot cohabit! A Chinese and a Nigerian can have babies even without understanding themselves, they can make babies at first sight! Why? We all share the same body language, we all share the same emotional expressions and we all share the same emotional desires. Without language, we may even know when another person needs to be cared for, touched and hugged! This is because we are human!

“we may see things differently because of our backgrounds but always remember that you can train yourself beyond what you have been trained into!”

Why don’t we forget these labels that our fathers have locked us into? Why don’t we forget the identity we have been forced into? The Bible says “in Christ Jesus, there is neither Jew nor Gentile, male nor female, we are one!” Why must we keep discriminating people based on their skin type, gender or ethnicity? Personally, as someone who was born into an Igbo family, I have received from others! I have received love from even people I have never met before who aren’t Igbos.

Cunning people aren’t cunning because they are Igbos, they are cunning because they are cunning. Hypocrites aren’t hypocrites because they are Yorubas, they are hypocrites because they are hypocrites! Terrorists aren’t terrorists because they are Hausas or Fulanis, they are terrorists because they are terrorists. Some people behave the way they do not because this is who they are but because this is what their culture and biases propel them to do but they can be better if they want! Don’t group people and judge their characters as the same. We are what we want to be and we become what we learn to become.

Beyond what religion, ethnicity and cultures have twisted us to become, we are humans and we can learn to live true to our humanity before considering other factors. We can learn to walk out of those religious and cultural enclaves and live as humans, we can learn that people aren’t good or bad based on their ethnicity and we can learn that we shouldn’t frown at our children again when they say they want to marry someone who wasn’t born into the kind of life they were born into.

“Beyond what religion, ethnicity and cultures have twisted us to become, we are humans and we can learn to live true to our humanity”

I was born into an Igbo family, I inherited a skin tone from my parents and these shades are just designs. Just as there are white and black variants of our favourite phones! They may be diverse colours but have the same function and capacity. I have chosen to identify with humanity rather just stick myself only to those who speak the kind of language I speak, eat the kind of food I eat and dance the kind of dance I dance, I have chosen to be human first. I may be partial sometimes with my first family because I am not perfect, there may be times I am tempted to fall off the cliff but this is my desire and my pledge, to love and respect others regardless of who they are. It is also an obvious truth that charity begins at home but that charity doesn’t stay at home only, it flows down to our neighbours! My choice of friends, marriage and so on isn’t based on these labels we found ourselves in; it isn’t even based on other barriers like being a single mother! I am a human first and a human second! God didn’t call us Igbos are Hausas, He didn’t call us white or blacks, He called us human! (Genesis 5:2)

Our languages, shades of colour and culture are only meant to tell a story of how we all came into the geographical locations where we found ourselves; it isn’t meant to keep us there forever! It isn’t meat to define who we truly are. My language can tell you the part of the world I started my earthly journey, my faith (religion) can tell you the perspective with which I see life. My skin colour can tell you the part of the world I originated from but these things can never tell you who I am.

“Just as the mistakes of my forefathers aren’t mine, their life choices aren’t mine and can’t be imposed on me!”

Just as the mistakes of my forefathers aren’t mine, their life choices aren’t mine and can’t be imposed on me! They lived their life the way they thought it was the best and I am living my life the way I think it to be the best. They lived in the past but I live in the now, their story isn’t my story, and the world won’t get better by sticking to the choices of imperfect people just because they came before us! We can get better by looking at the mistakes they made and avoiding to make it, by observing the world and its need and by understanding that we can choose to live in peace among all men.

When I wrong you, don’t judge every other person who speaks my language based on my efforts, don’t look down on everyone whose skin and hair is like mine based on my efforts. If I am wrong, I am the wrong one… Judge me and leave others out of it. After all, I stopped being Igbo at heart and started being human. Forget what my documents say, they are for official purposes; I am telling you who I am now.

“When I wrong you, don’t judge every other person who speaks my language based on my efforts, don’t look down on everyone whose skin and hair is like mine based on my efforts.”

My name is George, I am first of all human and the second isn’t anything less.

~ George O.N