We as a whole as people, when will we stop putting labels? will stereotypes ever end?

I think about all this a lot and I have lived through unfortunate situations in which skin color was discussed for labeling. I have to tell you this story, where I live there is a man from China who has been living there for a couple of years, I met him once and we talked and he told me that he was dedicated to video games, over time I discovered that what he called video games are slot machines (I don’t comment anything else if we take into account the country we are in).

Anyway, one day he decided to go to the center, Mama Kevina Hope Centre, to ask Sister Elizabeth (the sister who manages the center) if I wanted to live with him since he had a big house and I didn’t want to see it so empty but of course he wanted a European (Mzungu as they call us here, another label…) since Africans are bad and he is afraid.

As I write this my blood is burning… the fact is that he came back to talk to me and I could only tell him that there were also bad Mzungus and that generalizing seemed horrible to me, and even more to make this type of comments when he is going to be accompanied by two African people and having Sister Elizabeth present in the conversation. I found it so unpleasant and such a lack of education that you can’t imagine it. And when he leaves he says to me, well if some white friend of yours comes tell him that if he wants to live with me…

Another day when I was traveling to Babati, I also met a guy who told me that he liked white women. And we’re back with the debate, I think that in the end you fall in love with the person and if you let yourself be guided so much by the color of the skin or the eyes, let’s go wrong. But well, I don’t get into this area anymore because we could already get into the topic of superficiality when looking for a partner and this is not the appropriate scenario.

The stereotypes we create are so strong and get so deep inside us that it is very difficult to eliminate them. Every time I go out I have children who come up to me asking for pencils or candies but because it is the image we have created. The “white guy” who comes to Africa with pens and candies and we thought that’s how we changed something, as a good friend told me one day: ”the savior white guy”. It happens to me almost every day or children who tell me to give them their money, and they refer to the money that they think has been “stolen” from them from other continents due to colonizations. Or they ask me for something I’m wearing… I’m sad to see the image we’ve generated. I am not here to act as a cash drawer, they take it for granted that you have it and on top of that when it is not my case, if not to try to contribute something from me that can help my children just like they teach me and help me on a daily basis.

There are thousands of cases like this, but I was wondering the other day as a result of the debate a year ago with “we, we, us…” whether we should not use this type of labels in general and be US. It doesn’t matter if you are white, black… whatever you want to be. We are all people and we should try to stop labeling in order to evolve. I’m late with the debate but I see that there are so many differences and we forget that in the end we are who we are because of our personality and way of being, although I do give the reason that influences how we act as we are on the outside. The other day I was playing with Happy, she is 10 years old and has Down Syndrome, someone called me Mzungu and she looked at me and said, “You are not Mzungu, you are Barbara.”

I think there are enough words… let’s be US.

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