Racism has been prevalent throughout history. In the 18th and 19th Century, the slave trade was in full-swing. Black Americans were given the ability to vote in 1965, which is incredibly recent, a step to ensure racism would be seen as a "thing of the past".
In the 21st Century, racism is very much alive. Since the terrorist attack on the twin towers, 11th September 2001, any one of vaguely middle-eastern origin, with a name such as Mohammad or Abdullah, may be treated with suspicion and automatically assumed to be a Muslim extremist. The ensuing war in Iraq and Afghanistan to fight extremists and media attention and direction has furthered the current culture of fear in the "Western" world, in my opinion.
In British and American schools, teachers are taught the signs for spotting a terrorist in the making. They're taught not to trust their students.
If you're brown and thought to be muslim, it seems you're likely to be suspected of being an extremist, whether it's in the USA or UK. It's a horrible perception for our modern world. There are extremists and terrorists in the world, on both sides (Christian/Muslim), but that doesn't mean an entire community or religion should be tarred with the same brush. I don't know if there's any way I can help to prevent this generalisation. The only thing I can do is to carry on as before; I don't think someone is a terrorist just because they're a different skin colour or religion to me.
Terrorism is defined (by Google) as:
the unofficial or unauthorized use of violence and intimidation in the pursuit of political aims.
I don't think this should be "unofficial", because a war is a form of terrorism, isn't it, however "official" it may be for the person initiating it?
Anyway. I'll try to add more to this in another article. Seeing the story about the British school child, taken to one side because he mentioned the word "terrorism" in relation to eco-activism and because he is a non-white Muslim, just disgusted me.
We're all equal, no matter your race, nationality or religion. There are extremists in every society, but that doesn't mean everyone of a similar colour is the same.
Get a grip 21st Century.
Header image credit: Vasser Chronicle