“Pursuit of the Golden Lily” is a new novel by R. Emery, inspired by her father's WWII POW diary. Initially documenting the author's journey to return the diary to Thailand where it was written, the Blog now follows her experiences as she self-publishes, launches the novel and reflects on topics woven into the narrative.

Monday, 21 November 2016

The Rise of Racism and Intolerance

When my father spoke of his time as a POW of the Japanese during WWII, he never once blamed the evils he witnessed on one race. 
He didn't say: "Japanese people are bad." He said: "War makes people do terrible things."
I did not know what racism was until I was in my twenties, when someone I was staying with in London used a racial slur to describe a neighbor. I was stunned and very disturbed. I had no concept of disliking someone based on their race or religion - though I do remember being called a "Roast Beef" as we drove through France on our way to holidays in Spain! (I'm pretty sure we yelled "Frogs" back, much to my parent's disdain!)
I was lucky and obviously very privileged. 
I'm not saying that I am perfect. I have caught myself being swept up in 'us' and 'them' situations - mostly towards my own race I might add. 
I know we have a long way to go before the human race understands and accepts that we all rise from the same seed. There are many conversations to be had and much listening to be done before we can even begin to truly understand the depth of hurt caused by bigotry.
 However, as we collectively face the greatest threat to human civilization in memory, namely climate change, I hope we will find a way to transcend the barriers that divide us and go beyond the rhetoric being bandied about by certain political figures and hate groups. 
We can be greater than that.
Researching Pursuit of the Golden Lily exposed me to the worst of human nature. Hatred is always there, simmering beneath the surface, waiting for a hint of an excuse to burst forth.
But so is love.
So is kindness, and compassion.
What do you choose?
What kind of a world do you envision?
Let us not forget that in nature, a monoculture is doomed to extinction.
Longterm, it is only in biodiversity that life flourishes and thrives.
Speak out against racism and intolerance.
Never forget...
"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is when good men do nothing."
- Edmund Burke

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