I drove to Naumburg (220km South of Berlin, Germany)
this morning to do some business.
A small boy walked to me and introduced himself.
He said he was seven and originally from Russia.
He said, “I’m so excited to see you.
I’ve never seen a brown person before.
Can I touch your hands?” He added, “But I don’t understand.
How come you are different from me? You don’t look “normal.”
Were you “normal” like me when you were a child and turned brown by standing in the sun?
Can I also become brown like you?”
He begged to see my legs, feel my hair, my nose and ears.
All of a sudden he noted, “but your eyes are as white as mine,
your lips as red as mine and your tongue and teeth are just like mine.
Does it mean we are all the same inside?”
This seemingly smart child had no idea about the world beyond his beautiful valley town.
I explained the world to him;
I told him the majority of mankind looked different from what he considered normal.
Before I left him, I responded to his question by explaining that
our external differences were perfectly desirable and normal
but he should never forget that in essence, we are all the same.
And that’s what makes us Human Beings.
Highly excited and still holding my hands, he made me “promise”
to visit again since he was going to tell his class one colleagues the
next school day he had seen and touched a real brown person.
Driving back to Berlin, lost in reflection, I got a perfect picture of how
and where racism starts and how it could equally be defeated.
I hope my encounter with this little boy turn him into a world citizen,
free from bigotry and destructive nationalism.