Systemic racism underlies post-colonial societies, due in part to the undeniable legacy of historical racism. The conquering colonist (often mistakenly referred to as the “settler-colonist”) dominated the colonized, especially their minds. Overcoming destructive colonialism and systemic racism requires the decolonization of the mind—the mutually embedded mindsets of the conqueror and the colonized. Eliminating this legacy requires that we know who we are and admit to and rectify past mistakes.
The Rats Had Never Left draws on the lived experiences of Abdusamaad (Sam) Karani in Apartheid South Africa, including his personal advocacy for mental health and psychology in society, and the cost he paid in the process. Having lived abroad in London, UK, and now Canada, Karani shares his experiences with the destructive legacy of systemic racism.
Liberal democracies need to overcome the legacy of systemic racism. So how do we move forward? How do we keep ourselves from being stuck in the destructiveness of the blame game? Enhancing tolerance is the way forward. The racialized must not be reluctant to take the initiative. Society’s institutions—police, the justice system, etc.—need to self-reflect for long-term change, keeping in mind that power has traditionally never been shared, as a natural process, with society’s disadvantaged.