The Missing Piece:
A “picture puzzle,” when complete, gives you the full portrayal of what the maker of the puzzle intended; it plans to stimulate brain activity by disassembling the picture then let you put it back together.
When pieces or a piece of the puzzle is missing, you can’t formulate the image or call it complete because it isn’t. It can’t be sold or hung up on a wall unless the puzzle is complete.
Similarly could be said about dismantling the racist systems that prop up white supremacy and whiteness. You can’t take apart racism unless you have the “full picture” of how interwoven it is within the very fabric of our society.
Focusing on one aspect of racism as individual racism will invariably lead to failure. Within the racist system, this is but one small piece of it like the puzzle pieces, yet put together with structural, systemic, cultural, political, educational and institutional racism, it conveys the puzzle picture. It demonstrates what you are up against, and once you know what that is, you can formulate a plan to eradicate and dismantle it. Without understanding, you would forever be guessing which piece of the puzzle would fit in there.
Because race and racism and the harmful effects thereof, is not taught in schools and workplaces, most people understand individual racism to be the Alpha and Omega of the system, to be the system itself. Thus the thinking is that if you’re white and a nice person, support charities, never use derogatory words to describe black and brown people, that you don’t have white privilege, and aren’t receiving unearned benefits, from a system designed to favour white people.
In the failure of the Government to implement much needed racial education in the school curriculum, black and brown children are at a disadvantage because they are left wondering why they are unable to succeed as their white counterparts.
It is impossible to fully comprehend how the system operates when you weren’t privy to all the facts. You could equate it to having to mount a defence in a court case without all the facts and evidence readily available.
There is a fundamental need to introduce race and racism education from foundation level as this may assist white school leavers in understanding not only about black history but, why they may not have employment opportunities, they applied for. Pre 1994 when Apartheid laws existed white children were only in competition with white children and considering that they were and are the minority group, it’s easy to see why they would have no problem in finding employment. After 1994, with the dawn of democracy, black and brown school leavers were now applying for the same positions, factor in the high unemployment rate, it’s not difficult to understand why white school leavers may not frequently get the “position” they have applied for.
If it’s one piece or many pieces missing from the puzzle, it allows for white supremacy to continue unabated. With the help of education across all sectors of society, you would be in a better position to navigate your way through life.
Frequently the missing piece or pieces of the puzzle is deliberately withheld to foster bad race relations, to uphold racists systems and to keep all people mentally enslaved in a system designed to separate and agitate rather than offer much needed social cohesion and harmony for all.