“Passports and visas are the racism of our times,” it says on my homepage. Erick Prince, who wants to be the first African American to go to every country in the world scoffed at my statement saying “As if racism doesn't exist anymore! Lol”
Sure, there definitely is racism diffused in every layer of life everywhere; hey, I even got my share of racism here in Italy. Of course not because of my color but because it is obvious that I am not originally Italian. When I say racism I use it not as discrimination based only on your skin color but in a broader sense, as prejudice and discrimination because of your not belonging to a certain group.
I said “Sure, there definitely is racism diffused in every layer of life everywhere” but that racism is covert and/or it's on an individual level. There certainly is no outright racism today, at least in the constitutional level. Blacks have exactly the same rights as whites in America and South Africa, and anywhere else in the world I suppose. (Please correct me and give contrary examples if I am wrong.) Whereas Birthplace Racism is definitely a racism on a global level, strictly administered by every country in the world! It is institutionalized through visa regimes and accepted as the “nothing wrong with it” status-quo by almost everyone.
Hey, Birthplace Racism is so indoctrinated, so deeply ingrained that even the discriminated against do not see the injustice and birthplace racism behind the visa regimes. Pongtharin, a Thai traveler going to every country says “It is what it is” when asked about his frustration of not being able to go to some places without a visa where Western nationalities can.
As people who have to apply for many visas and witness the randomness (You are not given X visa in country Y but you can get that X visa easily in country Z) and imbecility (”Oh you have to provide hotel reservations and air tickets” says the embassy, “Okay, I'll just go and make fake reservations then” says the traveller) of it firsthand, I would have expected more people from the extreme travel community to see Birthplace Racism but apparently not. I suppose my “misfortune” is to be among the first people to see this Global Apartheid. I have no doubt the future generations will be seeing it the way I do.
On a final note, Erick calls himself the "minority nomad". Who is the minority nomad? He is a minority because he is black?
Let me tell you, true minority in the travel community is anyone not on a European or US passport. Pongtharin is a minority, I am/was a minority as a Turkish. Women are a minority too. Sure, Erick is a minority too, but he -just like Jessica Nabongo, a black American-Ugandan woman,- holds a valuable passport. A passport that has high prestige. There are minorities; also, there are too many non-existent nationalities in the travel community. You don't get a Syrian or an Afghani or any African country citizen in any avid traveller lists. (Oh, actually there might be a South African woman out there, I remember reading about her. But exceptions do not break the rule. The most, she'd be a minority nomad too; it wouldn't change the fact none other African country or a “third-world” country has a world traveller.) In fact, you don't really find them travelling, travelling for leisure that is. There is a reason why. They simply cannot. They have only 25-30 countries they can go to without a visa. It would be truly impossible for them to go to every country unless they were extremely wealthy or powerful. Even an Afghani minister gets only a 72 hour Schengen visa! (Yeah, I know, there is the reverse side of the coin as well where European/Western officials are given 72 hour visas to some countries. Still... That doesn't break the rule either.)
Please... Please... Please start seeing the world as a whole. At least I'd expect that much from world travellers. Please, the world does not revolve only around people with “Western” nationalities. We need hope for the world as a WHOLE! We need to end this universally accepted and worse, invisible Birthplace Racism. Make it visible. Start by spreading the articles I write for example. Thank you. Thank you all on behalf of the invisible majority.