Racism is evil. It divides us. Through it, hatred, conflict and tyranny ensue and from that emerges untold suffering. Yet the racist cannot see it. This is because for them others are not truly human in the same way that they are.
Calling a black person an ‘abed’ (abeed in plural) is offensive. Calling a non-black non-Arabic person (i.e Persian-Indian race) ‘Ajami’ is offensive. Calling a Turk ‘Mamluk’ (enslaved person) is offensive. Will Arabs get it? The term has been used for so long in certain segments of the Arab World that many people have become desensitised to its meaning. I know that all people do not use the term with overtly malicious intent; however, the word is disturbing, nonetheless. “Abed” is a term that, at one time, had a general meaning of slave, then became a specific term, referring to blacks, who were viewed as subservient. For instance, “mamluk,” another term that is used for an enslaved person, came to specifically refer to a non-black slave, such as a Turk.
If we want people to be sensitive to you, you must be sensitive to others. Fellow humans are not ‘abeed’, ‘Ajami’ or ‘Mamluk’.