Week 40 – Racism – The Cause, Effect, and Cure
Let’s talk about it! Today is October 1, 2017 and the subject race and racism is just as important today if not more, than it was 30 or 40 years ago. I am a 48 year old black male and I have had very few encounters with anyone where I thought I was a victim of racism. It just has not been very prevalent in my personal life. I can safely say that if I didn’t turn on the TV or the radio, or get on social media, I would not know racism was as alive and well as it is.
Having said that I am acutely aware of the hundreds if not thousands of people whose reality is vastly different than mine. I had a childhood friend (black male) who was arrested by 2 white police officers, hog tied, and brutally beaten and placed in a coma. This was 1990! He stayed in a coma for over 25 years until he died just a few years ago. I only say this to convey, that although I live in a happy, loving, harmonious space today, and grew up pretty much immune to any type of prejudice or racial divide, I do know firsthand the other side of the coin. The reality of the other world we live in as well – the one in which discrimination is very much present.
For this month, we’d like to talk about that world. We’d like to offer our point of view on how and why racism and other types of discrimination happen, and discuss some ideas on what we can do about it (individually and collectively). Our intent is to address racism from both the cause AND the effect side, and offer workable solutions to remedy this ill.
Warning: We are going to dive deep into this discussion from a different point of view. We realize that some people reading this, may find it offensive. We all come from different backgrounds and have different and varying thoughts and opinions on this subject. It is not our intention to offend anyone but rather challenge and inspire.
What is racism and how is it born?
For the purpose of the theme this month, The Black and White of Racism , we’re going to use the word “racism” interchangeably with “prejudice” and discrimination, and in general terms, as a kind of catch all phrase for discrimination of any kind. The actual fact is, being prejudice and being racist are two totally different things, mainly with racism having more to do with power and influence, and the ability to affect another’s realty via social systems (political, educational, etc.) However, the overall anatomy of discrimination of any kind is basically the same. At its base is fear. This, ironically is also the same emotion behind those who are discriminated against, as we will also address the victim side of this equation in the weeks to come. So, without further ado, let’s begin the discussion talking about racism and it’s causes.
I would like to say right here up front that racism is a perceived reality. It does not exist beyond man’s mental constructs of it. Meaning it does not exist without willing participants to play and accept roles on both sides. One of the ways this is evident is the fact that we aren’t born racist or prejudiced. We are not born of fear and hatred and distrust. These are learned beliefs. Think about that. We learn to hate and fear one another!
Vibration/Energy – Just a brief recap, so that we have a basis for our discussion – Everything is energy based and vibrational. EVERYTHING! Particularly all living things. As living human beings, we are all vibrating at a particular frequency and emitting energy every day all day. This vibratory frequency is always being matched by other like frequencies. Your frequency is based on a number of variables, but at its core is thought and beliefs. And your thoughts and beliefs help shape your perception of things and people. So from the moment you awake in the morning until the moment you drift back off to slumber and night, you are a vibrational attracting magnet. And you’re attracting the essence of whatever is at the basis of your thoughts and feelings. (This will be critically important to understand later as we move on)
That being said, being prejudice or racist against someone is simply a manifestation of a vibration, the vibration of fear and on a grander scale, powerlessness, insecurity, ignorance, and lack.
Racism and any form of discrimination is fear based, and one form of that fear is the fear of losing control, and feeling powerless. The belief of powerlessness, that I am a victim to this person or circumstance. Like all strong beliefs, it’s self-perpetuating. We believe that we’re victims, we feel like at any moment something could be taken from us, we look for and see evidence that this is exactly what’s happening, causing us to believe even more that we have no control over our surroundings and what’s going on in the world and round and round and round she goes. We’ve manifested tons of evidence that we have very little societal impact on what takes place in our world, and that when one person wins, someone else has to loose.
Often we feel we’re fighting a no win battle that creates a sense of powerlessness. Powerlessness turns to anger, which is not so terrible if channeled positively. Many great things have happened as a result of anger and being fed up with something. Anger in and of itself feels great at times! I am a witness bearerJ. Anger feels power-FULL, particularly if it is positively directed. It has the potential to immediately pull you out of a state of powerlessness.
It is when the anger isn’t allowed to be constructively expressed it builds and begins to look for an outlet – usually a destructive one.
So, here’s Edward, who is watching the news daily and develops a fear, a sense of loss of control that there is great potential for him to lose his life during a random traffic stop. He is disgusted, hurt, and angry at what he sees happening every day to people who look just like him, and he FEELS POWERLESS to affect any real change. He doesn’t know who to blame, but his natural tendency to regain a sense of power and control causes him to look for someone to blame. And there is no loss of subjects from which to choose from. So here’s the kicker, if Edward blamed someone (say the police)for his feeling of powerlessness, journaled about it, and/or went out and channeled all he felt on a punching bag while reaching for a better thought and feeling, he would quickly change his emotional state and no longer be angry or as angry as he was before. He would be well on his way out of the mindset of fear and powerlessness.
This is not what generally happens, though. Usually, Edward will assume there is nothing he can do about the way he feels (it’s just the way it is), holding on that belief, find someone to blame, get angry at them, not really allow himself to express it constructively, will not reach for a better thought and feeling, and will let the pressure build until he explodes and releases his rage destructively, causing negative consequences like being jailed, or physically harmed, which will once again start and perpetuate the cycle of powerlessness.
The exact same thing holds true for the other side of the equation in the above example using the police officer. If the officer has developed a fear, or sense of powerlessness, that there is great potential for harm based on his or her perception of the individual being stopped and believes that there is high probability of a bad encounter, the officer will behave in accordance with this fear. Additionally, couple that fear with a weapon and means by which to exert or impose physical will on someone, this sets up a recipe for confrontation to occur.
PLEASE NOTE: Here is where vibration is important. If Edward or the officer chooses to allow the negative emotions go unchecked and decides to bask in the attitude of bitterness, resentment, angst, disdain, disgust or any other negative emotion towards each other, here is where the stage is set for an undesired circumstance to occur. Both individuals begin to create an environment for an event to take place that is the complete opposite of either person true desires. Both sides at this point have established a vibrational point of attraction or vibrational markers from which the Universe will respond.
Solution to the powerlessness problem-
The solution to a fear based problem of powerlessness MUST be about re-establishing and regaining a sense of self-control and self-empowerment. When you feel empowered and in control of your circumstances and events in life, the fear of some external person or situation is diminished and no longer has any power of you. You don’t see anyone or anything as a threat to your wellbeing. How do we begin to empower ourselves to seize more control and responsibility in our lives individually and collectively?
First thing is to allow yourself to be angry. Don’t suppress the emotion you feel. If you’re angry and disgusted about what you see occurring in this world, express it! Feel exactly what you need to feel and openly share that feeling via journaling, social media, talking to a responsible friend, etc. Curse about it, protest, yell, cry about it – do whatever you need to fully express how you feel about what you see. Just don’t let it stop there!
Second thing, after you’ve found an outlet to constructively pour your emotions into (that doesn’t hurt anybody, including yourself), the second thing to do is TAKE ACTION. Vibrational action! Before you take any physical steps whatsoever, take time to get yourself in a state of alignment. Alignment with your true desires. Reminder: Nothing changes externally until things change internally. Make an affirmation and declaration of what it is you desire. Be very clear and precise. What do you want to see happen or change? Affirm it! Say it out loud, write it down. MY DESIRE IS FOR ALL HUMANITY TO LIVE IN PEACE AND HARMONY! Once you’ve affirmed your desire, hold it firmly in your heart 24/7. State your affirmation daily, multiple times a day silently and aloud.
We will provide more steps to follow these first two in the weeks to come.