They're not evil... they're propagandized!
Racism is a popular topic right now. And as I watch celebrity after celebrity speak out and refer to racists as losers and evil forces I worry about the message behind that.
I don’t think the Neo-Nazi’s or anyone that holds a racist belief is okay. In fact my personal belief system is that any form of discrimination is just a sign of an unopened and unbalanced mind. But they’re not evil or a loser.
They may be uneducated or incorrectly educated to be more precise. They are misguided and holding ‘better than’ views to make them selves feel better. And they’re perhaps operating from the hate state out of pain.
To believe that anyone who is different to us is ‘better than’ or ‘less than’ us is a sign that we are incorrectly assuming that there is some sort of innate hierarchy of traits. Racism in general is the misguided belief that how close your ancestors lived to the equator, which is the cause of the pigment of skin, some how determines your worth. It can also be erroneous conclusion that our belief systems or culture determine our worth as people. These are both signs of a lack of understanding and education.
When we hold one of these ‘better than’ beliefs it comes from a deep-seated insecurity that we are in fact less than. And we hate or belittle as a way of claiming superiority in order to make ourselves feel ‘better than’ we do now. The ‘better than’ thoughts all come from an imaginary hierarchy of behavior we hold within our minds put there by a system of thinking that taught us to show preference as a way of indicating that we can tell the difference between two things.
This system of thinking exists within all of us. It is why when we come up against hierarchical thinking that does not match our own it is easy to respond with hate as they are threatening our internal hierarchy. As well as reminding us that an imaginary hierarchy is where we get much of our sense of self worth from.
The hate reflex itself often comes about from a place of pain. When we feel loving, safe and happy it is hard to respond with hate. That is not to say that we don’t come up against opposition to our ideals and way of thinking, but that when we do rather then getting angry, frustrated and responding with aggression we can respond calmly. And when we respond calmly we can undo the negative thoughts of both parties.
It is important when approaching ideals that do not match our own that we respond in two ways; calmly and lovingly.
When we aim to fight by being louder, we are attempting to drown out the other voices rather then address the thinking. When people feel unheard they simply speak louder as well. And as we all shout at each other nothing is heard or resolved. As Rumi said;
“Raise your words, not your voice. It is rain that grows flowers, not thunder.”
The second is to approach the views that do not match our own with loving kindness. When we fight we legitimize our opposition, turning them into enemies and breed hate within ourselves. And as we create hate within ourselves we stop listening, working together and overcoming our issues. And they are ours. Not theirs.
When we state that someone else has a ‘problem’, ‘issue’ or ‘is wrong’, we miss the role that we play in the situation. The easy explanation for this is a coffee order. When we are given a coffee order that is not what we wanted we often say that the barista ‘made the wrong coffee’. Actually they just made a coffee. That is not wrong. The ‘wrongness’ occurs because it is not what we wanted.
It is the same in all opposition. They are not wrong. They differ from the belief system we hold. In their minds they are as right as us. Their belief system having been built over the course of their life from collective bits of information they have received. They believe as we do with their whole body and soul that we are wrong and they are right.
My problem with referring to those that discriminate, or specifically racists, as losers and an evil bad person is that it won’t solve our collective problems. It will only create them as our enemies rather then hold them in their real place as the opposite belief. If we fill ourselves with hate we won’t listen to the argument they’re making so no real dialogue can occur and no pre-conceived notions can be unraveled.
It also claims within it superiority. We are better then racists. Which is the thinking that we hold against them. They think they are better then people with different colored skin to them. They are thinking in ‘better than’ but so are we.
In my time I am yet to find a person who does not hold within them some form of hierarchy that allows them to feel ‘better than’. So to say we are ‘better than’ racists is to mislead ourselves and deny that as a society we collectively create the thinking that leads to racism.
So now for the insightful actionable advice… don’t try and scream down your opposition, don’t burry your head in the sand and say it has nothing to do with you, don’t make your opposition your enemy. Do talk openly with those that agree and disagree with you, do try and find your center of loving kindness and approach those that oppose your beliefs with an open heart and do acknowledge that we all have a role to play in creating this world.
To borrow a sentiment from the seventies: hating to end hate is like screwing for virginity.