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Apr 04

Open Thought Asks: Where Does Racism Begin?

Racism:  A term that has plagued world cultures for centuries–sometimes overt and sometimes subtle.   

America has dealt with it since the 1600’s–millions have lost their lives, suffered mental and physical abuse and lived with the gross inequalities of a nation.  In fact today, racism is alive and well in America and other countries throughout the world.  There are those who have convinced themselves that it is “in the past, let’s get over it.”  That would be the most humane way to look at it if that were true, but it isn’t.  If you have not lived it, you are not conscious of it, do not recognize the subtleties of it, and cannot fully feel the impact of what it does to one’s being.  It is woven in the tiniest threads of American culture, reeking hate, inferiority, superiority, discrimination and separatism .  How does it begin?  How is it perpetuated? How do we eliminate it?  Mankind has battled with these questions in some form or another for thousands and thousands of years. Racism has no specific color, race or ethnicity, it wiggles itself into thought, wraps around consciousness, and creates new ways of expressing itself.

Why have I decided to write such an article, and do I expect it to solve the problems of racism?  No, I do not expect this article to solve the problems of racism!   I am writing it to delve into my own consciousness, uncover what I need to examine, ask the hard and shameful questions and seek honest answers, and in so doing . . .  hopefully, inspire you to do the same.

What is racism?

Let’s look at some common definitions, and you can choose one or make-up one of your own.  The key to this discussion is how you view it, and how you respond to your personal definition –only then will a meaningful personal dialogue with yourself, begin.

One definition defines racism as “the belief that all members of each race possess characteristics or abilities specific to that race, especially so as to distinguish it as inferior or superior to another race or races;  prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against someone of a different race based on the belief that one’s own race is superior.”
Look inside of yourself, right now, and decide how this definition fits with what you believe.  Integrity and total honesty are the key.  What do you see?  What are you refusing to look at?  What excuses for your thoughts are you making?  How do you feel about what you see inside of yourself? Are you ready to change or maintain the status quo?
“Racism has existed throughout human history. It may be defined as the hatred of one person by another — or the belief that another person is less than human — because of skin color, language, customs, place of birth or any factor that supposedly reveals the basic nature of that person. It has influenced wars, slavery, the formation of nations, and legal codes (http://archive.adl.org/hate-patrol/racism.html#.VSAvm_nF-ao)
Is there a tinge amount of hate in you toward others? Large amount? How are you justifying it?  Are you using the Bible as a prop, lying to yourself because that’s what you understand or, your parents taught you, or saying to yourself, “Everyone I know believes it so why not me?  I don’t want them to think I believe anything different?”  Does thinking you are better than someone else give you an air of superiority–make you feel better inside?  Guilty? Or you don’t know?  If you don’t know, have you thought of trying to find out?
That person has blue eyes, blond hair and is a Republican, so  . . . he must be a racist.
Racism occurs in many forms and is just as devastating in one form as in another.  There are words that members of society throw around that influence others to think and act as a racist.  To believe that every white person is a racist, is just as devastating as accepting that every black person is inferior.  Neither is true, even in the human experience.  However, because systemic racism has corrupted the minds and souls of mankind for so long, a distrust of the races has resulted.  It’s sometimes difficult for a black person to believe that deep within, some white people are simply not racists, and it is difficult for some white people to believe deep within, that he is not just a “tinge bit” better that a Latino, Asian, Middle Easterner or African-American.
Then . . .  there are those whites who use words like “liberal” when they really mean “nigger” or lazy, inferior black people or those who support laws of equality for inferior black people, and most insidious, is when they act and use it in a manner to influence others to believe as they do.  Conversely, there are African-Americans who use the word “conservative,” when they actually mean “cracker, racist, or anyone who wants to keep the black man down or kick him out of America altogether.   Equally as insidious, is when they use it to influence or inflame others to act and feel as they do.  People . . . this has to stop!  And it will not stop with words, but thoughts . . . deep thoughts that dig deep into the psyche, and bring all of the impurities of thought to the surface and find ways to remove them from consciousness.  Experience shows that laws, as important as they are, will not heal this hatred, superiority and inferiority.  Laws give us legal means to refute and punish racism, and I am firmly in agreement with having them enacted, defended in our court systems and punishment handed out to those who break them, but laws do not heal the
heart.  What does? 
Where Does Racism Begin? 
It begins in thought, spreads into words and explodes into discriminatory actions!  The pregnant mother carrying hatred, anger, bitterness and discrimination in thought, influences the baby; the parents thinking, talking and acting these emotions in the home and community, perpetuate it , enlarge it and promote it.  It is not one race that gives continuous life to it, it is all races–each re-living the prejudices, hurts and pain thought has allowed them to accept. How do we begin to destroy it?   The man who lived over 2000 years ago, had and still has the answer.  That answer is unconditional love and that man is Jesus.  Establishing love in one’s soul, begins with having a clear definition of who God is.  Once you begin to understand who God is, you will begin to understand who the true man is.
God is Love, not hate.  God is Spirit, not flesh and blood.  God is Soul, not what the distorted physical senses are telling us.  God is Principle–divine Law, not the human laws that you place on the books.  God is Life, divine activity of thought–thoughts that fill your consciousness and propel your actions.  God is Truth, the Word of God, not error of any kind, even to the tiniest thought that creeps into your consciousness.  God is Mind, divine intelligence–intelligence based on the Ten Commandments and Beatitudes, not human knowledge.
Figuring out who God is . . . is a daily search, a daily analyzation of thought, casting out the ones you know are not Godlike, and replacing them with the ones that you know are.  It means removing lifelong beliefs and habits, and relying on spiritual facts and actions.  Is it easy?  No!  Can you do it?  Yes!  It’s a step-by-step process, gaining a little each day.  Stop listening and asking ministers to guide you to truth and rely on God.  God is never influenced by politics, money, power and prestige, for He is the only Presence, Power and Knowledge.  Now, let’s look at who you are.
I believe in the teachings of Moses, who says “man is made in the image and likeness of God” (Genesis 1:27).  Now that you have a better understanding of God, you can begin to define your true identity.  Image is an idea, not flesh and blood, because God is Principle and Principle is divine Law. Racism cannot be a part of you because it is not part of God, and you reflect all that He is.  History books do not shape your destiny, the Holy Scriptures do.   You can understand the true meaning of those Scriptures because you express the intelligence of God.   God is the sole Creator and everybody is made in His image, so . . . you are not superior or inferior to anyone.  We are all equal in the sight of God–which is the only true vision.  Soul gives you this vision.  It enables you to reach beyond what your eyes see and your ears hear, and receive the messages of Truth.  Truth comes into your consciousness through the presence of the Christ.  Christ is that little, still voice that speaks to you and says, “That’s not right, and you know it.”  You can listen to it or ignore it, the choice is yours.  Should you choose to listen, you will not see a nigger or a cracker, but a child of God.
How do I know this?  I live it everyday.  Some days my thought is so united with God, all I see is goodness.  This goodness is transformed into deeds as I go about my day.  Other days, I feel a distance between God and me, so my thoughts do not always allow me to make spiritual decisions in human situations.  Each night, I study God’s word and get closer.  Just as you work at becoming proficient in your job, whatever that might be, you must work at expressing your true identity–a child of the Most High God.  It does not matter what name you call Him, understanding Him is the key.  Let us begin today by looking within ourselves.  It is not your or my job to correct others, only ourselves.  No one can work out your salvation, but you!  That salvation means clearing away the labels of society, the prejudices that haunt us and the anger and bitterness that inflame us.  The journey is long, but the pathway is clear  . . . let’s get in it  . . . and walk together!
 

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