If there’s anything we won’t tolerate, it is racism. Racism sets off all the fireworks as it should. A large amount of FB groups, upon entering when you read the guidelines says no racism. A lot of us post about how bad racism is often on the internet, blog sites and on social media. The fight against racism is the most popular. Nothing is more offensive than racism and we will not tolerate it.
But here is the irony. While we may not discriminate skin color, so many of us, if we are brutally honest with ourselves have what I call a “racist mindset”. It is like racism without the involvement of skin color.
Sometimes the same people who hate racism are guilty of the racist mindset. What is a racist mindset? Any moral person won’t like racism because it’s really unfair to dislike an individual for a group identity defined by establishment stereotypes or for something the individual doesn’t have any conscious control over. But we also don’t have much conscious control over which region of the world we were brought up in. We don’t have any conscious control over how we were conditioned by our culture. We also have no conscious control over the established group identity. Breeds of nonhuman animals also have no conscious control over their breed. We don’t have control over our anatomy, our sexual orientation or what gender we might identify with. Personality quirks, mental illness, disabilities, the list goes on, …And no matter how awake we think we are, much of our beliefs have been hammered into us and so deeply ingrained that we don’t even realize that we have been brainwashed to hate.
“But racism is only about skin color”. Let’s say for the sake of argument that it is. The mentality behind disliking a person due to factors in their life they have no conscious control over comes from the same family as racism — hence the term I use “the racist mindset”. It’s all the same. While judging people at all isn’t the most loving thing to do, I think it is fine to judge an individual based on our personal experiences with that individual. However, judging a person we have never met solely on popular consensus because of something they have no conscious control over comes from the same concept of racism. The semantics is different, yes, but when you remove language from the equation, the mentality behind racism and the mentality behind blanket automatic judgment that does not involve individual scrutiny is exactly the same. The propaganda that says all black people steal is no different from the propaganda that says all Americans are uniquely dumb. So, it makes sense why we might see a lot of anti-racist people clinging to a racist mentality. You may accept an aboriginal person, but might engage in blanketly hating jews. We might accept a Mexican person, but blanketly hate men. We cherry pick who we love and who we hate and we have the best reasons for doing so. And we often hide behind love to justify our hate in the same way we believe war brings peace. If we accept stereotypes that belong to other groups while looking down on white supremacists, that is the height of hypocrisy.
We might have an indiscriminate hatred for all American people, Jews, Muslims, Christians, poor people, rich people, fat people, skinny people, and even pit bulls. Yes, even pit bulls. We automatically fear pit bulls due to all the fear-mongering and dishonest stories in the media. Sound familiar?
Because we look to authority for truth, we don’t question it. If they smear a group of people, we will blindly believe it. We will obediently hate who we are told to hate. The media isn’t so direct to say “Please hate these people”. Covertly, however, they will put out a smear campaign that might show up innocently in your FB feed and make it look so official, so well-written, so objective and so horrifying that we will be convinced that the moral thing to do is to look down on “those people” thereby dehumanizing them. The conditioning can be so subtle that we don’t even realize our minds are being hijacked and controlled. Common sense these days is what is commonly repeated in our culture and automatically accepted as truth. And the few that question it are marginalized as pariahs and idiots.
The media, alternative media, FB feed, our teachers, our parents, Hollywood and our televisions all teach us to hate people for stories that cannot be proven, that are either inaccurately reported or made up. If we hate any kind of group, it might be because we have been taught to hate “because of reasons” and because THEY said so, it must be true. “The news is always fair and balanced.”
If we are at least half awake, we know that division is the culture of the world. We are all taught from womb to tomb that we are all separate from each other. The separation is artificially reinforced and manufactured through national borders, territory, religion, customs, cult-ure, skin color, sex, gender, sexual orientation, appearance, income, status, and other superficial minutia. So, it is very easy to teach people how to fear and judge others. …and for reasons we don’t even question or wonder about or have personal experience with. And this, my friends, does that not sound racist to you? We might hate racism because we hate the racist ways in which we think and have always thought.
“Information is not knowledge. The only source of knowledge is experience.”
Since we are all inherently connected, we often mirror one another. For example, what we don’t like in another is often a reflection of the issues we have with ourselves we’re not conscious of. We are often not aware of our shadow which is the unconscious part of ourselves. Psychologists sometimes refer to the word “projection” to describe the mirroring. Over my life, I have seen lots of people who are against racism but also carry the racist mindset.
We often say the unintelligent are racist. But it takes the same lack of intelligence and the same lack of critical thinking to blindly dislike people who we have never met. Before judging an individual, maybe trying talking to them. Get to know them. Resist assumptions. Ask questions. Hear their story. If you are judging a person without first acknowledging their full story, that is coming from the same unintelligent place as judging someone for having the wrong skin color.
Don’t beat yourself up for this if you relate to it. The nature of being human is to be hypocritical. If we are all honest with ourselves, we are all hypocrites. Our road to non-judgment starts with being against skin color discrimination… Our journey to accept and forgive all people for their unique path and differences including ourselves will probably follow if not in this lifetime, lifetimes to follow.
“Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.”
“The smallest minority on earth is the individual. Those who deny individual rights cannot claim to be defenders of minorities.”