The Reason for Racism
The roots of racism and bigotry
Bigotry has been an enormous problem in America from the very beginning of it's founding, up until now. Whether it be the slaughter of Native Americans, the enslavement of African Americans, or the hate crimes against homosexuals. We see hatred and intolerance as vile and evil, but what If I told you it was natural? What if I told you that they were simply primitive animal behaviors that we simply needed to acknowledge constructively and liberate from our culture and individual intellects? In this post, I will dive into this issue with a new perspective, which can lead us to a road where the solution is not only apparent, but simple to implement.
Castle of Glass by Linkin Park
The Castle of Glass
Everyone on the planet has one. We live by it. It justifies everything we do. We use it to conduct ourselves in every facet of our lives. It is our individual socio-cultural paradigm. Or what I like to call, your "Castle of Glass". What "Individual Socio-Cultural Paradigm" translates to is pretty simple. It is your collective of beliefs about yourself, (Internal) other people, and life.(External).
No one has the same castle of glass. For instance. Lets say that you are a conservative because you "Appreciate the views and principles". You might also be of the Christian faith. You believe your God is an awesome God and a fair God with a great beard and a stern but loving disposition. Your external beliefs are what you believe to be true. You define your existence with these beliefs. For all intents and purposes, you are your beliefs.
So when you meet a Muslim or a Buddhist, although you may be able to be civil to them in a religious sense, you cannot reconcile their beliefs into your own. This is where your Castle of Glass comes into play. The culmination of all your beliefs come together to build a structure that is your reality. It is a very delicate thing. It is truly, a Castle of Glass that can easily be shattered by external pressures. When you see a Buddhist praying in their temple and worshipping Brahman or Shiva or Krishna, somewhere inside of you, you must indict that person for being wrong. Because if he is not wrong, then you are wrong. And something you thought you knew was true, was actually not. You were fooled! And that is not good. No one likes to admit they are wrong. No one wants to think they don't have the answers. Stand for nothing and fall for anything, the great American axiom that is actually total bullshit. (The things you stand for might well be things you fell for in the first place) There is this great fear in not knowing. But people don't even realize they are afraid, because they have already filled their mind up with so many notions of truth.
It is as simple as that. It is sort of inescapable. You protect your almighty Castle of Glass from ever getting a crack, by making every one else around you wrong if their beliefs are different from yours. In your mind, you chip away at their Castles.
So how does this relate to racism?
Have you ever been the victim of bigotry?
Superimposing your beliefs on others.
So we all know about the door to door Jehovah's Witnesses, Christian televangelist, and that friend that needs to get you saved by Jesus. They think they have it all figure out and they need you to have it figured out too. They're either terrified your going to hell, are adding an addition to their mansion in the sky, or are truly attempting to do something good for someone they love. Either way you cut it, there are trying to super impose there beliefs on you. It reinforces that Castle of Glass and gives them another person like them. But Socrates said, "Whose bias do you seek?"
When someone tries to change your beliefs they are either convincing enough to succeed, or they are not, and it is just an annoyance to you. And as much as it bothers you that they are basically saying that your wrong and your life lacks purpose, you deal with it. Its not that big of a deal that they don't agree with you. It is just a belief.
For them they see that beliefs can change. So the zealous and intolerant put 'converting you' on their bucket list and leave it at that. This goes with almost everything. Politics, religion, morals, business ethic. Whatever it is, everyone thinks they are right, or they wouldn't believe it. So people debate and argue and fight. Sometimes people stop speaking, sometimes they compromise, and sometimes they bury it.
But what about something that isn't changeable? What about race, gender, or sexual orientation? Just the same way a catholic thinks Catholicism is the right way to go, on some level, a white person thinks white is better. You would be bullshitting me and yourself if you said otherwise. (unless your a monk that has attained enlightenment) We all want to be special, we all want to be important. So we make everything we believe in and everything we are, more pertinent to our reality, than everyone and everything else. If we don't, that castle of glass would crumble. And the beast would come out in full force. The ego is a very distressed part of the human psychology. But I digress.
This egocentric paradigm goes across the board with external beliefs. The ego tells you that everything you are and believe in is right. If you thought you were wrong then you wouldn't believe in whatever it was you believed in. If you thought you didn't know anything you wouldn't have beliefs. This paradigm also is prevalent in 'non-refundable characteristics', like race, gender and sexuality. If you are white, white is right. If you are black, black is better. Straight to gay, male to female, its all the same. So when a white person sees a black person, he sees the very apparent differences. And when bigotry arises in the heart, it is not because the white person thinks the black person is less than, it is because he knows that he is not. In the superficial ego, a white man thinks white is better, but deeper, where pure logic is working, he knows it is not true. He knows all things are created equal by default. But this would mean that he isn't special, this would mean he is just another speck in a vast universe beyond comprehension. This means he may be wrong about everything. So he fights that logic with his vicious ego. He enslaves, stereotypes and destroys the communities of black people, so that he can feel good about being white. Instead of letting all prosper equally. Racial Capitalism.
Now extrapolate to gender and sexual orientation.
The unknown and foreign are strange and threatening. And in a Christian White man's world, all others will pay for there differences as long as the ego is in control. Throughout history we have seen it. Not Christians, nor Caucasians nor males are at fault. They just happened to get lucky enough times to gain control of the world and then they were weak enough to succumb to the allure of ego driven dominance.
Terrence McKenna on culture
Breaking bonds of beliefs.
This simplest and most difficult solution is to convince the world that nobody knows jack shit about what's going on here. That no one has anything right. There is no true religion whether theism, atheism or agnostic. No political party is good or correct. Its all a load of bullshit most likely set up to disillusion you and separate you from your strongest weapon against coercion and oppression; unity and strength in numbers. Just think about what you believe in. Why do you believe it? Who told you to believe in it? What book did you read? Are you full of shit?
This is the primary solution to all bigotry and hate. Realizing you know nothing about anything. That you and everyone around you is amazing by default of existing and nothing in the universe favors you for any reason. Beliefs are individual expressions of cerebral art whose colors and forms emanate from environmental stimulus to your five senses. But again, I digress. If this solution doesn't work, here is another one.
1. So your different? Suck it up!
I've been called a cracker before. Plenty of times actually. I have been told I must have a small 'member' because I was white. "White people call the police for everything", "White people can't fight" Whatever the case may be. But it doesn't bother me. You want to know why? Because I love being me. I like what I do, I like my character, etc. etc. Being white is a part of who I am and I like me.
So why does an African American get upset when someone uses a racial slur about them? Or if someone calls a gay person that infamous F word. Why does it bother them. It's just a word. If they love everything that they are then it shouldn't matter. But they are unsure of themselves. And for good reason. Blacks went from slaves, to 3/5's of a person to an actual human being with equal rights only fifty years ago. Gay people still don't have the same rights. There is a common reminder that these people are less than. But you must understand that this is not true. You most look into the universe itself and see that you were created, and so you can't be undesirable. The entire process of nature from the beginning of time conspired to create you! Forget words and bias. You are awesome! So when a person calls you a name, or says you aren't equal, know they are misinformed. Know they are afraid. Pity them. Your different, which really makes you unique. Don't let other people's words and beliefs hold you down for a second. The first step to getting rid of racism is to stop talking about it. Ignore intolerance and reward tolerance. Use the B.F. Skinner model for classical conditioning. Create a new divide. People that are willing to see past illusionary boundaries, and people that can't. The tolerant and the intolerant. That should be the only thing that separates us.
2. Let go of the past
A huge argument I hear when I say that if you ignore racism it can go away is, "What about what happen?" What about it? It's in the past. What happen yesterday doesn't have to affect today. In order to move on to a brighter future we must first let go of our darker past. Many people were killed, enslaved and discriminated against. But it is those happenings that not only led to your existence, but also brought the process of liberation to where it stands. If MLK was so worried about slavery then he wouldn't have been able to win so much support and gain so much ground for civil rights. Let go of the past and create a positive future.
3. Be an ambassador.
The only way to get everyone on the same page and loving each other no matter what, is to be a good ambassador for what you represent. If your black, be an awesome black person. If your gay, same thing! By the way, I use African American and homosexual because they are big issues right now, but this applies to every race, religion, nationality, etc.
The way we defeat ignorance is through enlightenment. If a white person thinks black people are primarily criminals, than show them one who is not. If a straight person thinks gay people shouldn't get married or adopt children, then get married and show them that it works. Adopt kids and raise them up well. Show them that everyone has the right to be a good spouse and parent. Whatever you do, don't get angry, don't get discouraged. You are true in whatever it is you are, that other person that says you are not is confused, misinformed or possibly just and asshole. So be an ambassador for your group and for the future of your group in a beautiful and tolerant society of free thinking, open minded people.
4. Rising above stereotypes
Fact or Fiction? Storytelling or statistics? As a member of any group we must be aware that not all stereotypes are untrue. Like how "1 in every 15 African American men and 1 in every 36 Hispanic men are incarcerated in comparison to 1 in every 106 white men"(http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/race/news/2012/03/13/11351/the-top-10-most-startling-facts-about-people-of-color-and-criminal-justice-in-the-united-states/)
This isn't a false stereotype... This also doesn't mean that colored people are more prone to criminality. It simply means that they are incarcerated more. But if you get angry about statistics and facts, you can never get to the bottom of the problem to solve it. It is not important that your feelings are hurt by a statistic. But it is important that we recognize the real problem which is that a disproportionate amount of color people go to jail. Then we can asked why.
Here is one theory
This country was founded by white males. The laws were also written by white males. We can contemplate the possibility that the laws were also written in their favor, even if subconsciously. There is hefty evidence that law enforcement agency racially profile. There are many situations where African Americans were brutally beaten by police. We can begin to see that there may be some biased within an institution that is suppose to be fair and equal.
By accepting the truths in stereotypes we can ask bigger more direct questions. Like "Why are colored people being incarcerated more?"or one of my favorite race related questions, "Why did a very successful black community get firebombed, destroying a great example of a non violent, successful all black community of prominent businessman and people. http://sfbayview.com/2011/what-happened-to-black-wall-street-on-june-1-1921/) As we accept the fact that some stereotypes are true, we can begin to find solutions and rise above them.
It's about love and understanding. When someone drops the N word in hopes of breaking you, see that they only say it because they are hurt and confused. It is the maturity in knowing the best thing you can do is give that person and hug and tell them that they are mistaken about you. It is you having pride in everything that you are and never doubting your rights to equality and respect. That is were the solution lies. Because if you can't change, even if you try, then you probably shouldn't be worrying about it. Now go out there and show them how its done.