Where do we draw the line? At actions, words, or thoughts?
We the people(s) gave Nazis a green light once.
Hatred escalated and scarred us deeply.
Let it remain in history as a shameful exception.
Have you never discriminated?
The side of racism that we can see is the one built with actions and words. An image of brutality and utter disdain. At times swept under the rug or, on the contrary, displayed proudly as a core belief. By people like you and me. But actions and words are so easy to control…
It’s not that hard to act in a non-racist manner, really. It’s not that hard to refrain from saying hurtful things based on skin color, ethnicity, gender, or sexual preference. Because racism isn’t the only plague. All discrimination is, even a positive one. Two wrongs don’t make a right, although we might find positive discrimination useful as a counterbalance in this early attempt to correct the negative one.
Do we not have a mechanism to pause our train of thought before voicing it? A speed bump for thoughts is the first thing we need. Because the main culprit, the invisible executioner, the root of all suffering lies in our thoughts. Thoughts that have been molded by our interactions since early childhood. Thoughts that have been wrongfully planted in non-discerning minds and later on validated by others just like us.
Yes, thoughts lead to those discriminatory words and actions in the first place. So, let’s reframe them!
Take a moment and be honest with yourself
Identify your racist thoughts and “reply” to them with more realistic, balanced statements.
Say you are presented with a crime and a series of suspects, without other details. If you automatically think, “It is probably one of the black guys”, remind yourself, “Any of them could have done it. They are all equal. Wait for the evidence to speak.”
Do this each and every time you find yourself in a situation where racism could be a factor. Don’t act or speak before you think. And when you think, be honest with yourself and correct the thought as it is budding. Consider it a mental hygiene exercise. You will soon be able to cleanse yourself of this hateful bias that is so deeply impregnated in the mind.
And remember, this is not in anyone’s nature! This is not unbreakable! Just weed out the putrid sprouts and spread only the good seeds.
Don’t blame it on Trump or Boris Johnson. A racist in charge does not “create” racism, it only validates it and allows it to surface.
Don’t blame it on parents and the rest of the family. They did the best they could to raise us given what they had been taught.
Don’t blame it on society as a whole. Society as a whole cannot be held responsible for anything.
It is up to each and every one of us to make a change for the better. But it all starts with admitting we have a problem.
So, be honest with yourself: Are you sure you’re not racist?
I am Eastern European and I don’t feel welcome in the English writing world. This is a pen name.