Racism as with many ideas, is a product of the mind. It is a Reality Adversely Created In the Subconscious Mind of the person who is experiencing it.
Racism is not a collective phenomena, it is an individual experience that is different for everyone. Air is a collective phenomenon, you breathe in air, I breathe in air. There can be no arguments as to whether air exist. I don’t have to convince you and you don’t have to convince me. We all accept it. Racism is different. It is as if it is raining on you, yet I am standing right next to you and I am dry, it’s not raining on me. It would be counterproductive for you to spend time arguing with me that it is raining, when clearly, you are experiencing rain, yet I am not. What you can do in such a situation is focus on is figuring out why it is raining on you and not on me. Figure out what you are doing to cause this, and how you can stop it?
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Racism cannot be eradicated from the world by mass movements, riots, or protest, whether peaceful or not. It cannot be stopped by calling on the government to enact new laws or legislations, because while new laws and legislations may govern people’s behaviour, it does not change their minds. And it is in the mind that racism festers and grows and creates problems in our society.
We have been fighting racism for years, all over the world, across the African continent, North America, across Europe, in many parts of the world, nothing has changed, because it is not a change in circumstance that is required, but a change in perspective, a change in belief and a change in the way you think.
Nelson Mandela was a strong advocate against racism in South Africa. During his struggle, many people were killed, both black and white, until Mandela was imprisoned for 27 years. It was only during his time in prison he realised, that the struggle for freedom was not a physical fight but a mental battle. And in this fight, it’s every man for himself. During his time in solitude he was able to free himself from mental slavery, and what happened, he became the president of South Africa. It’s not that things on the outside had changed, up till today South Africa is still entwined in a colour struggle, so it’s not that things were so good. No. It was that he changed his thoughts, his beliefs and his perspective of the world, and everything changed for him, and for those who bought into his new beliefs.
Martin Luther King Junior has a public holiday named after him in America, funny enough, during black lives matter, no one mentioned him. Anyway, Dr. King fought against racism, he mobilised black people, they rioted, they protested, they resisted, they called for political change, and what did that achieve, a sit on the back of the bus? Nothing changed. Until Martin said, you know what, we are focusing on the wrong thing. It’s not them, it’s us. Forget white people, let us focus on us, on our development as a people, let us come together. And that was what they did, they patronised black owned businesses, they forgot about the seat on the back of the bus they fought so hard for and walked, they shared what they had, they helped each other and that was why Martin Luther King was killed. Because a people, no matter what colour, class or creed, a people who decide to come together, work together, is unstoppable. Both Martin Luther King Jr and Malcolm X were killed for the same reason, they encouraged black people to focus on self, to seek the solution within themselves.
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From the times of those freedom fighters, to now, the concept of racism has evolved, it has become trendy, and popular. So trendy that now white people want to be a part of it, black people would risk their life, the welfare of their children, their whole existence to not be left out of it. Black people cannot say no, I have not experienced racism, I don’t believe in it, because fellow black folk would look at them and say, “who do you think you are?” they may be bullied, they may even be ostracized by their own people.
Me, I am fearless, so I can tell you, that rain never fell on me. I have never experienced racism. I grew up in the Caribbean, a tourist country, I worked in hotels and came into contact with countless white people. I live here in Northern Ireland, surrounded by white people, a country that has experienced 100 years of troubles, one church against another. Yet I have never experienced racism. When I talk to white people, I don’t see them as different to me, They are not more fortunate, or less fortunate, they are neither superior, nor inferior, I don’t see the colour of their skin, I see a human being who is exactly the same as me. I am short and there are some tall people, I am a female and there are males, I am dark skinned, so someone has to be light skinned. That does not make us different in any way, we are made of the same stuff, we came from the same place, and we are returning to the exact same place. You may not believe in life after life, but I do. And I believe everyone gets a chance to experience everything. You may be male today, tomorrow you may be female. You may be white this time around, next time you may be black.
Most people don’t want this outdated phenomena to end. They don’t want things to get better for black people as a race, they would like things to remain the same. I saw this clearly during the recent Black Lives Matter hooray. The biggest advocates, the loudest voices, refused to engage, they refused to discuss, all they were interested in was the problem, not the solution. One of my friends, posted, “the next person who says, all lives matter, I will do this and I will do that…” so I typed, all lives matter, and up till today, with over 150 comments not a single person engaged in discussion. A white woman from Belfast posted her support and agreement with the black lives matter issue. And true to form, I commented, and not a single engagement. It was the biggest elephant in the room. Everyone knew it was there, they said it was there, but they refused to look at it, to acknowledge the issue and face it head on.
Some people blatantly chose destruction of their lives over changing their thoughts on racism. One guy I know had a football contract for a national team, then he decided to focus on race related issues. I commented on his post, “are you sure this is what you wish to focus on?” It was as if I had poured gas on fire.” It was not very long after the universe, God, heard his cry, he lost his contract and had all the time he needed to go and fight for his rights. Another guy, I commented on his post, asking, “what would you like to achieve from this post?” He said, “I don’t want my son to get killed by the police.” I gave him step by step directions on how to eradicate racism from his mind and his life. The next day he updated his profile pic with the BLM logo and blocked me. It was clear to me, and I am sure it was clear to him, that he had chosen to believe in racism, rather than save the life of his child.
Racism, however, is easy to eliminate. Its elimination begins with eliminating it from your mind. As human beings we have thoughts, these thoughts form our beliefs and these beliefs create our perspective which then sponsors more thoughts in a never ending cycle.
Your thought is the way you think, it is the first thing that comes to your mind when you experience a given situation. These thoughts are contextualised by the experiences you have had in your home, in your school and in your social interactions. These thoughts act like a magnet, attracting to you experiences of a like kind. For example, if you continually think racism, you will experience a lot of it. You won’t realise that you are bringing yourself to these experiences, you will think, things are just happening to me, but in fact you are drawing them to you like a magnet.
Your thoughts form themselves into beliefs. Your belief is the way people see you. When they look at you, when they interact with you, your belief is what they see, it is what they feel, it is the vibe they get from you. Generally each person has one umbrella belief about a thing. A person who believes in racism may have a belief that black people are denied opportunities due to racism. For example, based on your numerous thoughts and experiences, you may develop a belief that black people don’t’ get opportunities in Northern Ireland because of racism. This is what you will experience. And no matter how qualified you are, how much you want the job, no matter how much the company wants to hire you, you will not get the job. Because you have created a self-fulfilling prophesy. Your beliefs create the world you experience, because what people see when they look at you are the things you believe to be true.
Your beliefs create your perspective. Your perspective is the way you see the outside world. For example, based on that job interview, you may be okay, but if it happens a second time, which it will, if you don’t change your belief, you then begin to see the world differently. Now, it’s not just that you are not getting the job you desire, it is that now you see the world as a dark and dangerous place. You begin to believe that people are against you, people are fighting you down, they don’t want you to succeed, you even think they hate you. When in truth and in fact, you are making all this up in your mind. It is a Reality you have Adversely Created In your Subconscious Mind.
To eliminate it from your mind, you simply need to change your thoughts, your beliefs, and your perspective.