This morning I had quite an interesting experience in the store. I was at the register while another customer came by and noticed a phone had been left on the counter. Neither the cashier nor I had seen it. The other customer picked it up and after a back and forth of the cashier and I telling him that he needed to give it to her he decided to tell us we both could not be trusted and were probably conspiring to steal the phone and he needed to be the one to ensure the phone was safe. I was so shocked by this, it’s not often I experience racism so bluntly. The cashier and I looked at each other in shock. Did he just say we, two black women were not capable of being trusted with a phone and were conspiring thieves, to boot? Asserting that we even knew each other was bizarre to begin with.
The person who had left the phone came in the middle of this. The customer holding the phone acted as if he had saved it from us for the owner. I was quite taken back by this blatant disrespect. I stood up for myself sternly. Not violently, sternly. I stood in my self-worth knowing I do not deserve to be treated that way, neither did the cashier. I walked out of the store shaking and upset. Then I started to rehash what had happened. What an incredible lesson of self-worth that experience at the store was.
I can take my experience and project it out into the world and make myself right. However, what would that do? I would find tons of agreement, I’m sure, on how terrible this human being must be, and what would that feed? Entitlement to be racist and say it’s justifiable because I experienced racism?
I am Black and Puerto Rican. Growing up I experienced racism from many people. I experienced racism from Black people for not being ‘Black enough.’ I was repeatedly berated and called ‘yellow’ because of my skin color by Black supremacists who looked at me with disdain and had no problem telling me how worthless they thought I was… telling me I wasn’t really Black. I wasn’t pure, and therefore I was disgusting.
I’ve experienced racism from Latinos for being Black. Or, to find comfort with me, the Latinos would completely dismiss the fact I am also Black, so then to them I am acceptable because I’m not ‘one of those Black people.’
I was bullied in school for ‘talking like a white girl’ by both the Black and Latinos. To this, I finally replied ‘I speak like an educated person. I am sorry you think only white people are educated.’
I had to find my way out of bullying either by verbally asserting myself or physically puffing myself up to be intimidating. I learned to be perceived as scary so I wouldn’t be jumped. For those who do not know, jumped means being beaten by a gang of girls which happened a lot in NYC. I learned how to watch the temperature of people around me to survive. The Black and Latino girls were the ones doing the jumping. These girls were a lot less likely to jump you if they couldn’t predict what you were capable of. I had enough rage in me that it wasn’t an act. So for the most part as I started to get older, people left me alone.
I had a White man walk by me and call me ‘nigger’ in passing. I actually laughed out loud at him because I didn’t even realize people like that still existed. I knew kids from school whose parents were KKK members, and who passed out leaflets to other kids. I’ve been in conversation with Neo-Nazi’s – actual ones – and their racism runs deep. However, the most intensive and prolonged racism I have ever experienced has been from racists of my ethnicity, Black and Latinos. That was where my own personal safety was on the line. The most outspoken and persistent racism I have received was and is from Black supremacists. In my life that is simply what has been true.
To take that experience and limit myself regarding who I talk to would be a bizarre thing to do. I would then be taking my experience and projecting it onto the entire Black and Latino community. They would all be punishable in my eyes for my experiences. That’s the same as if I did that with the White community, and blamed the entire White community for my experiences of racism.
Racism is racism and hatred is hatred. No human is exempt from feeling hatred and everyone is responsible when they feed it. There is nothing wrong with hate itself as an experience, it’s human. It’s what we do with it that then shows who we choose to be in the moment. Standing for all human rights, regardless of absolute agreement, to me is primary.
Hating a hateful person’s actions rather than them as people takes understanding that only I can generate. I can’t force another person to make me change my own mind about them. That is absurd. It is solely my responsibility to let go of my judgment of them, even for judging me. Understanding comes from the knowing that everyone is human and doing their best, and ultimately people just want to be loved.
With the word love, especially lately, being thrown around and misused and abused as an umbrella for in fact hatred, I’ve found myself cringing at using the word at times. I refuse to cave into that cringing. I will not be afraid to use the word love and to, in fact, be love and see love to the best of my human ability.
When people tell me, most often very self righteously with much posturing and virtue-signaling, they are anti-racism, I’m now just in awe by the term. I find it fascinating to hear people saying they are intolerant of intolerance. It’s almost humorous. How can I say I am intolerant of intolerance? That is me saying I hate the hater which absolutely moves nothing. How can I say I supposedly stand for love if what I’m saying is ‘I should not be hated, but we need to hate that person over there and everyone like them!’. Merriam Webster defines racism as this:
“a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race”
Racism says a group of people is superior and another is inferior. If I am saying ‘I hate racists’ I am doing the very same thing that I say I hate. I am labeling and dehumanizing an entire group of people, treating them as less than. To be ‘anti-racism’ ultimately boils down to being anti-racist, anti-the person. This is what is happening now.
Is it important to be aware of racism? Absolutely.
It is what is done with that knowledge thereafter which makes a difference.
All of these people from whom I experienced racism are still human beings.
Ultimately racism is not about me.
When a person views me with blind hatred, that has nothing to do with me. That is about their relationship with themselves. They can project that hatred outward. However, it has to start within first. Subsequently, if I were to hate them, that would only be a reflection of my own self hatred. I can hate their actions, but when I hate them as people, I am being the hatred itself. I become the very vehicle of hate. I am very clear that whatever is triggered in people who say they ‘stand against racism’ while belittling me, dehumanizing me and trying to shut my voice down, is far older than this election and me and none of my business. So many triggered people inciting violence rather than enacting self care and having unifying conversations. So little action for peace, so much call for silencing dissenting opinion rather than facing what is triggered in self that is calling for healing.
I cannot control how people view me in the world. I cannot. If I am hateful against racists for being hateful towards me, what would that do? It sure wouldn’t heal a damn thing in this world, I’ll tell you that much.When people who have known me for over a decade have become so ravenous with hate under the guise of ‘anti racism’ that they can no longer speak to me like a human being and can only speak to me through arrogance, contempt and vitriol, where have we come to? Being addressed with hate because I’m not ‘one of them’ is pure division. Is that not exactly what racists do? Just like I am not going to take on when approached by a racist, I will not take on the self deprecating projections of self proclaimed ‘anti-racists’. The amount of arrogance I have been consistently met with for not fitting a specific narrative and the attempts at shaming me- I say attempts as I choose to not be shamed, I refuse to give anyone that power -has been very eye opening for me as of late. Being told I am brainwashed for not jumping on the scapegoating bandwagon is at the very least laughable and at the most, shocking. To share that I stand for unity and be met with viciousness has been quite shocking. The masks are off and the shadow is out. I wouldn’t get to live in the experience of my innate wholeness if I let these experiences dictate who I am. I am not how I am perceived by these people. I am me. I am whole, beautiful and complete.
To want to control another’s view of me is not a stand for freedom. That is domination. What I can do is stand in my power, self worth and self love and be kind to myself.
The emotional pain of dealing with racism must be processed. Unprocessed pain, in my experience, fuels rage. Sometimes the rage is an immediate result. Sometimes the rage takes time to show up. Anger is a protective emotion. It has its place, keeps me safe. When I am not responsible with my anger, that is when I can cause damage. If I feel justified to be hurtful towards another, that is irresponsible. I cannot be powerful unless I am responsible. Self-responsibility is strength. Violence is not strength.
I could have continued and made my anger at the other customer I mention at the beginning of this article, very right. While my anger is very real, valid and I have every right to feel it, I get to choose where I go from that point. If I continued down the path into loathing him it would only lead to my own self loathing. I cannot loathe another person without ultimately loathing myself. I found my worthiness in that moment and in that I found his.
The only way to abate racism is through education, compassion and of course boundaries of what is and isn’t safe, such as laws. We the people have the right to speak up non-violently, and stand for the differences we would like to see. That requires creating conversations that are uncomfortable with the goal of finding common ground, and in this unity.
What we are witnessing now in society is everyone’s shadow come out in full garb. That is what is confronting; one’s own shadow-self coming up asking to be seen. Rather than be with it, most people choose to run from self and project their shadow onto others. It’s what we do, we’re human. Therefore, the boogey man is always outside, instead of owning it as the shadow aspect of self asking for acceptance and love. The illusion sticks, and nobody can see themselves as the bad guy. Many aren’t even interested in trying on that level of responsibility.
I am grateful to racism and all of the hatred being spewed so freely because I get to speak and stand with strength in the knowing I am undeserving of being treated with disrespect. Even hate can inspire love. Ultimately we are all worthy of love. Racists are no less worthy of love, they are human after all. I choose to perceive racism and the face of vicious hatred under the guise of ‘peace’, as my own lesson of self love and self worth. I also practice self care. There can be no superiority without first a deep feeling of inferiority. They are flip sides of the same coin and one cannot be in action without being rooted in the other. When I continue to choose self love, I do not have to worry about superiority nor inferiority as it has nothing to do with me. When I am kind to myself, I get to create conversations that open possibility. Hatred is like a base material that needs transmuting. It is not meant to be used as a way of life, it is simply an energy to be owned and then transformed into love. The shadow is a ‘part’ of self, when accepted and loved it divulges deep authenticity. That is the authenticity that creates a lasting difference in this world. Love isn’t always comfortable, it can be gritty. Being love means taking an uncomfortable look at self first rather than projecting and blaming the ills of the world onto another person or another ‘group’ of people.
I get when someone’s inner activist has been activated for the first time. I understand that well. I’ve experienced it myself. When the activist gets activated it’s like the whole body goes straight into fight, flight, freeze, total survival mode. It’s like being a naked baby in the woods, absolute freak out. People panic and don’t know what to do with the energy, so they lash out blindly. It takes time to take activist energy and be able to be responsible with it and not constantly belligerent.
I distinguish belligerent from pure raw activist authentic energy. To me belligerence is what fuels riots and confuses beliefs for facts. Belligerence doesn’t care about consequence nor human unity and it is not how an adult acts, it is simply that baby in the woods panicking. Pure raw authentic activist energy holds a center of coming together and uniting people. Regardless of the intensity of words, the intent is to bring people together. Some people can do really well in activist energy for long periods of time, can hold their voice and be brilliantly authentic. It’s not for everyone though, that high level energy, and only each person can know what is right for them.
Regardless, it takes me stopping and asking myself ‘Do I need to be in this conversation with this person right now or do I need to take a self-care break and really get conscious of what is coming out of my mouth? Is me being right more important than this relationship or can I find love in the disagreement? Where can I use my voice where it makes a difference? How can I funnel this into conversations of awareness rather than violence?’
The bottom line is no matter how activated I am as an activist I am ultimately responsible for what I say and how I treat others. Lack of responsibility is exactly what provokes violence, scapegoating and dehumanization.
Racism- real racism, not the people labeled as racist simply for being White and not fitting a specific narrative – and ‘anti-racism,’ both are set on the example of ‘minority.’ The ‘anti-racism’ crowd treats me like someone incapable who needs championing, as if I can not possibly stand for myself, treating me like I am a ‘minority’ which needs special handling that only they know how to do… like an exotic pet. And anything I do that does not fit this narrative means I surely must be brainwashed and must promptly seek help, shut up, and learn something from their almighty and clearly superior ways of thinking.
Overt racists, from my experience, also see me as a minority and therefore separate and inadequate. The similarities are not hard to see. I do not accept the continued segregation of being called a ‘minority.’ As if a number of ‘my kind’ makes me less than.
Everyone is my kind. We are all people and I am a person, a whole human being who will not take on the label of ‘less than’ any longer. That means all I need to do is be present to my innate power, my sovereignty, when in the face of racism/anti-racism. We are all powerful and I choose to relate to people this way because I choose to relate to myself this way.
Right now students at Elizabethtown College in Pennsylvania are wearing pins in the shape of a puzzle piece to ‘remind them of their White privilege,’ courtesy of the College Democrats. Aileen Ida, president of the College Democrats states:
““No matter how accepting someone is, that doesn’t stop them from being part of a system based on centuries of inequality.”
Telling White students to wear a symbol of inferiority is at its very core shame based and in fact segregating. This anti-racism push is in fact completely racist. To blame White people for inequality in the world is a farce. White people did not invent nor source inequality, violence, racism and bigotry. These things have been a part of all of humanity. Every single ‘group’ of humans has enacted all of these things. Labeling White people racist because they are White I find very troubling to say the least. I do not believe that White people need to hold guilt for what has happened in the past. Just as I do not believe I need to hold guilt for the Spanish inquisition because my great-grandfather was from Spain. Nor do I believe Germans are nazi’s because of the Holocaust. When we take an entire group of people and shame them and tell them they deserve to feel ashamed, we have created a scapegoat. There is nothing original about it and its exactly what created the very ‘centuries of inequality’ Aileen Ida says she is standing against. With this month long campaign riddled with anti-racism rhetoric, Ida is in fact being the very thing she says she stands against, and promoting inequality.
To say that because of their skin color an entire group must be treated as guilty, is a very dangerous precedent. I was not born on a plantation. No White person owns me nor can they. This is not the reality of today. I am not a slave. I have not once lived my life as a slave and I would appreciate the self deprecating- which again, cannot exist without a feeling of superiority- people of the White community to stop treating me as if I have. I am an American. I was born here in America and I have all the rights of an American. I have every single opportunity available to me at any time. I can do anything I put my mind to. I am not incapable and this whole ‘White privilege’ illusion acts like some bizarre pedestal from which to treat me as inferior. I don’t subscribe to it, not one bit. It’s absolute pandering to victim mentality.
The anti-racism peddling of the illusion of ‘White privilege’ is just another conversation telling American Black and Latino communities they can’t make it. Another ‘give up, you are powerless in this world’ conversation geared towards the Black and Latino community in the guise of ‘anti-racism.’ I am really tired of being treated like I’m a victim in this world because of my skin color.
I am calling for a radical shift in this narrative.
I have been taught that I am a minority.
I am not separate.
I am a human being.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. did not sacrifice his life for me to still live in segregation being called a ‘minority.’ His stand was for us to see each other as human beings. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was very clearly for standing up for what we believe in and doing it with peace and with dignity, not violence. He was also very clear on how best to move forward, and hate was never a part of it:
“But there is something that I must say to my people, who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice: In the process of gaining our rightful place, we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred. We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again, we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force.
The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to a distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny. And they have come to realize that their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom.
We cannot walk alone.
And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead.
We cannot turn back.”
We cannot turn back. The hatred fueling the current claim to ‘anti-racism’ has slid down the slippery slope to ‘anti-racist’ which is now ‘anti-anyone who disagrees with me or says something confronting.’ In the space of human connection, we cannot hold the views that enact segregation conversation. All of us are powerful regardless of ethnicity. All of us. No more segregation.
Hearing people throw around Hitler’s name to justify their own scapegoating and hatred has been the most surreal and bizarre works of campaigning I have experienced lately. I do not stand by scapegoating. It’s a dangerous and violent habit. To say we can now scapegoat people for being racist – I don’t stand by that. They are humans first. To say we can call people ‘racist’ for simply thinking differently is dangerous, and promotes fear of having conflicting thoughts. When thoughts and ideas are ‘dangerous’ we lose touch with all of the freedom so many fought, killed, suffered and died for.
Political correctness is exactly one of these issues that tramples on our freedom of speech. PC gives people a weapon to feel justified for shutting down another’s voice. I used to think it was ‘kind’ to be politically correct and now I find nothing of the sort. It is actually a direct attack on the freedoms of others and in this the freedom of self. When we fear words, we fear ourselves. I do not have that power, nor would I want to create the illusion I have the power to control another’s voice. The call for ‘PC’ is this very illusion. It is at it’s very core a stand for division. It is a detriment to growth and self realization. It is a self imposed whipping tool that breeds self flagellation and whittles away at self worth while also lashing out at others to whip themselves. For those who do not wish to whip themselves, then they are surely ‘sinners’ of the highest order.
We are Americans. We live in land of the free. We cannot be afraid of dissent. Censorship may seem fun and ‘right’ to the one’s doing the censoring. However, the world turns, and one day that very censorship will come around to the ones calling for it. Our first amendment was created to protect our freedom of speech for all, not just for those we are comfortable hearing.
The name Hitler is loosely being thrown around to declare we are headed towards fascism because of our President and all of those ‘racists’ and ‘neo-nazis’ running around on campus and in the world. However, Holocaust survivor Marion Ingeborg Andrews, born in 1940, has this to say:
“What is going on in this country is giving me chills. Trump is not like Hitler. Just because a leader wants order doesn’t mean they’re like a dictator.What reminds me more of Hitler than anything else isn’t Trump, it’s the destruction of freedom of speech on the college campuses — the agendas fueled by the professors.
That’s how Hitler started, he pulled in the youth to miseducate them, to brainwash them, it’s happening today.”
“America needs to grow up. The young people who are rioting and destroying property, who have no respect for elders and freedom of speech, I was so proud to become a citizen of this country.”
“Professors shouldn’t be telling their students to go after freedom of speech. They should be telling them that this is the greatest country in the world.
The demonstrators can’t tell you why they’re demonstrating. I’m not a Republican. I’m not a Democrat. I just want the country to be at peace.
I see what is happening here reflecting some of the things we saw in Germany, and it’s terrifying. It’s sad. But it’s not because of Trump. It’s because of poor education.
Trump is not like Hitler. The theory that he is is propaganda. Yes, I lived through some of Nazi Germany, but all you have to do is read some books about that period to see how wrong that theory is.”
“My point in saying all this is that if people aren’t able to see outside of one world view, that’s what happens,” Andrews concluded. “They buy the propaganda. And that’s what is happening today. And if people aren’t educated properly and given the ability to think freely — we will repeat that history.”
Political correctness places a consistent attack on our right to speak and think as individuals.
People will have opinions I don’t agree with and I find offensive. That’s life. And as a matter of fact, that is the root of inspiration. Disagreement is powerful alchemy and necessary for growth. It is the very root of invention, disagreeing with what is, and creating something new. However, when disagreement is not carried into creativity, it becomes stale, rots and turns foul. This lack of processing disagreement into what I actually stand for would only keep me bitter and miserable rather than in action and at peace.
Being able to think and speak freely is our right. Being violent towards another for how they think or speak is hatred in action. I do not need you to speak how I say you should so that I am not confronted by my own inner demons. The inner demons, or the shadow so to speak, hold an incredible gift: The diamond in the coal. The shadow is powerful prima materia for conscious shifts of how we act towards ourselves and each other. So, I give space to the hatred hiding in ‘anti racism,‘ the condescending way I have been spoken to, the absolute vile hatred spewed at me, and I get very clearly that it is just as vicious as the actual racism in this world. It is equally as hateful.
I will treat it the same.
I will stand up for myself in self love, and have space for people to be human, which includes verbally projecting their hate. They have freedom of speech, after all. What I will not do is join in on the ‘anti racism’ bandwagon. I’m not interested in fueling the hatred. It’s all scapegoating and I choose not to feed that. It is a cloak. A seemingly righteous cause that however stands completely against peace and possibility. I choose possibility, responsibility and connection. Racism/anti racism do not and I have found them to be one and the same.
Ultimately what I see and disdain in another, is surely what I am afraid to see in myself. If I’m trying to shut someone down, shut up their voice, it is something in me being reflected that I am terrifying of seeing. I am saying ‘shut up’ to my own inner work calling me. Which means I am saying ‘shut up’ to my own self love asking to me be seen. Every disagreement is an opportunity to love myself. I’d rather be uncomfortable and do the work to be present with another human being before me, then lose myself in my own righteousness and forget to be humane. I can only do that when I take the time to slow down, self care and be kind to myself. Love is inclusive and expands, not exclusive and restricting.
The call for self responsibility is not racist, it is saying ‘I see you as powerful.’ Victim mentality cannot hear this. Victim mentality would perish, wither and die, in the face of self responsibility. Therefore, victim mentality must fight to survive. In order for victim mentality to survive, it must not be confronted.
To be powerful is to be responsible. Those two are inseparable just as to live in victim mentality is to live consistently as powerless. Saying ‘I see you as powerful’ is absolutely going to be confronting to most, if not all of us, as we are all human and inevitably at one time or another hiding from our own greatness.
The call to greatness, the hero’s journey as it may, is not filled with comfort. It is filled with absolute dismay, hell, terror and eventually joy, excitement and fulfillment, the birth and rebirth of identity.
I’m a human being, which means I naturally like to be comfortable. I don’t like being responsible. It’s not fun it’s very uncomfortable. Most people given the option of being on vacation or going to work, would rather be on vacation, of course. Most of us would much rather be on a beach somewhere or in the woods camping than going to work. We work because we have to. It’s what it takes to survive. It’s not always fun and it’s not always comfortable but it is the responsible thing to do and it’s vital to self care. This is how I view self responsibility. It is work, it is not play so it’s not fun. It takes work to be responsible. I don’t do it because it feels wonderful- though through it I experience my freedom, my innate strength, and it feels right – I work at self responsibility because I am worth it.
If I am to get fully responsible I could actually question my own experience at the store. Was he in fact being racist in this case? Did he actually say ‘You Black people can’t be trusted’?
No. He did not say those words.
So how much of that was my own perception of what was transpiring? Was it me singling myself and her out as Black that was actually what created the distress of this perception? Either way, to be called untrustworthy merits upset. My question is, was it racist? I’m willing to question myself and actually look. For all I know, he could have felt confronted by being told he should not be looking through the phone. His response to us could have been protective anger. Perhaps he felt insulted. Perhaps I was actually the one that left him feeling untrustworthy to begin with and he was merely defending his own honor. Now granted, him picking up the phone was alarming, but was he going to steal it? He made no move to run and my expressed concern was, he was going to steal it. That was the cashier’s concern as well. Maybe the concern was valid. However, why was it OK for us to be concerned, and racist for him to express his concern? And this person, who knows himself as trustworthy and was the one who pointed out the missing phone to begin with, perhaps felt taken back by two people interacting with him in reaction as if he was not trustworthy. Now, with all of the self righteousness I felt at the beginning of this article, how does it feel to take responsibility for the fact that I left this man feeling unworthy of trust to begin with?
How does it feel to take the lens of race out of this particular interaction and get self responsible for what I did to trigger this person to defend himself?
Well, embarrassing for sure. I was so sure I was right and I was so sure I was a victim. Is the man himself a racist? I will never actually know that. What I can do is be responsible for my interaction with him and the possibility that I left him feeling defensive and under attack, ergo his reaction to me and her. There were, after all, two people vehemently telling him to put the phone down. If I am to be completely honest, I would react the same way he did.
Is there racism in this world? Yes. Is it as frequent or prevalent as one may think? No. A lot has to do with perception and getting uncomfortable, even feeling a moment of embarrassment, to recognize my own filter and be responsible for my perception. In my own filter and identification of being Black I was the one who linked myself and the other Black woman as victims of being Black. That was my experience in the moment. That very filter can blind me to my own responsibility for my interactions with the person before me.
Me separating that man as being racist because he was White, could that not be my own racism peeking through? I saw him not as a man, but as a White man. Now that is uncomfortable.
People say they want racism to end but then project it onto others as if it’s outside of the self. They refuse to do their own work. It only comes back to self. I can’t keep pointing the finger and scream ‘look at all of the hateful people around me!’ without being that very hateful person. It’s all projection. It is my own hatred I am afraid to own, see and be with that I am projecting outside of myself. Pointing the finger screaming ‘you’re a hateful person’ is absolute projection. The inquiry is instead, where am I being hateful?
Not a pretty question. Not comfortable. Not fun and not a vacation.
And I’m worth it.
It is important we remember we are more than a collection of opinions, we are human and that is a commonality we all share. I stand by We Rise, We Rise Together. The ‘We’ begins with one, which is self. Standing for my own self love and success is to stand for my own ‘Rise.‘ To do so requires me owning my innate power. The prerequisite to seeing self as powerful is laying down the comfort of victim mentality and embracing the discomfort of self responsibility.
This is how I love myself.
I would much rather be with that discomfort and take a look at myself than cling to being a victim of my life and circumstances. I’d rather feel that moment than project and fuel centuries old hatred. A little discomfort on my part can keep from perpetuating hatred? How can I say no to that? I won’t invalidate my upset in the situation, which I spoke of at the beginning of this article, and I will take responsibility for and own my part in it. When I do experience racism in its blatant and obvious forms, I can still choose how I take care of myself and choose to speak up. I can do so with dignity and grace. Whatever comes up for me in an interaction with racism is for me to transmute. It ends with me.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. ‘I have a dream’ speech: http://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/mlkihaveadream.htm
Interview of Holocaut survivor Marion Ingeborg Andrews: http://ijr.com/2017/02/797086-youve-heard-people-compare-trump-to-hitler-so-we-asked-a-woman-who-was-born-in-nazi-germany/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=owned&utm_campaign=ods&utm_term=ijamerica&utm_content=politics
College students where white pins:
- Why I’m not ‘anti-racism’ - February 20, 2017
- The death of the ‘Women couldn’t vote’ manipulative narrative - February 1, 2017
- The Feminist Haunted House … no joke - November 6, 2014
Dear Kristal, This is a finely written article on a subject of deep philosophical importance to our nation. You should send this off to Melania Trump.
Thank you very much Ann, I appreciate that and the suggestion.
Kristal, I haven’t read anything form you in a long time and I had forgotten how it always feels like someone has opened a window to let clean, cool air in. It’s not just the substance, it’s the tone too. maybe the calm voice you bring to this particular subject comes from years and years of dealing with it to the point that you reach serenity on the issue.
It’s one thing to identify someone as a threat and to assess them for intentions and capabilities. Hating them is quite different and you bring that out here. Hating them drags you into the mess, brings them into you. It is a form of clinging and clinging is the source of pain.
Hello Ginkgo, thank you very much. And yes, it was years of struggling with it until I finally reached that place of recognizing I was becoming the very thing I spent so much time being upset over. I got to a place of, they can have an issue with me, I don’t have to have an issue with them in return. And ultimately, they are just people looking to be loved at the very core of it all. I definitely place my self care first and safety and take each person as an individual experience. Yes, I believe hating them only creates a very bizarre codependency to them and cycles the pain rather than heals.
I wondered where you’d gone off to, Kristal! It’s good to see your writing again! One point you allude to which I think is worth underlining and highlighting is the prevalence of people to take out their worst on people who are most like them. In legal parlance I believe this sort of thing is often referred to as affinity crime, and it can range from physical and emotional violence to grift–Bernie Madoff, after all, made a hella lot of money by ripping off other Jews. But I digress. In any event, it’s good to see you back. 🙂 Yrs., -Graham Strouse
Thank you very much for reading! Much appreciated. Affinity crime I had not heard of this term thank you for sharing that. It’s amazing that this happens and I find it really puzzling too.
Actually, I didn’t know this was a thing myself until I heard the term on one of my favorite heist/caper shows (Leverage.) I did a bit of research and welp, yeah this is a real-world thing. And it makes sense psychologically when you think about it. People who are part of a tight ethnic in-group often find it easier to gain the trust of other people within that in-group. If their intentions are nefarious, well, it makes for an easier con. As for the violence, I think it comes down to proximity and emotional connections. One side of my mom’s family (the Grahams–guess who I was named after.. ;-)) was notoriously combatitive. We fought with each other, with other Scottish clans, with the English. We were kicked out of Scotland, England, Ireland, and by the time we were banished to America, we managed to get ourselves get out of Arizona for being too violent. That takes serious dedication!
But enough of that! It’s good to see you back again, Kristal! I hope to see more of your work on at the Badger Brigade!
Stay safe; sane is optional,
Quite a powerful background haha and thank you! Yes, sane is very much optional lol Good chatting. Talk soon.
You’re the best, Kristal!
Takes one to know one 😉
Graham Strouse, I invite you to read the new book “Hillbilly Elegy” on the Scotch-Irish of the Kentucky hills.
The writings of Diane Gabaldon, whose mother was a Kentucky hillbilly who married an Arizona Latino, are a powerful bridge between Arizona and Scotland.
Thanks! I’ll check it out!
It is horribly true that we have the most to fear from our own kind. Most African Americans murder victims were killed by someone of their own race. Over and over I have read in social media that the worst bullying people experience is from their own gender.
I have been aware of Kristal Garcia for now about five years, and know that she identified as a Honey Badger for a while. Even so, I am astounded by the strength and power of her mind, and by her very eloquent English. She is not the first woman of colour to denounce the racial and gender pieties that have pervaded the USA and Canada in recent decades.
Ms Garcia is not alone. There was Zora Neale Hurston. There are Thomas Sowell, Shelby Steele and Richard Rodriguez.
The hardest place to be in America today is… a woman of colour with a high IQ, who takes the life of the mind seriously.
How bizarre, I commented, but it didn’t post interesting. Maybe I forgot to hit send. Anyway, thank you very much for your kind words. I don’t find my experience any more difficult than anyone else taking a strong stand in the face of divisive narratives.
“To take a strong stand in the face of divisive narratives” (you write well, Ms Garcia), always and everywhere requires considerable courage.
Excellent article, you have helped crystallize for me a lot of previously confused thoughts about race, anti-racism and the scapegoating of one part of the population by another. Here, the “whites” are the minority, but the game is the same, with the buzzword being “colonist” and “de-colonization” which evidently means eradicating people of a certain race group.
While I appreciate parts of this article, the main problem with this author’s
premises is that she confuses racism with prejudice. Racism is a
systemic/collective issue, not simply about individuals who may not
like someone due to their race. I do agree with Kristal about not taking a permanent victim stance in life whenever things happen. As she writes: “When I do experience racism in its blatant and obvious forms, I can still choose how I take care of myself and choose to speak up. I can do so with dignity and grace. Whatever comes up for me in an interaction with racism is for me to transmute. It ends with me.” Good approach.