Sunday, September 02, 2007

Aother Great post on Racialicious!

Once again my favorite blog has hit a home run in my heart. Latoya Peterson posted her thought provoking piece: 4th generation racist: Can you be anti-racist if you’re anti-white?

Here is my comment that I made in response to it. Please check out her post for more background. I just thought I'd share my comment with my readers too!

Wow! Latoya your honesty was so beautiful! I struggle with racism (which I define as prejudice towards individuals & groups based upon notions of race) and wholly identify as an anti-racist activist. I'm guilty of making Jewish jokes. I'm guilty of not being as nice to someone as I could because they were white. I'm guilty of seeing the quote-unquote big black man walking towards me at night & being scared. I'm guilty of seeing people acting out my preconceived notions of them & hating them.

I'd like to think or at least I hope that my work as an activist & doing tangible works to benefit equality for all humans has helped my racist karma. But what seems to help me most is doing just what you did Latoya- honesty. To admit my prejudice, to admit my mistakes. To admit these things & then actively work towards changing my thoughts & attitudes. If I don't acknowledge the hate & pain of racism I can't move past it & help others to do the same.

The forgiveness & understanding of my own prejudices helped me to feel a little less angry towards those who are or would be racist towards me. That maybe if we all had ways to take action & see racism not only as something that "kinda sucks for some people" but as what I feel it is, a dis-ease of perception, we can really heal ourselves & the world(s) around us.

So how do we take ACTION? I heard a long time ago that people can't think their way into right action, but must act their way into right thinking. So far there is no 12 step racism recovery group. There are no prejudice rehab's. But there are groups like Carmen's anti-racism group. There is this wonderful website Racialicious & the equally great podcast Addicted to Race that gives folks a chance to listen. And to really listen with all out heart is a great way to take action.

The price we pay for being honest can be great. So many are afraid of their own feelings. But getting honest with ourselves & then finding the ways to do the real work of erasing racism within & around us does have rewards. The rewards are being able to have that one moment when we look at someone & see the person & not just their skin color. We get moments where we can be satisfied with the freedom of knowing ourselves & becoming the people we wish to become. We get to listen (as George Michael would say) without prejudice one moment, one day at a time. We get to know others experiences with race & racism & not shut them down. We get to see folk's skin not as something that defines a them but adds to their experience.

Well that's enough out of me! Peace y'all.

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