Deconstructing Racism

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Over the last ten years, I’ve come to realize I am racist, sexist and classist. I don’t want to be, but I was born into the land of opportunity. Even though my family barely registered as middle class, much was available to me and still is. I’m inherently prejudiced because I’m conditioned for it.

I admit this reality, not because I’m embracing it, but because I don’t want to waste energy denying it. I want to use that energy towards making a difference to deconstruct the conditioning from the past. When we pretend that we’re the good guys, that’s when opportunities are lost. Yes, life is so much better for many people, but there is more that we can do. Part of the opportunity is to stop deluding ourselves. It’s easy to spot the overt racism and sexism, but how about the subtle forms? How about the reverse forms? How about the self-hatred? I’m still confused when I hear women say that they don’t like women. This inherently means they don’t like themselves.

I raise this issue not so we can become angry, but so that we can become energized. Racism, sexism and oppression are forms of hatred. But they are not genetic. Hatred is not genetic. But, it’s our “will to survive” that causes CEOs to make more money than all of their employees. It’s our “will to survive” that makes us think we’re entitled to so much excess. Do we really need a dessert? Are we really deprived if we don’t take a vacation? Exactly what are our priorities? To what are we really entitled?

By recognizing our social conditioning, we are closer to deconstructing it and evolving. We have a great opportunity to change. But, first, we must take some time for self-examination. Ask ourselves, to what degree do we still retain racism for all skin colors, for all cultures? To what degree do we retain sexism for all sexes and sexual perspectives and preferences?

Instead of making it a question of whether hatred still exists, let’s acknowledge it does and work from there. Let’s question what we really need or want to make our lives authentic. Even more importantly: In all things be kind.

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