I used to post and blog about topics that are currently trending in the news and what I considered my followers might be interested in reading. But, now I post and blog about experiential events that personally touched me. I post and blog about psychological disturbances affecting my network of family, friends, colleagues, and acquaintances that I am empathetic towards.
Racism, I can relate to personally, having been a subject of racial slur during my teenage years. When I first came to the UK, in the mid 80’s, I was certainly the minority in school. With a disadvantage of unable to speak English as a child, this did not prevent me from reading body language of my classmates, I was able to pick up racial taunts among fellow students, careless whispers and cheeky Chinese imitations. If you have experience someone being racist, you will know the kind of subtle behaviours I mean. Bless their ignorance, in their sheltered lives, they have not seen an oriental girl before and do not know differences between races.
As I grew up and integrated into English culture, at college, I sheepishly, found myself being the perpetrator of racial slur at other foreign nationals, because I really wanted to fit in, even though I am also a minority! So, I believed that I do hold a perspective as a victim of racism, as well as, a perpetrator of racism. I believed that we are all capable of being racist through misjudgement and naivety.
Articles on racism are becoming an everyday normal news, according to statistics, especially since Brexit. It is unsurprising how some people gain self-esteem through hateful prejudices this way, I certain gain confident when I was part of the group that target another group racially.
Racism has long been part of every day’s stresses within societies. It originated as soon as humans developed the awareness of group survival, learning to share resources and become part of the group means safety during those very harsh ‘survival of the fittest’ in the Palaeolithic era. Early human begins evolution from the apes, through to Homo habilis to Homo erectus, to Homo sapien (species of modern human existence). They would have had to face other races in order to survive and be a dominant species that currently inhibiting the planet. They dominated over Homo neanderthalensis, a race once dominant in history. Evolution has been about the fight for survival with different races, so, it is such a surprise that racism exists?
Today, when you look, on the ‘outside’ a person of ‘white’, ‘pink’, ‘brown’, ‘yellow’, ‘black’, and ‘tan’ skin-coloured hue, you judge against them, according to their race by their skin colour, this is the true colour of racism. It is visibly noticeable to distinguish someone by their skin colour. It is easy to de-humanise a person and target them by their skin colour. It is plain sailing to dislike someone because of their skin colour. It is facile to belittlingly begrudge someone because of their skin colour, when in fact there are other underlying reasons for the unhealthy envy. It is effortless to have jealous stint with someone because of their skin colour bases on inequality.
Up until Brexit, people may have hidden their hatred behind closed doors. And Brexit seemed to have given many xenophobic people the ok to come out. Many people seem to become confident in their hatred for racism. It is not that Brexit causes people to become racist. I’m simply saying that racism has always been part of societies, and it will continue to be a challenge long into the future because it is our evolutionary make-up to be self-severing, species protective, but I really don’t like stating the obvious, aren’t we all made up of the same colour on the ‘inside’?
Why are people racist? Because we are threatened by individuality and uniqueness. Because we are unhealthy envious of the person, for their successful career, wealth and possession. Because we are jealous of the person base on their looks, their physique and their beautiful tan.
Being racist is like a cancer, it will eventually consumes you. It poisons the mind, and when the mind is toxic, this causes the body to wither and die. You can make a difference to the toxic thinking and be consciously aware of your thoughts and beliefs. Isn’t far healthier to be mindful of your thoughts, your judgments, and your behaviours towards others. For me personally, it is watching out for those automatic thoughts, and the instance judgement creeps into the mind, when in that situation, I’d ask myself, what is it that I am thinking and feeling, about myself, that bring on these thoughts. I’d ask myself why I think this about the person in front of me. I’d ask myself what I see in this person that reflects back about me.
Being self-aware helps me to reality check what it is that I am admittedly lacking that I project my hatred onto others by racial slurring. Being self-aware helps me to become conscious of how my unconscious actions affect others. Being self-aware helps me to be more receptive of other’s feelings. Being self-aware helps me to realise my ecological awareness and the needs of others and their rights. Once, I have this insight, I was able to be non-judgmental, emphatic, and accepting. Just like in my therapy room, I hold everyone I meet, friends or foes, with unconditional positive regards.