Sunday, July 14, 2013

Contract Against Hate

2 of Koros (Cups) from Buckland Romani Tarot
The Trayvon Martin/George Zimmerman trial has evoked many heated emotions and reactions, and once again there is a spotlight on racism.  I want to talk about that.  Racism. 

Many people believe that we have come a long way since slavery and while I do agree to some extent, to another extent I have to ask…have we really?  Let’s face it, racism is alive and well and many do nothing when they come into contact with it.

When something like this trial happens, I see a different side of people.  People that I thought were not bigoted use these issues an excuse to let their bigot flag fly.  I’m not talking about their opinions on the trial or the situations themselves.  There are non racist people who don’t believe that the actions are necessarily based on race.  What I am talking about is the blatant remarks that are made against a certain race, be it black, brown, yellow, orange or purple polka dotted.  It’s then that I have found out the “true colors” of certain people.  However, if you look closely at these same people in between the big media events, you may see that they were bigots all along, only masking it….trying to hide it.  They say they aren’t racist but their words and actions speak otherwise.  Some purposely hide it while others truly do not have any idea that sometimes what they say is racist.

Let me ask you this….have you heard people make a remark that seems racist but you aren’t sure because it was masked as a joke?  Guess what.  It’s a racist remark.  When you hear someone make a racist remark do you say anything to them or just let it go?  When you are in the privacy of your own home, around your children, do you make comments that you would never say in front of someone with different color skin?  If you wouldn’t say it in front of them, don’t you think that there may actually be something wrong with it???  If you claim to not be racist, but you still make these kinds of comments, or make these kinds of jokes, you really need to take a good look at yourself and change that behavior and way of thinking.  I’ve known people who grew up in racist households but weren’t racist but they also had to retrain their brains.  The jokes that they grew up hearing were second nature to them and growing up you don’t necessarily think that it’s a wrong joke or a wrong saying.  It’s just what you hear and it becomes imbedded in you.  You have to wake up.  As parents, we have to be models for your kids and racism is a learned behavior.  It is not something that we are born with.  We learn it.  And there are bigots in every race.

When will we as a society learn that underneath skin color, we have the same organs, the same skeleton, we bleed the same way and the same color?  I ask you, why does skin color have to dictate hate???  There is no reason why it should.  Period.  Whites are not better than anyone else.  Blacks are not better than anyone else.  Browns are not better `than anyone else.  We are all the same….human beings.  I don’t understand why that is such a hard concept for people to understand.  I have never understood it.  And it’s not just racism.  It’s any kind of bigotry and there is no reason for any of it.

Listen, bigotry and racism are a choice.  Hate is a choice.  They can be unlearned.  We can be inadvertently spreading hate with what we say and how we say it.  So today I ask you to make a contract with yourself and stand up to racism…to bigotry….to hate.  If you hear a racist or bigoted remark masked as a joke.  Say something.  It doesn’t have to be nasty or mean.   Just a simple “Do you realize that was racist?”  Make part of the contract to monitor your own thoughts and remarks and change them.  You could be inadvertently spreading hatred.  I am not asking anyone to put themselves in danger.  I don’t want that.  I do want more love to be spread instead of hate.  I want unity as a people.  I hope that one day I will see that. 

In the words of the vocal groups War, “Why can't we be friends? Why can't we be friends?  Why can't we be friends?  Why can't we be friends?  The color of your skin don't matter to me, ow.  As long as we can live in harmony”

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