Proximity & intentional relating can help heal a racist viewpoint.
I studied chemical engineering. Yes, I am a nerd. Yes, I love math, science, physics, and my highest grades were in math. I even took more math classes than needed. I digress. My first roommate at college had never seen a “colored” person before. She assumed because we chatted on the phone that I was white (it is a false stereotype that all people of color use broken English). Her mom thought I was the first person from my family to go to college and I was a charity case. My mother corrected her and let her know she had 5 college degrees. That was an awkward moment. The mother believed a stereotype that all people of color are charity cases, unlearned/uneducated.
My roommate’s prejudice was amplified over the first few months. She would say things that were racist and be corrected. She tried to boss me around like I was her live in servant, this too was not tolerated. It was taxing to keep educating her on how to treat people. It was also challenging for her to unlearn all the garbage she had learned about non white people.
One of her biggest fears was I would steal from her. Another stereotype is people of color are poor or steal. I told her I was not poor, did not want her stuff.
Over time her views began to shift some. She stopped acting like I wanted to steal from her. She did say, “You are okay, I just do not want any of ‘those people,’ alone with my stuff.” She was referring to my black and hispanic friends. Many of them had more money than she did. She was corrected.
What I learned from Jane (not her real name) is that it is easy to be ignorant in a bubble. If you have no real connections with people not like you, it’s easy to believe the lies of the media and culturally passed down stereotypes. If anyone should have been afraid in that situation, it should have been me. Historically racists have killed and persecuted more people of color than the reverse. A recent story popped up of a black woman poisoned by her white roommate.
I have encouraged my Bible study to GO connect with people not like you. Try to get to know them. Listen to their stories. Learn about their culture. Read. Study. Learn. Reach out. Listen to understand, not debate.
Did Jane walk away with less prejudice? I think so. I also noted there were ideas of superiority that she refused to let go. We parted ways unamicably. Instead of being able to just focus on study I was teaching my roommate how not to be racist. ChemE is challenging even if you love math, chemistry, etc…I spent a portion of my freshman year dealing with racism and bringing truth to stereotypes.
It changed me a bit. I grew up in a family where everyone was welcome and we did not do the racial stuff. I had experienced racism when we moved to another city and when my mom enrolled me in a school for the gifted. I hated that school. There was plenty of racism at that school. Yet now I was living with someone who had been raised in an environment of racism, bigotry, and white superiority. I learned racism is taught. It can be unlearned.
Though Jane and her parents may have thought she (they) were superior based on race, Jane flunked a year and I am not sure if she graduated. Ethnic background has nothing to do with value, worth, intellect. We all were created in the image of God and have divine potential.
My encouragement is get to know people and understand every person in the man made groups is not identical. I cannot speak for every person who looks like me. Nor can you. People are people. We all come with our own stories, experiences, etc…invest some time in getting to know people.
That person is deeply insecure. You are not looking at a confident person. You are looking at someone who subconsciously struggles with self esteem, love, compassion, and truly liking themself. Therefore, racism is a tool of self preservation and ways to mitigate subconscious feelings of inferiority. Someone must be inferior to feel good about oneself. It is rooted in insecurity, not confidence.
It’s been indoctrinated into many people and they may speak out racist things without even realizing it’s racist. I have seen this in relationships with people. They have to tell you the ethnicity of a non white person who does something, especially if it’s a crime. If the person is white, the race is ommitted. You see this quite a bit on the news.
I was at an art museum with a lady once and there was a painting of a somber black man. She mocked him, “Oh the plight of the black man.” She also later remarked how so many minorities starting coming to her church and now it wasn’t like her church anymore. She saw no issue with making these statements, yet they were manifestations of her being taught racism.
This person was not a confident person. She was insecure. She would not label herself racist, yet her words demonstrated how she saw non white people as “other”. She also expressed fear of reverse racism.
She had been indoctrinated to believe all the negative stats about people of color. I have gone through this my entire life. People say they are not racist, yet because of media and education, they say things that are rooted in racism.
One big fat lie is that all minorities are poor or ignorant. So when they run into minorities who are not poor and highly intelligent, that person must be the anomoly. Well no, the successes in science, engineering, math, medicine, education, and advanced fields are normally hidden about minorities. Crime stats from poor neighborhoods are amplified, not the stories of those changing the world for the better. The movie Hidden Figures shows how contributions of highly intelligent non white people are buried.
I have been this skin color my entire life and know an abundance of non white people who are not poor, come from two parent homes, own businesses, have money, are not beggars on the street, are successful, and intelligent. These types of people do not make the news nor are they talked about much or at all. American history focuses on Harriet Tubman, Dr. Martin Luther King, and Rosa Parks. The inventors, scientists, engineers, artists, world record breakers, millionaires, business owners, etc….are ignored unless it’s Oprah or a sports person.
The racist fears retaliation. This has shown up the past few weeks with my posts on history. There are people who think the goal of non white people is to seek revenge. When you do people dirty, there is a fear they will do it to you. I have heard numerous people say, “We cannot let ‘those people’ have power, they will do horrible things to us.” Well, last I checked none of our Presidents have been assasinated by people of color, our mass shooters of white people have not been people of color, our serial killers and perpetrators of genocide have not primarily been people of color. Brown and black people have been the targets of mass murder.
Racism is about bullying and pushing others down to prop oneself up.
I saw a video of a lady shove a Native American lady and tell her to go back to her country. The native woman looked at her like she was crazy. She said, “My ancestors were here before yours.” The woman got slapped for starting a fight, then played the victim.
Another lady verbally assaulted a 15 year old girl and yelled, “My ancestors owned yours.” She kept yelling racial slurs. Since when is being a human trafficker something to be proud of at all? It’s shameful, NOT a badge of honor. I think I may have responded, “You are proud your ancestors were kidnappers, rapists, brutalizers, and human traffickers. Wow! I am going to pray for you. That is not an insult to me. That speaks of the depravity of your ancestors.”
Those who feel guilt or shame about racism do not want to talk about itor it’s impact. The goal is to pretend it is not an issue and move on from there. You will be encouraged to forgive and not talk about racism. This is not how healing works. Therefore, I find it best to chat with people who have experienced racism and discrimination. I liked one protest sign that read, “Justice, then reconciliation.” God is not just the God of forgiveness, and mercy, He is the God of justice.
People know racism is wrong, because they do not want to be treated that way. Jane Elliot is a hero in the area of being anti racist. She asked a group of non people of color if they wanted to be treated the way society treats black people. No one raised their hands. She said, “So you know they are treated differently and wrong. You cannot claim ignorance. You just do not want to be responsible for changing the way people are treated.”
There are degrees of racism. A person with racist ideas can have friends or a spouse of a different ethnicity. They can claim to be a Christian. The lady I mentioned above with the art museum claimed to be my friend for years. I have had people who claimed to love me and all people say quite racist things.
Though it can be challenging not to take it super personal, understand many people do NOT know history. Since there is ignorance on what truly transpired or parts of history taught in schools are lies, people are responding to what they know. They do not know America promised certain Native tribes land, then took it back once gold was found there. They do not know many American presidents owned slaves and frequently raped them. They do not know about Sunday lynchings. They do not know America had concentration camps like Germany. They do not know the government sent rioters into black neighborhoods to burn them to the ground. They do not know how many natives were scalped and killed for land. They do not know about Jim Crow, mass incarceration, gentrification, red lining neighborhoods, voter suppression, wealthy black neighborhoods burned to the ground and looted by the Klan and angry racists. They do not know people of color have fought for every single right, some even to the death. They do not know Lincoln did not truly want to free the slaves. He wanted to ship them to other nations with nothing. Nor do they know slave owners were compensated for their loss of slaves, while slaves were given nothing. After hundreds of years of free hard labor, breaking of families, forced sexual acts even with men and children, being brutalized, terrorized, and forced submission to horrendous treatment-they were told to just make it on their own. Many were chased down once freed and put in a concentration camp. Being black, alive, and sane in America is a freaking miracle!!! It is a miracle to not be in a corner rocking somewhere. Praise to God.
Understand the history books do NOT tell the whole story and in many cases minimizes the severity of the treatment of people of color.
Racism fuels the ideas that there are separate races, whites are superior to everyone else, white is innocent/normal/the standard, and black people are at the bottom. These are all lies. These lies were all made up to justify killing people, taking land, and to support human trafficking. Their roots are evil and greed based.
There is only one race, human. God pulled all the colors and groups out of the African. Scientists have proven that the black African woman has the only DNA that is capable of producing every single skin color we see. She is also the oldest found human remains. To hate the black African is to hate oneself, for we all got our start in Africa.
Racism came first, then race categories. It was set up that way to perpetuate slavery and taking land. The history books are written with a racist slant, media and stats are set up to reinforce the lies, and culture is built upon the lie. The judicial system is set up to give harsher sentences to minorities. Even the repainting of brown Jesus as white helped to build the lie. We have all been told lies and unless we fight against them, then they will keep being passed from generation to generation.
Watch the documentary 13th Read White Fragility & White Rage Read How to Be Anti Racist Read They Came Before Columbus Read The Color of Law Read The Battle on Wounded Knee
I hope something here helps someone. I highly recommend studying history. I have angered people for telling them what truly happened. I asked my 96 year old relative about his experiences. We need to know what truly transpired to not only heal, so we do not end up there in the future.