Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Racism is a mental illness (#2615)

     There is no doubt in my mind as to racism being a mental illness. I have heard and actually lived through the an era when racism was considered normal. I was only a youngster but it was a prevalent behavior shared by many in the circles I was involved in. I am talking California here and not the deep south where it is generally thought to be still pervasive. But the difference with me was that I was bused to an integrated high school and was forced to deal with my enculturation with racism. I quickly found that racism was more a power over another than it was a justifiable norm. Some of the best relationships I have ever had in my life involved folks of color.
     So I stopped allowing those around me to control the narrative about a privilege that never was and began calling out those who had as of yet to see that racism is a choice based upon faulty logic. My stand those so many decades ago has left me today with an unassailable opinion that mental illnesses of this sort are founded in our own personal inadequacies. I felt the peer pressure back then to be like the rest, accepting racism as it was passed down from our earlier generations. But what I also felt was a greater need to accept the reality that we are all human beings and although we have a different tone of skin, we are nonetheless equal.
     I suppose what makes all this so controversial is that racism in the form of slavery was an acceptable paradigm not too long ago in our American past. The idea of ownership or control of one human over another was just the machinery of doing business. A means to make profit. Where slavers would scan the globe for non-modern societies and take their men, women and children to the marketplace where they could be bought and sold as a commodity. This is our American history for over 300 years before we began to start living by our conscience and not solely by our pocketbook. What our consciences tell us today is what the cruelty of our acts have cost us. We not only felt a need to be superior because of our lordship over others but we bought the hustle of it being true. A scarred and shameful truth we must all bear until the illness of our mentality has been exposed for good.

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