Maybe You’re Racist, But Maybe It’s Not Your Fault…
It seems like our society has struggled with the issue of racism (and any other “ism” you want to throw in there) since the beginning of time. For as much advancement as we’ve experienced we are still struggling to come up with an answer to the old Rodney King question “Why Can’t We All Just Get Along?”
I have read the literature, I have attended the trainings, I’ve listened to the conversations. For the most part people agree that racism is “stupid” (as one of my colleagues describes it) in theory and yet the prevailing narrative is racism is more prevalent today than at any other time in our history. But if we define racism as “the belief that all members of each race possess characteristics or abilities specific to that race, especially so as to distinguish it as inferior or superior to another race or races” then to some extent aren’t we all racist? And if it’s the case that we know racism is stupid and illogical then why don’t we simply change our views and accept that “all lives matter”? We live in an era of unprecedented technological innovation. We create super computers, we have cars that can literally drive us to work while we stare out the window, our children have the ability to communicate with students across the globe in real time (how awesome is that by the way?!) so why do we still have something as base and degrading as racism? Why can’t you wake up tomorrow and simply stop having racist, sexist, homophobic thoughts? Now, I know there are some of you reading this thinking to yourself “I don’t see color so none of this applies to me.” Well, I’ve read some of your some of your social media posts and believe me…you see color, even if you’re not conscious of it.
Having said all of this, what if we’ve been looking at racism from the wrong point of view? We spend so much time looking at behaviors that we have become a society full of symptoms and with so few cures. But behaviors are dictated by experiences and experiences are logged in the one thing we all have in common…our brains.
Based on my research I can say with one hundred percent certainty that we don’t have a race problem, we have a brain problem. Although our society has evolved our brains have not kept up with this rate of change. Our brains have not caught on to the idea that the sabre tooth tiger is a thing of the past. I have so much more to say on this subject, which is why I created this blog. Our model(s) on race relations are dated and limited. The goal of my work is simple…I want to create a better, holistic model of race relations. I look forward to taking this journey with you.