Race a Step on the Path.
Did you know that white and black Americans are ready to transcend racism? They are and I have proof! For example, 50 years ago only 4% of the white population approved of interracial relations, whereas today 73% (Gallup, June 04) of white Americans and 80% of black-Americans say they approve of these interracial relations. So what has changed? I’ll tell you. I believe on a conscious level that both groups know they have outgrown certain patterns and practices, yet are unaware on how to implement change. For too long whites and blacks have been told that releasing racism must be confrontational and difficult – I believe different. First of all we must define what we must confront. So let’s start with defining racism. The traditional definition of racism is the belief that race accounts for differences in human character or ability and that a particular race is superior to others. But I discovered a simpler definition: racism is the combination of fear and racial beliefs. So, in order to stop racism whites and blacks must examine their racial beliefs and the origins of those beliefs. And who did we get our racial beliefs from? People we trust, people like your parents, grandparents, and teachers, religious and political leaders. And the same goes for your parents and their parents’ parents. It’s safe to say whites and blacks have inherited racism. Now I am not referring to a genetic factor but to an inter-generational legacy that has been past down.
So why does this exist? The simple fact is that whites and blacks have never healed from the emotional trauma of slavery; the racial beliefs of that era remain a part of today’s American psyche. A 1998 race relations poll found that 43% of whites believe they are intellectually superior to blacks and an equal number of blacks believe a college degree validates them personally and professionally. Notice their positions; both groups are still in the superior verses inferior mode. From the money you earn, to the school you attend, the people you marry, the friends you have, racial beliefs have controlled our destiny. So whom do we blame? White males, certainly not! White males like everyone in this unique American drama have been programmed to assume certain beliefs and roles. Nearly everyone is challenged in at least two areas, with varying levels of intensity. I for instance struggled with intellectualism. In an effort to prepare me for a race-conscious society, my parents began telling me at an early age that being black without a college degree meant failure. As I look back, the message I internalized was, “Linda, you are dumb and black.” For that reason, attending college was never about finding a rewarding career but rather about not becoming a negative statistic. It took me ten years to make peace with myself; only then did I discover the unique cycle of inherited racism.
Racial beliefs held by whites and blacks are stored in eight areas of their collective conscious, which are sub-divided into two areas. Four deal with the individual (white males, black males, white females, black females), while the remaining four are institutional (religion, the economy, social, and the intellect). Each of these areas holds intense racial beliefs, but beliefs are not facts. The emotional self sees the individual and wants to connect and reach out, but the mental self has the tapes of group consciousness reminding them to be loyal to the “us verses them” mode. This explains the struggle whites and blacks feel toward each other. So are you ready to know the secret to transcending race consciousness? It’s awareness. That’s right, awareness. Your acknowledgement of your own racial beliefs creates the space to heal. It’s that simple. When individuals recognize and acknowledge their racial beliefs they simultaneously reconnect with their higher selves, thus ending race karma.
White and black individuals have the choice and the power to relinquish inherited racial beliefs. These beliefs have kept you living in fear, shame, guilt, sadness, and bitterness. Uncovering racial beliefs that have shaped your life is at times uncomfortable, occasionally challenging, but most definitely rewarding. Just because we hold these racial beliefs as truths, taught to us by those we love and trust, does not mean that they are right. We shall no longer be prisoners of hate and vengeance, but bright souls that can live in harmony. I have been on this path for quite some time, and the peace and joy I have gained have allowed me to create and live my life where race was not the consuming factor. So get ready: close your eyes, and in your mind’s eye visualize yourself standing in the midst of thousands of people, both white and black. Their faces are beaming with joy and peace, their eyes are glowing with excitement and their hearts are filled with jubilation for they have all transcended race consciousness. It feels great, so join me on this path toward racial enlightenment. Now let’s go and create a new reality!
* Linda C. Thomas is a race transition advisor, practical intuitive with certification in mediation (conflict resolution) and guided imagery. Linda is a pioneering force in teaching whites and blacks how to transcend their racial beliefs. Sensitive, supportive, Linda’s teleseminars, audio cds and one-on-one consultations are conducted with ease, sincerity and integrity.