“Courage is not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear” — Nelson Mandela
If you’ve ever felt the pain of being sad, lonely, angry, or afraid then welcome to being human.
We experience a myriad of emotions day-to-day even moment-to-moment, which is quite normal. It’s only when we allow these emotions to run our lives that we really get into trouble.
Take fear for example.
We’ve all been afraid of something at some point. It’s common to fear making mistakes, to fear rejection, or to fear the loss of a loved one. And folks certainly grapple with a host of interesting phobias like the fear of heights, the fear of spiders, or the fear of water. FYI – I suffer from a heaping’-helpin’ of glossophobia myself, which has always been my personal kryptonite.
But when fear consumes us and begins to dictate how we deal with people, the toll it has on us individually and on humanity as a whole is great.
As Within, So Without – Fear Leads to Devastating Results
One of the most important gems of wisdom we can ever being to understand is the quote, as within, so without; as above, so below.
As Within – what do we think within ourselves, So Without – will be expressed or reflected on the world we live. As Above – your own mind, So below – on Earth and in your body and your environment.
If we think good, good will follow; if we think evil, evil will follow. Whatever we think or accept will definitely be the circumstances of our life.
If fear is allowed to permeate our personal lives, it will certainly have the power to shape our societies as well!
Fear has the power to cripple and destroy us. Many of the toxic things we do to ourselves and to others is rooted in fear.
Racism, nationalism, and genocide go hand in hand and are each based on fear – so is white supremacy.
White supremacy is the belief that white people and the ideas, thoughts, beliefs, and actions of white people are superior to People of Color and their ideas, thoughts, beliefs, and actions.
When we think of terrorist, we’ve been programmed to conjure up a picture in our minds of a Muslim person of color. But there is a direct link to white supremacy and terrorism that goes back to the founding of this country.
White supremacist have been responsible for many acts of terrorism yet, I don’t recall them ever being called “white terrorist” or “Christian terrorist” except by Don Lemon perhaps.
- July 2011 – 77 people killed in attacks on Utøya island and in Oslo, Norway
- April 2014 – Three killed at a Jewish centre and retirement home in Overland Park, Kansas, US (Rachael worked in this establishment for 5 years, but not at the time of this)
- June 2015 – Nine people killed during Bible study at a historic black church in Charleston, South Carolina, US
- March 2017 – Timothy Caughman stalked and killed by a white supremacist with a sword, New York, US
- May 2017 – Two men stabbed to death after intervening in an anti-Muslim rant, Portland, Oregon, US
- August 2017 – Heather Heyer killed and dozens injured after a car ploughed into anti-Nazi protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia, US
- October 2018 – Man attempted to enter black church before allegedly killing two black people in a supermarket in Kentucky, US
- November 2018 – 11 killed in a mass shooting targeting the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, US
“It’s very difficult not to come across as a white supremacist when there are so many black inferiorists around.”
In an interesting article called, The Toxic Myths of White Supremacy, it discusses the fear of being replaced that racist tend to have. “You will not replace us,” was the chant of racists in Charlottesville, and irrational, “unfounded fears about white genocide is infused in the writings of Dylann Roof, who killed black worshippers in a Charleston.”
Studies have shown that when social fear disappears, so does racism.
White supremacy is deeply rooted in our American society, and if we ever hope to dig it up, we will have to understand that this is not only an African-American issue – it will take white Americans to understand the myths of racism and then take concrete action.
Myth 1: Racism is not our problem. Racism is truly everyone’s problem, because none of us is free until we are all free.
Myth 2: Racism is about hateful actions and words. “Racism is more than someone calling a person of color by a terrible name. It is also seen in differences in pay, housing discrimination, mortgage lending, school segregation, and rates of policing and incarceration.”
Myth 3: Only Ku Klux Klan members and self-proclaimed white supremacists perpetuate racism. You don’t have to wear a sheet or burn a cross in someones yard to be part of the problem.
Myth 4: Racism has to do with intentions. “Unfortunately, great harm comes to others not simply by our intentions, but by our inattentions. If we are not paying attention to how others are harmed by large social forces that may be out of our personal control but nevertheless benefit us in unjust ways, our inattentiveness to these social forces can be hurtful.”
Myth 5: Racism is caused by ignorance. “We cannot blame racism on ignorance, because we perpetuate it even when we should know better.”
Myth 6: Racism is irrational. “What do we mean by rational? Sometimes we operate out of a rationality of common sense that includes “what serves our best interests.”
Myth 7: Racism can be remedied through education. “Learning the right definitions of racism or using the most up-to-date terms will not inoculate us against continuing to act in racist ways or contributing to racial inequity.”
Myth 8: Racism will end as we have more and more interracial relationships. “Even within multicultural faith communities, racism has opportunities to operate.”
Myth 9: Racism is not something that impacts my friends of color. “Even if your friends of color tell you racism does not impact them, there are still many others for whom racism is a daily threat to their well-being.”
Myth 10: Racial discrimination is against the law; what else can we do? “While overt racial discrimination is outlawed, there are ways in which laws continue to enable such discrimination to take place. Michelle Alexander has argued that the harsh drug laws of the 1980s’ War on Drugs have resulted in the mass incarceration of men of color through prison sentences and felony convictions that justify the same kind of discrimination allowed legally under the Jim Crow laws of 1877–1950: housing discrimination, job discrimination, and the inability to vote.”
Racism and white supremacy is certainly fear based, and it’s up to each of us to do our part to change ourselves and the system that supports it, in an effort to make this a more equitable society.
What do you think? Feel free to leave your comments.
Free to Be
“In the end, people will judge you anyway. So don’t live your life impressing others. Live your life impressing yourself.” – Eunice Camacho Infante
I think one of the most important things I’m learning to cope with, is the fear of being judged!
Many of us deal with the emotional stress and discomfort of thinking or imagining that we’re being criticized, teased, evaluated or scrutinized. These feelings are often paralyzing which will frequently prevent us from living happy and healthy lives.
The official term for this is Social Anxiety.
There are healthy ways manage this issue, and here are just 4 examples of how to do so:
- Nothing Lasts Forever – The reality is that the human brain has limited data reserves. Although we may make judgments, they are not significant enough to earn a place in our memory banks for eternity. So when someone makes a judgment about you, chances are that moments or days later that judgment will have left their conscious awareness.
- Judgement is Unavoidable – Stop trying to control the judgments of others. It has become part of our zeitgeist to demand that others not judge us. You can’t control what others think. Maybe they won’t express their judgment, but it doesn’t mean they can stop a physiological brain process.
- Let Them Judge – It can be liberating in an intimate relationship to just allow judgments to be present. Instead of stopping yourself from being open or vulnerable or from sharing something negative -but important about yourself, do it anyway.
- Notice Your Own Judgements -There is no better way to care less about the judgments of others than to judge yourself and others less. Of course judgment is unavoidable, but watch the language you use in your own head about the people and events in your life.
“Do what you feel in your heart to be right, for you’ll be criticized anyway.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
To me, people are going to judge you no matter what you do or how you put yourself out there. Even if you don’t put yourself out there, they will judge you just the same. We will never win the approval game 100 percent of the time.
Our mission is to just learn how to stop giving a darn, and do whatever we are called to do despite what anyone else has to say – because “they” will always have something to say!
7 (more) Reasons Why Other People’s Opinions of you Don’t Matter:
- People will always find someone to talk about
- Your self-worth isn’t defined by an approval rating
- They don’t know your journey, where you’ve been, or where you’re headed
- Trust your intuition and who you are deep down inside
- You will never please everyone with your decisions so don’t try
- What’s good for someone else might not be good for you
- Because taking the high road is always a better choice
What do you think? Feel free to leave your comments.
This Weeks Pics
At the red cabin in Luray, VA
Visited the John Brown museum in Harpers Ferry, WV.
Tuesday Topics //