…n’t want to believe that I could be, I would emphatically deny, I would and have called racism out, I’d love to become active against it, but I come from a white majority town and a high school that had one black kid with a grandfather that had hate for every other culture, religion and race. The odds are I am. I can only hope I’m raising better children and that they befriend fiery intelligent spirits such a…
No, just f**king no! This is not an answer.
OK, I just jumped on that in my trawl of medium. So I’m going to restart with what you have right. You are aware the environment of your upbringing is racist. That is the biggest step in change. I think we’re all comfortable with that. So, thumbs up there. This is like having a disease before then getting a diagnosis. You know something is wrong, but don’t know what.
It’s also a bit like unconscious into conscious thought. That’s how the brain works as it happens. It has an autonomic nervous system, which is responsible for breathing, eye dilation, temperature regulation. None of that happens because you think of it, it happens despite you thinking about it (which you’re probably doing just about now — kind of like a man’s penis being three times as long as his thumb — men, stop looking at your thumb!). Yet you can control your breathing by thinking about slowing it down. It is a key process behind Cognitive Behaviour Therapy for those suffering from PTSD, anxiety, depression etc. In order to do that, you have no choice but to become aware of it. THAT is the first necessary step for change. This is something you’ve got. Check that off. You’ve done that.
The second thing is this.
If a regular young child from your town was being beaten on by an adult, would you work to stop that adult from beating on that child? I’m sure you would.
Make that child black, now what’s your first instinct?
The differentiation is reacting differently in those scenarios and that is because value determination placed on the lives of people of colour is different. Most likely less. The fact you’d worry more about what appears to be your perception of how others see you, versus a human life, is the key problem with this highlighted statement, not that you have the desire to be better. Everyone should have a desire to be better at a pressing social and civil issue.
So your next step is to make that real-time determination that everyone is genuinely of the same value as a human life. There are no “ifs” or “buts”.