Though not easily apparent at the time, I had a rather negative self-image as a child. Like many people around me, I lived in a color-coded world, and my world was black.
Whenever and wherever I looked, people who looked like me were portrayed as people with only negative potential. I didn’t know people who could paint my blackface with the multicolor of positive potential. I was actually surrounded by such people, but looking to school, church and the media to point out my potential, distracted me from seeing them. I had unwittingly limited myself to scripts written for me by minds that were limited to thinking in color codes. My childhood experiences were both limited and lifted by my drive to prove to everyone, or at least to myself, that I was not some dangerous monkey.
That all changed with the chance trip to Baja, California. At the urging of a new friend from France, I accompanied him on a short trip down that coast. It was a trip filled with sights, sounds and sensations I had never experienced. The most pronounced of these experiences was that many of the people I met had no preconceived idea of who I was. They allowed, rather required, me to define myself. They greeted me with the expectation that I could be honest or dishonest, intelligent or stupid, deep or shallow. I would be who I proved to be.
Maybe it had been that way all along. Perhaps I had been looking into a negative feedback loop for positive feedback. Whatever the case, I lost my monkey tail in Mexico. From that experience, I realized that I am who I am. If people can’t accept that, well, people make mistakes.
I also realized that I was looking to people who feared and/or hated me for approval. It occurred to me that the world was bigger than the United States, and there were lots of people in that bigger world who were potential friends, even family. I could find so many people in this bigger world to love me, cherish my friendship, and appreciate my human worth that whatever people thought of me in my own country became pretty much irrelevant.
That perceptual shift required that I also stop color coding the world. And when I did this, I suddenly saw more beautiful people, even among those I assumed, because of their color, hated me.
From subsequent life experiences I learned that humanity is not divided into races. From traveling to every continent except Antarctica and interacting intimately with the local people, I realized there is no such thing as “race”. The delusion of race is built on fear, ignorance and sociopathy. It is mere sociological poppycock, made possible by group narcissism.
My life experiences have taught me that racism is the anti-human ideology that the world is divided into “races”, and that a racist is one who suffers under that delusion. This I believe.