What will end the cause of racism? My friend Iraya’s FB post gave me pause for thinking. And I commented this:
“I just want to share about my own experience of prejudice and hate and why i think that fear is hate, and hate is fear.
Prejudice comes in so many forms including racism. Our family moved to Texas 9 years ago and, probably for the first time, experienced commonly-occuring racism. Interestingly enough my sons, half-asian, experienced racism not just from white people, but also from black and hispanics, in the middle and high schools.
Bullying is related to the type of hate that prejudice is— my son who was most negatively affected by the racism, had also experienced bullying during his middle school days—at a school that was notorious for it’s negative environment—that was in Connecticut and a “tolerant” neighborhood. He was bullied because he was quiet, artistic and reclusive—again, different.
I also experienced racism at work and an art studio from both white and hispanics. In my mind I didn’t initially identify those experiences as racism, my intuition just felt the bad karma coming from people with “squished heart chakras.” Now I know it was racism, but I still hold to the fact that those people had closed heart chakras.
I am also witness to other types of you’re-different-from-me prejudice. There are Texans, even in liberal Austin (home of the “Keep Austin Weird” bumper sticker), that are not enjoying the influx of out-of-staters such as californians and east-coasters. When I first got on FB around 2008, there was actually an FB group that was “Stay out of Austin TX” essentially loaded with rants about the people moving into the area and “messing our town up.” Didn’t matter if you were white too!
We humans can be very stupid—including me. When I was growing up in a small town in the Philippines, this area was intensely class concsious. And at one point, I actually believed the crap that was all about. Silly, nit-wit me—I myself looked down on others who didn’t come from the same all girl school I went to! At first I thought it was just the competitive spirit during interschool sports events but I realized later that I had subscribed to notions and limiting-belief programming. At the end of highschool, I had to get away from my town to explore what I was missing about life… And there begins my personal path of waking up to my own sh*t. hahaha
One of my first experiences to break out of the prejudice was to awaken to social and political injustice, and thus I became a student activist. I wanted change in society. And protesting and taking to the streets looked like a sign of change for me.
When I and Leny were doing the pagbabalikloob discussion group, I came to the realization, thanks to the discussions and meditations that came out of that time, that decolonization of both the colonized and the colonizer is a spiritual experience.
So maybe, somehow, the struggles aren’t solved by just warriorship, but also by deprogramming of hate, by spiritual awakening and the opening of the hearts.
Iraya and all, thanks for creating this space that got me thinking… and for hearing me out. “