Turns out, nearly all of us carry within ourselves a lot of bigotry. So much that it appears eliminating it from the planet may well be impossible. Your culture You grew up in a certain household in a certain location at a certain time. You learned a language or two, heard a religious refrain, saw some politics in action. You became consciously and subconsciously influenced. You were acculturated.
Your parents may have tried to shield you from it or force you into submission to it. In either case, you are touched by your culture. And all the mindsets within it. Even your language is part of that acculturation. You think in words and phrases created or interpreted by your culture. Until you realize the high impact of that, you are not you; you are them.
My mother was born into a Native American tribal family. She herself was half white. But the culture touched her deeply. She used to tell me of the horrors of reservation life, how the 'feds' would come in and tell them they were about to lose more water or mineral rights, even land, for the 'good of the nation.'
She also was racist to the core, scared to death of black and Latino people. She voiced it almost continually. And on the other side of her face, she'd bemoan the treatment of Native Peoples.
Just to make things even more interesting, she claimed to be a born again Christian.
Lots of talk about hatred and love this week all over the internet. Talk is good, but...
"I used to think I was a loving person. Then I realized I was only talking to myself. When I stepped out into the world, saw the pain, and made the decision to help, I knew I was just beginning to love. It is a journey that does not end. It is a practice that continues for life. Saying it is fine; doing it is essential. And every day, I begin again."
Rev. Richard Kent Matthews
New Possibilities Center, Inc.
Portland, Oregon USA