Thursday, March 26, 2015

What's really behind racism in general?

Gaining self-confidence isn't an easy and quick process. The reason our self-confidence level is where it is has a lot to do with what we have been doing in our lives as well as what's been like around us all the time. A discriminating environment definitely contributing a lot to our own self-esteem. This is another great example of how environment shapes our conscious mind.  

Racism is common in a discriminating environment, if the environment doesn't have that many races but people can still discriminate each other based on regions or family backgrounds, you can replace racism with other words but it's the same idea. So in our society, when we hear the term 'racism', we tend to think of it as the common behavior of treating people of other ethnic backgrounds unfairly solely because of their race. This usually implies treating other race less equally; not offering them help or services like you would to people of your own;  ignoring people of other race completely; or to the extreme, perform explicit violence on them. So the idea is that being a racist means that you think of yourself superior to other races. 

However, I'd like to purpose something differently here. All of the above-mentioned typical racist behaviors that we commonly identify are just manifestation of certain core mentalities from the inside. In our society, we have labelled that manifestation 'racism', but we didn't know that the core mentality behind can manifest something entirely differently, which won't be considered 'racism' but it actually is the same story. I also believe that this core mentality is the root of not having the true confidence that you want. 

For the lack of better term, I will call this core mentality 'judgment', with single quote throughout the rest of the article or possibly in future posts as well. In my definition, 'judgment' is an acknowledgment of difference between oneself and other beings, yet letting this acknowledgment dictate its decisions by discarding the similarity and connections among one and another at the same time due to fear of the unknown. I know it sounds abstract, but let me give a few examples so you know what I mean.

1. I look a minority race and immediately decides this person should not get my respect and attention, I just don't want to nor I feel like talking to that person because i think that race are annoying/bad/stupid/lazy/calculating/and so on. I think I am too good for this person.

2. I look at a person of my own race and immediately decides that I won't take this person seriously in this interaction solely because I think this person is the same race as me so he or she must be shady/dirty-minded/manipulative/untrustworthy/full of dirty tricks/arrogant/ and so on. I can't let this person tell me what to do and make me look dumb simply because we are the same race and I can't let him or her get on top of me. 

3. I look at a person from a race that I admire. I immediately decides to do whatever this person says because I am dying for their acceptance so that i can show off to my own race and make them jealous. I know I am shady/dirty-minded/manipulative/untrustworthy/full of dirty tricks/arrogant/, but this person is from a better race, so he or she must not be the same way, so I'd better show my bright side to them and hide my insecure side. In other words, let's pretend to be classy/confident/wise/modern/worldly/progressive/multicultural.

So if you look at these 3 above examples, you will be surprised to see that 'judgment' is quite common among many parts of the world, not just for westerner. 

Take Asians for instance, it is very common to see all 3 examples being manifested in Asian countries. The numerous conflicts between HK natives and Mainland Chinese tourist illustrates point 1. Asian people often give each other a lot of hard times in business, social interactions or even job interviews. Lastly, Asians tend to act polite, submissive and kind towards White people. 

The question is, how can you have different level of confidence when interacting with different race? I have had Indian telling me that when they just landed in India, they got their long lost confidence back immediately by the way to summon a taxi, which they would never dire the act the same way in their working western countries. A lot of Asians when it comes to personal services, like mortgage, taxes will act very hard on the agents if they are the same race, but will back off (usually means becoming quiet and having less questions) if dealing with a White agent. It is not uncommon to find Asians that aren't proud of being Asians. 

Now, you will see that as long as this 'judgment' is our core mentality, we will never look beyond physical forms and appearance, and we will continue to be judgmental. Maybe we won't be called a racist by the current social standard, but we really are indeed. 

So the question remains, what is it like to interact with all kinds of people from the same place of heart? Can you feel so great about yourself and your life that you absolutely don't need to judge others or worry about being judged by others? If you are Asian, ask yourself that what would Bruce Lee do? Does he treat all his students with fairness or does he play favoritism based on what skin color his students have? Is he afraid of being racist by over-compensating one race and then treats his own race poorly wanting to avoid being called Asian Supremacist? 

No, a truly confident person doesn't even register this 'judgment' in their mind. They are so focused on creating the life they want without needing acceptance from others that they really don't see race, status and fame, nor would they let those things affect the way they interact with the world.

The reason of having 'judgment', the cradle of racism is our education, which encourages comparison, superficiality, and it's lack of faith. This requires some level of awareness and a life-time of effort to develop our characters to transcend beyond the physical forms of 'judgment'. We just have to have faith in our ability to achieve it.
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