Author’s note: So sorry for the previous post that left off the title and had formatting problems. All have been corrected.

A Racist  Doesn’t    

You think because you understand one you must understand two because one and one makes two. But you must also understand and, Sufi saying.

If we can see ourselves connected, yet ignorant of most of the connections, then we have little choice but to be compassionate. Donald Michael

And, by definition, means together with, in addition to, as well as. Doesn’t this sound like connected? We know that one and one makes two because that is what we were taught; and we practiced to memorize it. Maybe we should practice and memorize that you and I, us and them, makes two. This would help us understand connectedness, and racism.

Failure to acknowledge this interconnectedness is, of course, the basis of racism. Racism is ignorant of interconnectedness; or chooses to ignore it. They don’t want to understand it. Racists don’t see ourselves connected, and are ignorant of most of the connections, so they aren’t compassionate. Connections and compassion are not part of a racist point of view.

Consider this: Everything is interconnected to everything else in an unbroken wholeness. What this means is that nothing is separate: mind and body, you and me, us and them, believing and seeing, inside and outside, black and white, left and right, liberal and conservative, etc. etc. etc. Separate means not connected; and — means connected.

I believe this interconnectedness is so important that it shouldn’t be ignored. Ignoring it makes it easy for racists to survive. Since we weren’t taught to memorize this interconnectedness, we didn’t all learn it. It is easy to ignore or deny interconnectedness, because it is hard to notice. We don’t all look alike, speak alike, dress alike, behave alike– or believe alike. Racism is based on belief. Herein lies the problem: beliefs are learned. Can a racist unlearn what they have been taught?

You’ve got to be taught to hate and fear

You’ve got to be taught from year to year

It’s got to be drummed in your dear little ear

You’ve got to be carefully taught

You’ve got to be taught before it’s too late

Before you are six or seven or eight

To hate all the people your relatives hate

You’ve got to be carefully taught 

Richard Rogers lyrics from the musical South Pacific

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1 Response to DO YOU UNDERSTAND AND? (corrected)

  1. Marianne says:

    I will have to mull on this one a bit. Really an interesting realization to look at “and” what does that include. I think we are also connected to this life and the life beyond this one–whatever that is.

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