This means to look inside, to explore the depths of ourselves – and encourage others to do the same when we encounter racism in our lives. It means to sensitise ourselves and to notice when we, or others in our surrounding, re-act in a racist way – and that we allow ourselves to look for the roots of this behaviour. It also means that we take a stand, call out and question racist re-actions.
I see examples of racism every single day. People who feel entitled to take resources, land, lives from others, re-enacting a past trauma and thus recreating the pain without thinking. People who oppose learning another language, acknowledging and respecting differences – cultures, customs, opinions, concepts – without feeling into the roots behind it all. People who (re-) act in unkind, disrespectful and cruel ways, sometimes without even noticing the effect of their behaviour - or without caring. Self-righteousness is the main hinderer on the road to eradicate racism.
Self-monitoring, introspection and self-questioning are the first steps to discover and unveil the roots of racist behaviour. Ask yourself: why do I react in a negative and opposing way? What triggers this re-action? What are my fears? What makes me angry? What hurts me? Write it all down or record your “rant” – let it out uncensored in a safe environment. And then revisit, re-read it a couple of days later – being honest and compassionate with yourself.
If you are questioned and challenged by others, stop and listen before you re-act and defend your position. You don’t have to answer straight away. Take time to notice and feel what their questions trigger within you. Allow your emotions to flow and follow them down to the roots. This will eventually lead to self-knowledge, self-compassion and self-understanding that are needed to change racist patterns and structures, within ourselves and our creations.