Change can be profound
Profound change requires a dismantling of the old. The belief system under the behaviours needs to change.
As I watch the current civil unrest in America, I am proud that people of all skin tones are stepping forward and saying this racist belief system needs to stop now. It isn’t just a dilemma for people of colour it is a problem for us all. This is fundamentally about how we treat each other.
We have been asked to think of each other during the pandemic, to restrict our liberty for the greater good of all. Choosing to isolate from other people to stop the spread of the virus, so we reduce the mortality rate. Our sense of community has been renewed through this challenging experience.
No longer complicit
When the #Me Too movement started to gain traction, I was grateful. I wondered what was enabling this change? There were perpetrators, there were victims, there were accomplices and those that chose to look the other way. Sexual abuse has been going on for thousands of years, it was accepted in society. I wondered what had changed? Women in power, those in Hollywood were now sticking up for each other instead of saying “shhh, don’t make a fuss” or “that’s how men are”. They were no longer going to be quiet and complicit. They spoke out and said this is not acceptable. It was time to change how we treat each other. This was a fundamental change in our belief system, women’s bodies were their own, they were not the property others.
What is acceptable in our society?
The fact that police officers think it is acceptable to publicly kneel on George Floyd’s neck, shows us that racism lies in our society’s hard wiring. This is a societal belief system that needs weeding out. Society is made of individuals. That means we are all accountable. We each need to look at our values and beliefs and act accordingly.
In the UK, a man of colour is more likely to be pulled over for no reason than a white man. A friend told me he had a dash camera in the car so he could record the conversation if the police stopped him. I am a white woman and I have never been stopped by the police while driving “for a chat”. He had been pulled over before by the police. This is not America’s problem. This is a cultural problem created by our colonial ancestry.
Collectively we are challenging racism again. Can we do it properly this time? Can make the profound changes that move us to a better world? Do you see humans as equal value or are some more important than others? We each need to understand our own software programmes/ beliefs. These are created by the place you live, institutions, the community and your family. These beliefs are the systems that run in the background and they create our thoughts and actions. Take time and understand what you believe.
Neuroplasticity shows us that we can change our brains, which means we can change our belief systems. You are able to change the way you think and act. You just need to start the new way of being and correct yourself if you fall back into the old habit. The new habit will take root and flourish as the old habit withers. This is how we change ourselves and society.
We are the force of change
It’s time to stand together and clearly say that racism is not acceptable. When we stand together, we are showing that we want a new societal norm. It is time for change. That means each of us needs to call out racism where we see it at work, in social settings, any racist comments etc and say it’s not acceptable. We are the force of change. Wherever you live you and your actions can make a difference.
Endings and Beginnings
It is the end of the old racist world. We are standing together to destroy racism. It needs to be weeded out of our minds, institutions and society. This an established belief and it will need a force of will to change it from the bottom to the top of our current structures. We have supported each other through our actions during the Pandemic. We have shown we value our fellow humans. This is the next challenge. Do you choose to stand side by side with others to defeat racism?
We need to clear the ground form something new to take root and flourish.
Let’s create a world where we value each other equally, we celebrate the commonality of our human experience and our rich diversity.