Understanding the Racist Heart

Understanding the Racist Heart

Aug 2, 2016, 12:22:37 AM Opinion

At times, I don't know how I feel towards racists and bigots. I mean, I am passionate about fighting injustices, but lately, encountering racists and bigots seem repetitive and boring. I know I'm going to encounter the same old excuses, same old points, same old deflection tactics. Do I humiliate them via social media? Do I try my hardest to make them realize their willful ignorance? Am I here to change them? To some extent, yes. Although I feel like a majority of racists and bigots have had their minds made up for years, a part of me always tries to see the good in people. This is why I still engage and try to strike up a conversation. Maybe this person will breakthrough, right? I honestly want to know what caused their inner pain and fragility. Was it through subtle racist jokes and stereotypes via their family and friends?  Was it being picked on? Was it watching TV and movies and subconsciously believing that whiteness is superior above all? My biggest hope is that my words will someday break through and resonate in their minds and hearts. I know I can't save everyone, but I know I need to do my part in making this world a better place. Listening, educating, conversating. Although some of these conversations end up being the opposite of cordial, all I can do is lay my cards on the table. 

Everyone has the ability to decide whether or not they accept the cards that are dealt. Willful ignorance truly is sad to witness especially in a time when all the information, stories from people of color are readily accessible via your friends, books, movies, etc. Deflection is the norm these days. It used to be that listening came first and then speaking, but now it is 1) deflect, 2) speak, 3) don't listen. 

If we really want to come together as one and say "all lives matter," there's four key things we need to do...

  1. Introspection
    • Examining one's intentions, one's mental being, one's roots will bring to light experiences and triggers that have made them who they are. Acknowledgment is the first step towards healing.
  2. Be Vulnerable
    • If we are to heal ourselves, we need to put ourselves in uncomfortable situations. This goes for pretty much all situations in life. Opening ourselves to the unknown and believing that the change that is coming is for the better will be something to cling onto. 
  3. Listen
    • This is critical. Listen to other stories. Talk less. Instead of deflecting or zoning out, open your ears and heart more. Pursue knowledge and education through people's voices in person or through pages of a book. Listen and learn.
  4. Apply Ourselves
    • Everything that you have learned can always be unlearned. Be patient with the process. It's easy to be ignorant but it takes courage to be vulnerable and willing to mold yourself to being reborn in a world where ideas, conversations, and love is shared through people from all different backgrounds from all over the world.

Published by Kevin Leung


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