“When we blame, we give away our power.”
I like this quote about blame because it really captures the essence of how I feel about the subject. I believe that so much of what is wrong in the world right now has to do with blame. I think one of the issues that keeps racism alive is that it is a lot easier to point the fingers at others for our problems instead of being personally accountable for them.
As a controlling person I have a hard time dealing with a lot of situations. Throughout the years I have gotten a lot better at dealing with things but it has taken a lot of effort. The serenity prayer helps, but at times it is hard to apply. I take it a step further and think about reaction. How I let myself react to a situation will always affect the outcome of the situation at an internal emotional level.
We cannot control others actions, feelings or thoughts. The more we try, the worse our interpersonal relationships become. It gets even trickier when we fool ourselves into thinking that we can actually predict other people’s behavior. While we might think we know someone really good, we are not inside them and we cannot predict how a person is always going to think or act. Even if we can we should not, I think this is one of the things that stops change from going forward. People go back to their old ways because there is always that expectation of how they have always acted. Predisposition is powerful enough to make situation go in a direction it should.
Racism is fueled in part by prejudice; it is not always fueled by pure ignorance. It is a learned behavior that comes from those close to us. It comes from our environment and society overall. I have had the opportunity to grow up in a country where racism exists but it is a different kind of racism. I know that racism is a learned behavior because I have seen many different faces of it. While there is something to say about fear of those things we are not familiar with and instinct, diversity it is not necessarily the solution to racism. I never felt discriminated against race wise while I lived in Colombia, but I have felt it many times since I lived in the U.S.
Are people less racist in Colombia? Not necessarily, but the behaviors learned over there a lot different than they are in the U.S. One of the most comical difference between the two countries comes from a simple saying. “I worked like a black man” in Colombia, means you had to work really hard that day. The same sentence in the U.S. would instantly be considered racist and would not be understood.
Chicago and Midland are far apart in the racist level. Believe it or not I have felt less discriminated in a small town in America than in the big city. I have also felt a lot of racism from my own race. Dating outside my race has always been an issue for people in my own race. Racism is one of societies sickness and unless we all acknowledge it, it is never going to get better. At the same time we have to be very careful diagnosing it, because I believe there are plenty of hypochondria running out there calling racism things that are not.
“Pulling the race card” has become a cliché. It is sad that it minimizes real struggle because it makes a blanket statement of something that is a real problem and puts it right next to fear. Fear fuels a lot of the perception of racism. When you feel discriminated against you are guessing what someone else is thinking about you, and while most of the time you might be right, statistically you cannot be always right. Not every single person of a different race is going to hate you because of the color of your skin. When you constantly feel prosecuted, you develop a kind of social paranoia that makes you even more racist in my opinion than anyone around you.
I believe that oppression does exist, but the only people that can do anything to change it are the oppressed ones. They need to break the chains that bind them and I believe one of them is blame. When you blame others for your problems you are empowering them to continue their behavior. You are the only capable of changing the situation. You have control over how you look at every situation. You are the one to blame.