Defining R.A.C.I.S.M…John Page Burton

I was fortunate to grow up in a racially tolerant household. My parents encouraged me to treat everyone with dignity and respect. Today, I am proud to say that my circle of influence includes people of different ethnicity, religious beliefs and sexual orientations. I enjoy each of them for who they are as people and for the wisdom and value they add to my life. It is disturbing to realize just how divided our nation still remains with regards to anything that is deemed “different.”  Xenophobia is defined as a hatred towards anything that is foreign or strange. This is the ultimate “fear based” mentality. I have decided to include the xenophobes with the racists and analyze what this “fear based disease” called racism actually means.

R=Rejection. Fear based people reject anything that they don’t understand. To them, everything is either BLACK or WHITE. (Pun intended) They project their insecurity and fear into the world around them and seek out other fearful people to help them solidify and justify their misguided beliefs.

A=Attitude. Racism is the ultimate attitude of entitlement.  The premise being that” I’m better than you because you are different from me”. This is a very dangerous mindset. Anyone who subscribes to the belief that we are ALL created in God’s image can clearly see the flawed thinking behind a racist mindset.

C=Conscience. So intent on extinguishing that which they FEAR a person with racist beliefs slowly but surely extinguishes their own conscience. A person void of a conscience is a very dangerous member of our society.

I=Ignorance. People with racist beliefs have an extreme sensitivity to anything different. Rather than embrace new experiences, new cultures, or new people they use ignorance as an excuse to justify their own dysfunctional behavior.

S=Self Righteous. Self righteous people are extremely FEAR based. They use hateful words and complimentary actions to compensate for their low self esteem. They are masters of transference and justification. Their way is the only acceptable way! They are closed to new concepts and ideas.

M=Malignant. Racism (and Xenophobia) becomes progressively worse over time. Much like the genetic nature of Cancer cells, the cells of racism are often passed from generation to generation. These “racism cells” can only continue to multiply and grow through the words, actions and the examples we set for our children. To stop the growth we must stop the hate!

None of us chose our parents, our environment, our skin color, our nationality or our gender. We were made possible by and through the grace of God. Every time we allow FEAR to convince us that we are to do anything but love our neighbors as ourselves, we are in direct conflict with God’s will.

All of us bring a unique and special gift to the banquet of life. Let’s make it our goal to accept and respect people for who they are. By relinquishing our judgments we will be creating higher levels of inner and universal peace.

I look forward to your thoughts on this message.

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