I once sat at a kitchen table with a person who claimed to be “race/color-blind;” a person who claimed to see “all people as they are.”
We sat together so that I could oversee his completion of an emotional intelligence test that involved people from different “races.”
I then watched silently as he failed to identify sadness and fear in the “black” woman in the test and instead associated her terror and her despair with anger, which is why I was, therefore, not surprised (but still very saddened nonetheless) when he later used the N-word and other racist terms casually in a number of different sentences when trying to “hurt me” after becoming aware that I wished to terminate our relationship due to his persistently dehumanizing behaviors.
From microaggressions to outright aggression-aggression, “people of color” have learned (some consciously and some only subconsciously based on their level of Self-Awareness) through the experince of existing and surviving in societies where myths of racial “superiority” color (pun intended) even the minds of three-year-olds, that there are unspoken mental and emotional systems that guide how their neighbors, teachers, colleagues, and community members see, speak to, and behave toward them.
From the media to public policies and public officials, to the entire structure of society that makes it easy for some to more easily navigate through streets without fear of harassment or death, or to buy a home without discrimination, for example, harmful images, and stories that perpetuate illusory/violent views of others, both consciously and unconsciously, are participated in and maintained by most people every day.
Though many of these views that dictate behaviors and irrational fearful or hateful responses (or favoritism/special treatment) toward others often put many lives at risk through marginalization and dehumanization, conditioning and lack of self/Self-awareness and ego-overidentification make it difficult for even those who claim to “love all others” to move beyond their biased views and into a True space capable to living in Yamas simply because their illusory identity is falsely connected to their basic animal drive for survival (that arguably comes from their genetic/historical response to their own violent geographic histories). The illusion that is maintained by most about “who they are” (although fabricated) is so strong, that many would even claim if asked, that they are completely unaware of how/that they create harm and lack of emotional and physical safety for others each and every day, even when social cues in normal interactions and the overall patterns of the social (and even geographical) dynamics between groups clearly reflects obvious patterns (ex. zoning in cities, and criminalization in stores, for example).
This “inability to see what one is doing” is the effect of ignorance and lack of awareness, which is further maintained in societies where Yamas are not valued or practiced with any real ernestness.
Ignorance that one is “unaware” of, because he/she has taken it on as a part of his/her ego-identity and false-sense-of-self that is needed to maintain the artificial structures of society that he/she is clearly aware that he/she benefits from and maintain (identifying with certain groups for the sake of not being disenfranchised, for example, and acting upon irrational, contradictory, and false senses of self-preservation even at the clear expense of others) makes it so that societies exist that claim to believe that “all men are created equal” while simultaneously treating some “men” as less than others in practice.
This ignorance then, interestingly enough, breeds stronger and stronger hatred and further violent behaviors as a response to the fear of retribution and having to feel/acknowledge the pain of the harm created, solidifying avoidance techniques that reinforce egos that attempt to justify/rationalize (and even lie about) certain manifestations and expressions of distorted psyches to make them palatable for guilty human to “bear.” The result of this is that most who are trapped in this cycle continue to remain stuck in, and to create more of, the perpetual suffering that leads to their constant maintenance of violent Karmas that they continually attempt to avoid having to reconcile with.
This ignorance has made it so that, despite all of the atrocities committed by certain groups of people toward others in American Society, for example, people dying, being forced off their lands violently, kidnapped and enslaved to create worldly conveniences like big houses for some, the same people who collectively committed atrocities for worldly gains are still (as a self-created group that is designed to create and maintain a sense of separation from “others” for “their” own benefit) inevitably miserable and stuck in an ongoing cycle of Karmic suffering themselves (even though they have managed to create more material wealth for themselves than others).
In this cycle of unconscious ignorance, pain is created for all because all are connected as one.
Awareness and knowledge are the cure for this ignorance, but, in order to clear ignorance that is tied to a false sense of self, acceptance of the fact/consequences of the harm that has been created from it must first take place, and acceptance of responsibility to change/dissolve the destructive illusion must be sincerely grappled with.
In order for True knowledge to sink in where unconsciousness and ignorance are present, there must first be an acknowledgment of the Truth, with “discriminative discernment” that is not based on biases, but based, instead, on the unchangeable Truth that all people are from the same Source and equally human and divine. All must come to first know the Self beyond their ego constructs (forced or constructed) and act accordingly before freeing themselves from the Karmic entrapment of racist ignorance in society…But for something that seems so obvious and clear, it is most likely impossible to achieve within the next few generations, because most humans are simply still very attached to their animal body-mind-ego complexes, and ignorant about who/what they Truly are.
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