Race Card Driving; The WINDY 500: Time for Some New Views & Questions

578687_404082272973779_43621455_nThis last many weeks, in the news, there have been many charges of reverse racism, racism, neo-racism, retro-racism, and every imagining and reality re racism [meaning poor to horrific to literally murderous treatment of any person seeming dependent on judgment of character [deleterious] based on their skin color: black, brown, red, yellow, white, ‘rainbow’ meaning bi-racial— those being some of the common cultural designations of eld…

and these monikers still holding for some who sometimes see a person and ‘pounce-judge’ as I call it, instead of come to know and then justly assess through inquiry, each person they come across at work– at school, in family, neighborhood and other social gathering places, including political undertakings—instead of sudden St. Vitus dance condemnation en toto without a just impanel.

I’d rather strive to hold out for the thoughtful relation and view, both in self, and also in association with peaceful others [or those striving to be peaceful, which is founded on a fundament of clear tenets to follow toward same] who are serious about a more eloquent world, rather than contributing to more of ‘the dead world.’

A de novo position about race, is long overdue, one that includes all forms of racism, and especially regard for all living races. De novo in legal terms but also ethical terms, means ‘starting over again…’ [In a lifetime, for instance, for those who have and raise children, for the sake of a useful familial peace, for the sake of teaching/guiding others, and especially for parental learning also, de novo processes of ‘taking another look, ‘trying the case’ again at a different altitude’, striving to see more clearly, take place every day. Not just at crises points.]

The charges of racism in the news alone are relatively few, compared to the far more vast number of daily discriminations made toward persons of all races, those charges never making the news– as though such matters of ‘feeling turned away’ or ‘excluded for no good reason’ happen to only famous persons or only famous persons of certain shades of color… That just isn’t true.

Anyone who doubts so can visit certain villages in Nam or certain provinces in the southern USA, or elsewhere across the world, where, after a war, family groups, tribal groups, village groups who took different sides in wars long ago, still attempt to cut one another out of current resources– based on tribal affiliation, on sense of justice by those who lived—and died—long ago, on sense of insult, on sense of current upper hand, and on and on. Many many reasons, none of them peace-teaching, nor given to peace-holding in some form of higher understanding.

This covening by race or tribe or affiliation, is true throughout the world. Starving x of resources, because group y says so or wishes so and extracts revenge so, is one of the least forms in human nature. And most poignantly, the groups not learning to be just when they have been oppressed—but then over time, through struggle, finding power but wielding it while crowing and denigrating others who dare be human: We have a name for it in shrinkdom: It’s called ‘identification with the oppressor.’

Amongst other thoughts and actions, it means that we rake, accuse, slash and burn, harm, rant, define others not as they are, but as we see them through a cross-eyed keyhole, and we self-protect our flaws whilst projecting and unleashing faults, vengeances, blames onto others—just as we think/ feel/imagine/ know or witness first hand… was once done to us or someone who is not us, but related to us, either in the present or decades or millennia ago. Identification with the oppressor behaviors, of which there are many… are, I think, up for examination in our time.

I’ve more to say, later. I’m a Latino, from a family of immigrants and war refugees in my generations. I am an eyewitness to the war-tortured and slaughter survivors within my own family– and through my work with Asian, Black, White, Native American, Hispanic veterans for 47 years now in post-trauma. I’m a reader of war history and as such, I’m very clear that depredations, murders, racisms, negative tribalisms, starvations, systematic exclusions and murders of others for reasons of race, perceived tribal affiliation, as grudge-dealing ongoing for centuries, as religious teaching that is not religious in any way, and as utter insanity– have been accepted as a ‘proving’ ground that is hugely fragmented so that we hold only one shard that in no ways gives us the larger picture, and thereby in no way proposes solutions that can and will help to mend and to also defend against, AND to prevent such in present and future.

I believe it is time for a huge overview, and a review of tribal, group victimhood that is real and truly deleterious, as opposed to that which is wallowing, and sometimes falsely seeking to be in limelight for reasons other than one’s hard work in the world. I believe it is past time for inclusion in the monument of international grief and care, for all souls who have been murdered and maimed and tortured in reality– in our time, in past times, regardless of color, to be recognized as innocent souls, rather than only by race, creed and ‘look’.

By my .02, there is more to be seen than just seeing, more to hear than just hearing. To understand means to understand suffering in toto, others’ suffering, our own… then, to acknowledge that all groups, all races, all tribes, and often families who are soul-wrent, have their own abject horrors nailed to the walls daily and from the past, their own unmediated stories that they’ve not had guide or given time to see into and mend sometimes– most of the stories of suffering by the
non-famous, have NEVER been told.

Though we may never be united by certain shared and lived experiences and stories of luck or vast journey or whatever else happens to be vaunted, valuably or cheaply, by the overculture at present– we are united by experiences, that is, our stories of true tempests lived through, stories lived that are not ‘survival of the fittest’ stories, but rather, ‘the journey to survive as fitly as possible through all crises, twists of fate, destinies, free will choices, and more.’

We cannot be united by paltry stories pawing for exclusivity of some kind. When I think of the leaders in humanity who have made progressions in our consciousness worldwide often, and not without great sacrifice and struggle: I note, they may have given the cri de couer in reality about matters important to all– not one or the other, but to all souls… yet they never whined or fidgeted over the petty. Their eyes were on the fullness and humanity of ‘all.’ I am not always able to reach that bar yet, but I respect above all other ways, their ways of thinking and being… for, with, and of, the All.

I know most of you know who said this: “We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline.”

He also said his command for true freedom was for, ” all of God’s children…” MLK’s wish was for All. Not just this one or that one. All.

I trust in that view. It is not a contemporary view. It is an ancient one. Progress is made… with dignity… and discipline.
Thank you.

Author: DR. CLARISSA PINKOLA ESTÉS, Managing Editor of TMV, and Columnist