Transformational Talk ... a column by Penelope Young Andrade
Are You a Secret Bigot?
September 01, 2017 -Penelope Y. Andrade
Are you a secret bigot? Like many you may abhor discrimination and intolerance. You may also, like many, notice secret thoughts of prejudice arising whether you like them or not. No blame! You’ve been educated in a culture rife with bigotry and bias about race, religion, gender, culture, class, LGBTQ identity and even zip codes. If you want to get ‘woke’ you’ll need to ferret out not only the bias you notice, but the more insidious prejudgments you don’t. Looking beneath the surface for your own social/political dark side is just, honorable and really hard.
Here’s the tip. If/when you’re ready to take this on, make a commitment to actively, safely look for your blind spots. Notice the flash of judgment that arises when you see women in Hajibs, dark skinned men speaking Arabic/Spanish/Urdu, tatted bikers, transvestites, goth/punk/preppie kids, corporate execs, Trump supporters, Antifa activists, cops, priests, homeless men and women …all people…all different.
It’s important not to judge yourself for initial, private thoughts. It’s what you choose to do after initial reactions that counts. Find safe people and places to explore responses. Look for sad, mad, scared… especially scared…emotions. Cry, stomp, tremble as you allow emotions to move briefly through your body. Breathe. Stay present as you enjoy the ensuing relief and resourcefulness of your soft, open heart. Let judgments go…of them, of you, of the current situation.
You are bigger than any bigotry. You can choose to transform any darkness. You are a being born to love and connect and create communities of compassion, reconciliation, and inclusion.