by Reggie Smith
"We demand a chance to do things for ourselves; we're tired of beating our heads against a wall, and working for someone else"
"We're people, we like the birds and the bees; we'd rather die on our feet, than be living on our knees." Say it loud...
My friend, Dr. Harold Barnes, said something very interesting recently. He said (and I paraphrase) that in some instances we might suffer from "place-ism" (and classism) as well as racism. That is not to say that racism does not exist, only that the circumstances into which you are born may play an even more important role in your ability to succeed in America. For instance, being born and raised black anywhere in America, especially in the southeastern part of the United States statistically puts one at a distinct disadvantage from one's peers of other races. People who find themselves in privileged and more favorable circumstances often justify and take pride in something they had no earthly input – their racial identity. We have nothing to do with picking the race we are born into, so it seems very egotistical that we would behave like one race is better than any other, right? In many cases, though, we either seek to maintain or escape our economic reality by using race or class to get where we want to be.
As we say around the way, " it ain't where you're from, it's where you're at". Conversely, no matter where we are born or live, we have the ability to rise above the battlefields of life. It's amazing how connected we would be if alien life showed up on earth. Certain adversities, usually grave ones, cause nationalities, races, or religions to bond, in spite of prejudices, in order to survive. Being human is what we all have in common, but the uniqueness of our cultures, religions and races often cause us to be divided. The color of one’s skin is the most obvious way to prejudge or “profile” people based on our differences. There is a world caste system based on race that supports greed in order to maintain the status quo. Many injustices are born from this effort, but there is one connection that is eternally available. That is our connection to a “higher power” within. There has, and always will be, conflict in the world. I truly believe that prayer and meditation can help raise our individual vibration, and together we can raise the planetary frequency and shift the paradigm towards healing.
Many systems (political, judicial, religion, health care, etc.) have been co-opted in order to support and maintain control of the masses. Divide and conquer is a strategy that has been used since the beginning of time. It is inherent in the fact that we live on a physical plane based on duality. Energetically, all things are made of positive and negative energy. We should not expect that the world would change, until we do.
There is much that we do to create an atmosphere that is more conducive to enlightenment, but sometimes, paradoxically, the pursuit of peace becomes too consuming. I don't mean to sound trite. I only want to suggest that everything that happens on this physical plane begins in the spiritual realm.
I say "don't hate the players; change the game". On a material level, we can boycott businesses, political systems, and oppression successfully to change our circumstances. By focusing on principles, not personalities, we might be able to balance the value that ego and wealth play in our lives. On a spiritual level, prayer and meditation is more powerful than fear. Our approach to many things including healing from disease, and fighting obvious injustice, has been to come up with a physical solution. Meditation and prayer, along with works, has proved to be miraculous in my life. The difference between complaining and sharing is whether or not you are living in the solution. Having said all of that, I am very glad to be a Black man. No matter what, if I had a choice of colors, I'd still choose the one I have.