by Imelda Walker
No one is born racist. We are all born with love and goodness in our hearts. Racism comes from the acquired belief in a false superiority which has been taught in families from generation to generation. It is due to an unfounded fear, mistrust and rejection of the other race, of the other persons whom we have not had the chance to know, to accept, nor to respect, as equal to us.
Racism is a sickness of the mind and spirit, and its cure is spiritually based. The intellect holds the false, taught belief, that we are superior to other races and cultures, and our spirits and hearts become closed and uncaring and blind to justice. It is a problem not only between people of light and dark skins (‘white‘ and ‘black‘) but between people of all races.
I believe the first step is to acknowledge this sickness of the spirit; to recognize it in ourselves as a hereditary belief which has been passed down in our families. Blame must not be a factor; we cannot blame our parents for their racism because they too were unconsciously indoctrinated with this hereditary disease. However, we need to take responsibility to eradicate racism, first in our own hearts and then in our families before looking at our communities if we hope to bring change.
How can we find the needed change of heart?
Absolute honesty must come into play. A generosity of spirit is necessary to begin to acknowledge and see the racism in our own hearts. All defense of our false superiority must cease, and all negative assumptions of the ‘other’ race and culture must be understood as wrong. Each individual heart must make the decision to question their assumptions and to seek out the truth; that all people are created equal and are deserving of goodness and dignity.
I was born into a white, racist family and came to know in my heart that my false superiority was wrong, but I did not know what to do about it. Then I discovered Initiatives of Change with its challenge of spiritual and principled transformation and learned what it means to live a values-based life, with God’s help. I believe that it is to God that we must turn our hearts towards for the healing of racism. For peace and harmony in the United States, and in the world, we need to ask God to change our hearts and rid us of our inherited, systematic racism. This path of change for healing racism, along with turning towards God, has yet to be tried by enough communities, but it is this path that brings the needed change of heart.
Imelda Walker lives just outside Toronto in Canada with her husband Vic. They learnt about MRA/IofC in 1970 and both experienced a moral and spiritual change at Caux in Switzerland in 1972. They were active for many years in showing MRA/IofC films and holding meetings in their home in Canada.
NOTE: Individuals of many cultures, nationalities, religions, and beliefs are actively involved with Initiatives of Change. These commentaries represent the views of the writer and not necessarily those of Initiatives of Change as a whole.