Racism, Racial Discrimination and How to Heal Racial Hatred

By Paul Sinclair (One World One People) 29/10/09 revised 5/6/20

I can be helpful to refer to solid science to help with overcoming the ignorance of racism. There is very strong mitochondrial DNA evidence to show that every non-African person alive on the planet today is descended from one tribe that left the Rift Valley in Ethiopia probably around 50 to 70,000 years ago. That's most likely why, when we look at the DNA of different humans compared with the DNA of different animals, one thing is obvious: we are quite boring! The differences in our DNA are very, very small.

Yet there are differences, but we need to be put them into their proper perspective. My DNA is not identical to my own biological brother's DNA, but that genetic difference doesn't mean he belongs to a different race from me. Likewise, there is a genetic difference between the people native to Northern Wales and the people native to Southern Wales, but no-one classifies them as separate races; the same with different peoples in Africa. But in the world today it is common to see people with different skin colours and ethnic backgrounds being classified and treated as if they belong to separate races. In reality, the genetic differences between a pure-blood-white-European person and a pure-blood-black-African person are so small that there is really no scientific depth or strength to support any such classification. We all belong to the same species: homo sapiens.

We say that is unwise to judge the contents of a book by its cover. So is it not unwise to also judge a person's character by how well their body is adapted to their local climatic conditions or the conditions their ancestors' bodies adapted to? Therefore, isn't classifying people into so-called 'races' in reality, a very basic form of ignorance? How much more harm does doing this need to do before we decide that it really isn't a good idea? If we leave young children with different skin colours and from different ethnic backgrounds to play with each other, they tend to get along just fine. They don't suddenly start treating one another differently because of physical appearances and they certainly don't suddenly become racists. That kind of thinking and behaviour has to be taught to them. And if we want a world where people are judged solely on the merits of their character, why teach children to judge others based on what they look like and where their ancestors might have come from?

So now the question comes: besides educating people about truth, how can we extinguish existing and entrenched racial hatred? The first step is not to fuel the flames of hatred ourselves. Angry thoughts and feelings are highly destructive to inner happiness and the nervous system as are thoughts of hatred and ill will. So when such inner thieves arise in our minds to rob us of the precious jewels of inner peace we need to quickly identify, arrest and evict them. The more we faithfully do that, the more it becomes a habit, the weaker those thoughts and feelings become and the stronger we grow on the inside.

If we come across an error stricken brother or sister who has been swept away by the destructive emotional current of racial hatred perhaps the worse thing we can do is to try to beat them forcefully over the head with the truth. People easily overwhelmed with anger and hatred are often robbed of their ability to reason by their lack of emotional control, which is why angry people often say and do crazy things and regret it later when they have calmed down again. Keeping our inner calmness we can attempt to reason with them whilst maintaining the respect for them that comes from regarding all people as our own brothers and sisters in our own one very large human family. That will help us solve any difficulties and if we have to criticize anything we will express ourselves with humility and courtesy, which leave no sting behind them.

We must also not be impatient with those whom we consider to be in error. Even if we cannot reach them with reason we can always reach them through the example we show them by our own conduct and behaviour. That’s because inner-strength and self-control are spiritually magnetic and can move other people within their hearts and souls. That way we can win their respect, goodwill, co-operation and above all their friendship. (For more information on generating and using soul force to heal hearts poisoned by anger and hatred, please see the article below about the mysterious power of non-violence).

Happy are those who separate people from their actions and follow the golden path of striving to be friends with the world by regarding the whole human family as one. They are the peacemakers who will make friends wherever they go and bring out the best in others.

Documentary: T
he Incredible Human Journey

Dr Alice Robert's BBC documentary The Incredible Human Journey is a fascinating exploration of the theory that all non-Africans today are descended from one small group who may have left Africa some 50 to 70,000 years ago. How did they do it? Which route did they take? All these questions are examined using astonishing new DNA evidence, precious fragments of bone and ancient stone tools. It makes the compelling case there is only really one race on earth: the human race.

See also:

The mysterious power of non-violence
Our charity fiction book Shanti the Grass-Eating Lion: a popular and exciting tale that teaches children and young people about non-violence and forgiveness (coming soon)

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