“The ultimate measure of a person is not where one stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where one stands in times of challenge and controversy.” — Martin Luther King, Jr.
My guests on this week’s Insightful Conversations were Rohini Ross and Julie Chazotte. I invited them on the show to talk about their upcoming program, “Reimagining our Spiritual Communities…. Loving Authentic Conversations Around Healing Racism.” I asked Julie what had inspired her to create the program.
Julie shared how last summer, after George Floyd’s murder and the Black Lives Matter protests went global, she witnessed some conversations within our spiritual communities that surprised her. She observed that they weren’t as evolved or had as much understanding in them as she had hoped for. Julie reached out to Rohini, who had also experienced the same backlash when she wrote about the Black Lives Matter movement and systemic racism in her weekly blog.
It just so happens that I also belong to the same spiritual communities as Julie and Rohini. While I have never witnessed overt racism in these communities, I see that there are a small number of people who have vastly different views on how we should respond to the issues of racism and social injustice in our society. Based on what I have seen and heard, some believe that neutrality is the way to handle discrimination. That taking a side is the antithesis to spirituality. That a rise in our global consciousness is all that is needed to counteract racial injustice. Or god forbid racism isn’t an actual issue but more to do with our mindset.
The insurrection at the Capitol on January 6th should be a wake-up call to all of us. Not only did this riotous mob feel entitled to storm the capital with the intention of harming our political leaders, but their blatant hatred and disregard for those who are different from them were on full display too. We witnessed blatant demonstrations of hatred from Confederate flags, Nazi t-shirts, nooses, and racial slurs. The underbelly of racism in America was evident that day, and there is no putting the cat back in the bag.
Some say that they are relieved that the racism that has always existed is now out in the open. I am concerned the political climate over the last four years has emboldened these hate groups and made their agenda more socially acceptable. Regardless of whether it was better that they remained underground or not, we are now facing the ugly truth of racism in this country, and we cannot turn our backs on it.
I see that hate cannot counter hatred; only light can do that. Being open and seeking to understand each other is the only way we can heal from the scourge of hatred that is tearing us apart. Light and understanding are what Julie and Rohini hope to bring to the conversation around race, social justice, equity, and equality for all of humanity. Their 6-week series is designed to give everyone an opportunity to listen deeply, to look in the same direction together, and to create space for our spiritual understanding to bring us all closer together instead of driving us apart.
As disturbed as I am by their actions, I do not hate White Supremacists. I see their psychological innocence. I see that they have forgotten who they are at their essence. I see that they live in a thought-created reality that tells them to fear the unknown and unfamiliar. I see that they live in a thought-created world of scarcity that has them believe that they need to fight for and hang onto what they mistakenly think is their birthright. I see that their fear and ignorance are driving their ideology and behavior. But just because I see their psychological innocence doesn’t mean that I will stand by and do nothing.
When we look in the direction of the Principles, we recognize that we are not separate, but in fact, we are all one. Isolationism is not the answer. We are not the country we live in. We are not the colour of our skin. We are not our culture or our heritage. We are far more than that. We are all spiritual beings having a human experience. We all come from the same spiritual source. We are all created equal. Our physical form and the color of our skin are merely the coat we wear as we inhabit the world of form.
With love and appreciation, Del 💕
PS: Here is the link to sign up for the “Reimagining our Spiritual Communities…. Loving Authentic Conversations Around Healing Racism.” https://www.simpleshift.com/spiritual-community-2-0