Racism and “Mental Health” Oppression

After the 2014 “Mental Health” Leaders’ Conference a series of conference calls on racism and MHO with key PGM MHL leaders resulted in these reports about that work.

AFRICAN HERITAGE

Jenny Martin: Racism had everything to do with my incarceration in the “mental health” system as a young person. The racism, intertwined with MHO, is the reason the MHS sectioned me (forcibly placed me in hospital using the Mental Health Act), labeled me, and had me taking psychiatric drugs. I was an adolescent (sixteen) seeking answers to that difficult period (puberty). I had trusted the school counsellor, who suggested visiting social services, which started the chain of events that led to my incarceration. (Why wasn’t talking therapy offered instead?)

It’s even scarier now. Quite often young Black people get sectioned, so they can be forced to take drugs. Black men are treated worse: given larger doses of drugs, put in restraints (which sometimes results in death), or killed.

In England, the intertwining of institutional racism and MHO means the state is allowed to get away with taking Black lives, usually those of Black men, similar to the recent deaths of unarmed U.S. Black men. In 1998, David “Rocky” Bennett was killed at at a secure psychiatric unit after being restrained by up to five nurses. Researchers into his death found institutional racism in “mental health” services to Black people. In 2011, Kingsley Burrell Brown called the police for assistance. They took him to a secure psychiatric unit, then to hospital, where he died. His inquest cited prolonged restraint and failure to provide medical attention. The MH system, special hospitals, and prisons constitute a way to control Black people.

My white doctor once insisted I see a white psychiatrist. I said, “What’s he going to have in common with me?” Attempting to reassure me, my doctor said, “My son is seeing a psychiatrist.” His son is a white man. As a raised-poor/working-class young Black woman, daughter of immigrants, what commonalities would the white psychiatrist have with me, my culture, my experience?

Africans haven’t recovered from enforced servitude (slavery). We haven’t yet discharged the terror that sits on top of all our work of MHL. Slavery restimulates everyone. Racism was constructed to legitimize slavery, which is at the heart of the intersection of racism and MHO. Everyone needs to discharge about slavery. You cannot work on the intersection of racism and MHO as it affects African heritage people without working on enforced servitude.

LG Shanklin-Flowers: One of the harshest, yet easily overlooked, ways that racism intersects with MHO is through the impact of pressures toward assimilation and respectability. There is extreme external enforcement to assimilate, to be more like the “norm,” to fit in and not rock the boat, as well as pressures from our families and the people we are closest to and on whom, as children, we are dependent. The pressure feels neither extreme nor forced, but rather just the way things are, yet we were heavily targeted the further we were from “normal.” 

Being Black meant that to be “normal” was even harder, given that the default position for “normality” is always white. The constant wrangling with who we are versus what society says we should aim to be (if we want to be valued) is hurtful. It reinforces chronic recordings of always being a cultural outsider, not fine the way we are, never good enough. And while an oppressive system installs these and more recordings on all its members, this additional targeting of People of the Global Majority (PGM) on the basis of our color and cultures means there are few safe havens where we can escape and be ourselves. Assimilation is oppressive, and in the context of race, it is experienced as racism.

Assimilation is often framed not only as a key to access, but also as a choice. It is a false “choice,” enforced as it is by the dominant culture. To the degree we assimilate or are perceived as assimilated, we are viewed as not being fully Black. Ironically, what it means to be “Black” is circumscribed by the very racism that seeks to control us. Misinformation suggests that some people assimilated while others didn’t. The truth is we have all been targeted and have internalized messages that there is a right (white) way to be. While PGM must navigate both worlds, white society can see as respectable and safe those who appear “too white” to their own community, which can ostracize them for “thinking they are better.” Both groups have expectations and seek to enforce assimilation based on their view of “normality.”

My survival was tied in early with assimilation. Although I was raised poor/working class, I got assimilated into “middle-classness.” My father, raised Southern, spoke with only a slight accent. My mother, a first-generation immigrant, enforced speaking “the King’s English,” excelling, and at the same time valued being authentically Black. Both parents worked hard to survive, as did their parents. Their messages and ways of being, passed to me, helped me successfully navigate such hostile environments as my predominantly white high school, university, and workplace. Their messages were less about appearing respectable and more about the consequences of being targeted. This jockeying between holding onto one’s authentic self while surviving the assaults of enforced assimilation is the epitome of MHO.

The collapsing society is more and more rigid, “normal” is tighter for everyone, and there is less opportunity to discharge. This harshness and its particular targeting of Black and brown people (heightened institutionalization in prisons and MH facilities, increased police and white terrorists’ murders) may make assimilation appear more attractive. Being “respectable” will not protect us and takes us further away from what it means to be an authentic human. 

Committing to discharge how we have been targeted and have internalized messages of assimilation as survival—this is MHL work. The more we show of ourselves and claim our authentic selves, the more we rock the foundation of the oppressive system. Part of the “crazy making” of racism is holding onto ourselves in hiding. MHL work supports figuring out how to be who we are while being in the center of our own lives in both the public and the private spheres. I want more than survival to be the major piece of what I show. MHL supports my thriving.

In recent classes for PGM on MHL, discharge on shared experiences, not showing ourselves, and assimilation, as well as the understanding that there is nothing wrong with us, contradicted blame, shame, and self-doubt. It supported folks to work on material that they feared would make them targets for the MH system. The collapsing society makes it easier to see that we are not the “unhinged”—it’s the system. MHL supports our reclaiming our true selves and minds, which is an integral part of changing the world.

We have moved forward on understanding about the intersection of racism with MHO. You can see that in the level of thinking and in our ability to articulate it well.

Anonymous: At a small listening project that I led as a PGM ally with a local Black liberation community group, a woman told me she went to the police station asking to talk to the police chief about his officers’ having killed an unarmed Black man. Instead of getting a meeting with the chief, she was handed a card for a “mental health” services hotline.

Arike: As an African heritage Black man leading MHL, I have been able to do a good job. In the last thing I led, I tried to demonstrate the material rather than talk about it. I discharged, then asked, “What did you learn by witnessing my session?” They noticed how tight it is, how I don’t get to be me. They noticed they need to sharpen up.

INDIGENOUS HERITAGE

Xian Haunani Natsue Lai (Indigenous Hawaiian woman) In the past, I had too much anger, terror, and other distresses to be able to speak coherently about racism and MHO in my life. If we don’t talk about it, and write about it, and work on it, it will not change. Not talking about it is not recognizing it. Someone once said to me, “There is not racism in Hawaii because there are lots of people of color.” I believed it then. (I know better now. White corporations define “normal.”)

At a gather-in of PGM with white people in attendance, I agreed to be counseled up front and shared some of how colonization has oppressed, and continues to oppress, us Hawaiians as a people, as a culture. I could say how much hate and resentment we have toward the visitors and white people who turn us into servants and exploit our culture and land for their enjoyment and profit. Reclaiming my people and my thinking, and not letting useless messages come in, has changed my world for the better, and this is only the beginning.

ASIAN HERITAGE

Cornelia Cho: As a Korean-American female born in the United States to parents who met after immigrating, I choose to discuss the relationship between oppression and suicide recordings. It’s not surprising that being targeted by racism can lead to self-destructive and suicidal thoughts; but it does help to be able to look at specifics around why these recordings may be playing in your head. Do you struggle with self-destruction recordings? Not just suicidal thoughts, but thoughts about doing something against your own self-interest?

Our struggles don’t come out of nowhere. One place to look for the origin of these thoughts is the history of how your people have been treated. Your historical and cultural legacies can be revealing. Many of us come from people and cultures that were oppressed at some point. The historical treatment resonates through the ages to become recordings that can get translated into all kinds of struggles, one example being suicidal and self-destructive thoughts. When teaching, I often say, “Let’s assume that where you struggle is where you were hurt and under-resourced.”

Learning details is useful. Exploring my own legacies began during a demonstration at an Asian workshop, when I realized to my shock that my embedded historical messages were indeed powerful. A Filipino client was vigorously pushing a Japanese heritage Co-Counselor across the front of the room, shouting, “Get out of my country!” I burst into gut-wrenching sobs. I checked who else was sobbing—the other Koreans, Chinese, Filipino/as—I lost track. “What the heck is going on?” I asked myself. “I was born in the United States, for goodness sake!” As I discharged, I realized, “Ah, it’s my parents. This is what they wanted to yell.” Initially stunned, I was soon galvanized by realizing that if this has been sitting inside me without my knowledge, I have to find out what else is in there.

Doing constituency work, discharging with others who share your cultural and historical legacies, can reveal that the thoughts in your head aren’t just your own personal struggles or ideas. When I first started this work, a Korean counselor and I picked similar struggles, ones that we shared and that neither of us understood. Using a historical lens provided focus. An example: We were both good at leading groups when we were clearly in charge. However, the minute someone “higher up” walked in, we crumbled. When we looked at this struggle from the perspective of a colonized people, it suddenly made sense. Colonizers want their subjects to be highly functional and competent and produce goods and services at a distance and without much supervision. However, colonizers also want the last word. If they pay a visit and don’t like the way you are doing something or the way you look at them, they can cut off your head on the spot. Knowing how to behave around colonizers was a pro-survival behavior passed down from our parents. Working together to identify its origin allowed my counselor and me to discharge the recording so that it was no longer in charge of our behavior. Knowing that a recording doesn’t actually come from your own experience can help you dismiss it (not believe it) when it arises.

The suicide and self-destruction recordings also made a certain sense when I examined them further. Mine weren’t necessarily well thought out. They were often impulsive “thoughts” that would come out of what I initially thought was nowhere, for example, “You know, you could end it all if you just turned the wheel and drove off this bridge.” Looking through the historical lens, I realized the “thoughts” would appear soon after I felt I had made a “mistake.” As a “faulty” colonized subject, I should then be eliminated. Once I put the pieces together, it became easy to dismiss the recording instead of worrying there was something wrong with me for “thinking” this way.

The best side effect of working on these recordings this way was that I stopped getting “depressed.” My husband commented twelve years ago, “You don’t get sunk like you used to.” Yes, despite regular sessions, I would get periods of “depression.” I date the change to when I started this work. Once I figured out that many of my struggles were connected to oppression and could identify the context, I could discharge instead of trying to figure out what I was doing wrong or what I was failing to figure out.

Your parents did their best to prepare you, from birth, for what they survived and experienced, and their ancestors did the same. Much of this “information” gets stored in your mind beneath awareness, supposedly preparing you for later contingencies.

In counseling on your heritage, you can ask: How were your ancestors treated? Were they murdered to seize the land they were living on? Enslaved and relocated for their labor? Colonized to exploit their resources and services? Persecuted for their religious beliefs? What kinds of recordings could arise from the way your ancestors were treated by their oppressors?: “I am no good to anybody. I might as well be dead.” “Unless I can figure this out, I don’t deserve to live.” “I’m no good if I can’t work.” “I should just give up and save everyone from my being a burden.” “I’m a bad person. I shouldn’t be here.”

I now think about historical and cultural legacies with everyone I counsel. To put their struggles into a larger context can help them shift blame off themselves and discharge. This includes those in oppressor groups. Because I can put it in the context of their legacies, I have more compassion for their behavior and their recordings. Above all, I hope this information will help people of all heritages have more compassion toward themselves.

The following are some ways racism and MHO target Asians:

War: Since the Korean war, all the major U.S. wars have been fought in different parts of Asia (currently West Asia, previously Southeast and East Asia). War is a big contributor to MHO distress. Aside from the inherent irrationality of war itself, it is a significant source of traumatic events that give rise to generation after generation of hurts and distress recordings. After my mother’s home was bombed and destroyed three separate times during the war, she developed hoarding and accumulation patterns (passed to me). Many destructive, addictive patterns, such as alcoholism and drug abuse, have roots in the aftermath of war.

Visibility: Another relationship between racism and MHO involves physical and racial characteristics. Society is hard on visible oppressed groups. Racial characteristics, such as skin color, facial shape, and hair type can lead to targeting based solely on appearance. The killing of Vincent Chin, a Chinese heritage man killed by two white men angry about the Japanese auto industry, continues to bring up terror for me.

Parenting: Another intersection of MHO recordings and racism manifests through parenting. There was war, colonization, imperialism, and militarization in my families’ background. My mom and two siblings were raised by a single mom because her father was assassinated for being part of the resistance movement when she was three. My mom was in a colonized country; some of her parenting felt like she was trying to “occupy” and “colonize” me.

Quiet: Another piece of how racism and MHO affect us as Asian people is how silent we often are, in both the greater society and in RC. If you consider how much intelligence each of us harbors, then examine the amount of time you hear our voices or see our thinking on forums like the RC e-mail discussion lists, you know what appears is a small fraction of what is actually there. Some reticence comes from our ancient culture, from classism, from Confucianism, and more. In the United States, immigrants or children of immigrants are not only pressured to assimilate and “fit in,” but also expected to shut up and be grateful that we are alive and not starving in our country of origin. “You got out; so what do you have to complain about?”

Lois Yoshishige (Japanese and Okinawan) For white people, MHL work is important so they can hear and want to be close to PGM. It’s restimulation that separates people, and MHO says some restimulation is too difficult to look at, for example, the kind that says, “Your distress (or life) is too much for me, too upsetting. I can’t listen to you or be with you.” To be relaxed and want to connect with PGM contradicts a white person’s racism. To get past a preoccupation with a PGM’s “hard life” will help. To be able to see the person first enriches white people, who too often haven’t managed this.

We PGM need MHL in order to face our distress and face racism, which requires us to go to a place where we feel we’re going to go “crazy.” We don’t want to look there, because we feel we barely survived it the first time. We talk about eliminating racism as RCers, but PGM in RC can’t easily connect it with the rest of their lives if they can’t have sessions on it, if MHO blocks sessions.

Because of racism, MHO, and classism, it feels like racism happens to African heritage people, that Asians don’t have it as bad, shouldn’t complain, and are making things up if we do complain. That confusion separates us from our African heritage sisters and brothers in ending racism; we feel more connected to white people. It’s terrible to not be connected, to not know that people are with us and that there’s solid connection to stand up to oppression.

The confusion about racism also disconnects us from ourselves, who we really are. MHO divides us from ourselves and our thinking. We can’t trust ourselves or our own people.

Keeping quiet about racism fits with MHO. My family felt being quiet was the way to handle mistreatment inside the family. If I tried to show upset about the mistreatment, I was labeled “crazy.”(My family’s patterns about quiet came from war, when yelling or looking angry could get family members killed. The pattern says that even if you want to speak out for yourself, you refrain so as not to affect any family member.)

Anti-Japanese racism both blames us and reveres us as a “model minority” and “middle agent.” We were the “enemy” from the 1920s through the 1940s. Racism so distorted how society perceived us that dropping bombs on Japan and incarcerating Japanese in the United States were seen as just and justified. (My family became middle class and conformed so as to never again be seen as the enemy.) In World War II, the U.S. 442nd Regimental Battalion sacrificed four hundred Japanese-American men to save thirty Texans. Those Japanese-Americans then became decorated heroes, credited with lifting the image of all Japanese-Americans. Again we see the two-sidedness of anti-Japanese racism (as well as a reinforcement of both racism and men’s oppression as “normal”).

My mother’s family was from Okinawa, a country of Indigenous people, still colonized by Japan. Some Okinawans opposed the Japanese; my mother’s family passed as Japanese and assimilated into their middle-class culture: self-annihilation for survival. We suppressed such Okinawan traits as love, devotion, fight, and commitment-no-matter-what. Instead we strove to look good, calm, superior, distant, and successful. Nonetheless, Okinawans carry recordings typical of internalized genocide, which the “mental health” system can see as “mental illness.”

I myself felt unbeautiful, afraid, angry, and not okay. I blamed myself, my family, and our people. “Not my fault” is a good direction.

Xian Lai (Pacific Islander and Okinawan woman) This work gives PGM more power in the workplace and in the world. For example, when I was ignored by a white counter person in a white peoples’ restaurant, I walked out. Because of work on ending racism and on MHO, I knew it was about him, not me. Such inner strength grows as I do MHL work. It’s one way we can get ourselves and our power back, not have to be passive. Doing just ending racism work doesn’t quite help us “get it” that there’s nothing wrong with us.

CHICANO

Bob Gomez: It has been fourteen years since “The Intertwining of Racism and MHO” appeared in Present Time [in No. 129, October 2002]. As capitalism continues its downward spiral toward collapse, conditions worsen for people of the global majority.

People flee West Asian homelands because of war. Many Africans feel effects of climate change and of environmental damage from multinational companies. Young African heritage U.S. men and women face racism and threats to their lives from law enforcement entities. Undocumented Mexicans and Central Americans face pressure to leave the United States even as the dominant culture demands their cheap labor.

As society grinds people down and makes it ever harder to meet their basic needs, “mental health” oppression makes many of them feel there’s something wrong with them, that they’re supposed to put up with circumstances and have no power or say. As conditions worsen, the cumulative effect of oppression and environmental degradation can make people feel unsupported and resigned.

Many upwardly mobile PGM tend to forget how hard our lives have been. Unless we can do the MHL work, we may not be able to counsel each other well on facing that. MHO makes us feel there’s something wrong with us and our minds and that it’s shameful to have been hurt in the ways we have. (This idea, of course, applies to counseling every targeted group, because MHO tells each there’s something wrong with their minds.)

Racism and genocide were so hard on my people that they left us committing many forms of violence against each other. One form of violence from my group was that I was abused, on the pretext that I was “different.” This pretext reinforced society’s messages that there was something wrong with me. I can see where someone trying to live with the effects of what happened to me might be considered to have “something wrong with them.” MHO has come at me strong.

Looking at racism and MHO, at the concept “normal,” has given me another tool to explain to people why things feel as bad, as hard, as they do.  Not being treated as “normal” can make someone feel pretty bad.

People come into RC and struggle with feelings about being of mixed heritage. The struggle is especially marked if their family or peers are saying, “You look white. You should act white.” We should encourage folks to discharge and claim their global majority heritage, because racism and MHO push them to diminish, ignore, and devalue it. In the United States it is implied that only white ancestors matter. The global majority heritage has been with them for centuries through their ancestors. It’s important we recognize that the distresses that we carry go back many generations. All those generations are important for our identity.

MIXED HERITAGE

“Bobby Tamara”: I am a mixed-race (Han Chinese and Ashkenazi Jewish) young adult woman who was raised upper-middle-to-owning class in the United States. I took psychiatric drugs for eleven years.

The adults around me wanted a good life for me. Confused by their own hurts and oppression, they felt it best to focus as much as possible on the positive. Implicitly and explicitly, they conveyed that everything was “fine”—that history’s big struggles (colonization, racism, the Holocaust, sexism, and so on) had been resolved.

I have few early memories of overt racism, but I know I experienced it because of my attitudes toward myself and others of color. In elementary school, I longed to have blond, curly hair. By middle school, I decided I couldn’t live up to a white ideal of beauty. Not until I was a young adult did I learn that my difficulty was oppression, not ugliness.

I couldn’t see the racism targeting me partly because I was taught that racism had ended. I was given two false “proofs”: (1) mixed-race children are living evidence of our new, post-racial, colorblind society, and (2) (the myth that) U.S. Asians as a “model minority” experience no racism. That USers of Asian heritage are economically successful “proves” that if people of other races worked hard enough, they could “succeed.” (The model minority idea that certain racial cultures are superior was first used in the United States in 1966 to describe people of Japanese and Chinese heritages, at least in part as a way to discredit the U.S. Black Civil Rights and Black Power movements of those years. The myth also ignores the diversity of Asian Americans and the oppressive U.S. immigration policies that favored a disproportionate number of middle- and owning-class East and South Asians.)

The lie that racism is over put pressure on me, because many people pinned their frozen hopes on me and couldn’t tolerate it if I showed despair. The model minority lie hurt not only because it blames other racial groups, particularly African heritage people, for their oppression, but also because it divides people of color and dilutes our liberation efforts. Both lies deny the existence of racism, suggesting that a person’s struggles stem from individual failing, not systemic oppression.

Both lies and my class background set me up to have “success” patterns. I met society’s standards for a young person of my background: near-perfect grades, advanced classes, parts in professional theater, extracurricular awards. Despite this “succeeding,” I sometimes felt terrible without obvious reason.

When I showed my distress through self-harm and heavy discharge, adults, confused by oppression, concluded something was wrong with me, since my life was “good.” With no other explanation for my feelings, I went along with the assessment and accepted drugs.

My having felt bad now makes sense. I was a young person in an adultist world, a person of color told me that racism is ended, a gender non-conformer in a heteronormative society, and a mixed-race Chinese Jew separated from ancestral homelands with no families around that looked like mine. It also makes sense that I would feel bad on the oppressor side: used as a tool for anti-Black racism, provided an excess of food while others starve, with a bedroom when others have nowhere to sleep, living on land stolen through genocide and colonization.

Because I couldn’t go numb to all those oppressions, I got targeted by the “mental health” system and forced into numbness and compliance through psychiatric drugs. But the reality is that there was nothing wrong with me—what was (and is) wrong is the oppression.

For me, working on “mental health” liberation means deciding to face some of my deepest terror, deciding to feel things that were in the past unbearable—in particular the impact of racism and other oppressions on me. Feeling all these intense feelings means that I will not settle any more for a world in which any oppression exists. It means that I choose to take wide-world action to end racism, to end the destruction of the environment, to end all forms of oppression.

Anonymous Global Majority person: I worked for a majority-white middle-class nonprofit that supports survivors of domestic violence. Much of its work was wonderful, but it was undermined by unaware racism, when they would do things like “accidentally” appropriate from non-dominant cultures. When I struggled to point out racism at work, people didn’t want to hear and defended their racism. It made me feel “crazy” to be faced with such numbness and denial.

AN ALLY

Janet Foner: I have wondered, “What do I have to offer as a white person on working on racism and MHO?” The answer: a lot! Because racism hurts me and other white people a lot.

My patterns used to prevent me from thinking about the importance of this work; thus it wouldn’t occur to me to do it. Now I know it’s crucial for everyone. I used to dread teaching on this. Now I don’t. It just seems like something important to do.

In a MHL workshop that included eight people of African Heritage, most of whom I did not know, I worked with an ex-inmate who felt hopeless about the effects of racism in her life. In earlier times, I don’t think she would have had a huge session; I wouldn’t have had the slack. But I had discharged about racism and MHO and could listen well enough that she could rage and cry (even while a small part of my brain felt a little hopeless about the racism she had experienced). I realized that the big thing I have learned is how much we white people have to discharge to be able to counsel somebody who is visibly angry about racism. 

I have learned that the racism-and-MHO work is a big part of MHO. At first, I thought its importance rested in the fact that African Heritage people are treated worse than other groups in the MHS, and most people targeted by racism receive more psychiatric drugs and harsher mistreatment than white people. Somewhat later, I had thoughts about racism’s being “normal” and African Heritage people’s having to hold in their discharge process in order to “look white” or not show their upset with racism.

Later, I came to see the effects of racism on white people by contrasting the first African Heritage and MHL workshop with a mostly white workshop. Most African Heritage people and many others of the Global Majority have been made to feel “crazy,” “weird,” “about to lose it” because of the setup of racism and MHO. Thus they immediately understand MHL theory in a way many white people can’t without more discharge. I also saw how connected the African Heritage people were with each other. The interactions of white people seemed cold by comparison. I could see that having to “look normal” had taken a toll on white people and robbed us of our connections with each other.

Still later, I realized that because of their coming from the intertwining of both oppressions, people targeted by racism often function at least to some extent outside of MHO and are thus more able to act human instead of “normal” in a way that many white people can’t yet. It makes sense, because people targeted by racism have been less involved in running the oppressive society as oppressors.

Thus an important facet of ending MHO would be to spread the work on racism and MHO more widely. Two things would happen: (1) More people targeted by racism would be doing MHL work and moving the ending racism work forward along with MHL work, and (2) more white people would be able to understand the effects of racism and MHO, which would help in moving white people out of their oppressor roles.

I have co-led three African Heritage and MH workshops with Barbara Love, and Asians and MH once with Francie Chew and once with Lois Yoshishige. I have had limited opportunity to work with Chicano/a, Latino/a, and Indigenous people.

I have come to understand about collaborating, consulting people targeted by racism, backing them to lead MHL. Working closely with MHL leaders of the Global Majority no longer feels scary and has become a rich experience. Taking these layers of oppression off gets one to see what’s true about people. They’re more willing to be open and I’m more willing to be open, and the work goes better. It isn’t only about understanding other people’s cultures (which I have had a chance to do a lot of), but also about bridging gaps between people. It makes a difference in people’s re-emergence as PGM to have their voices heard. It makes a difference for white people to hear the voices of PGM, many of us having been raised separated from them.

My many relationships with PGM in and out of RC make a difference in my understanding the harshness of racism, which I used to find harder to envision. Knowing about it from counseling many people has brought up what I need to discharge so that I can listen to more and more. It is hopeful to be able to access my own racism for discharge without having to “dredge it up.”

Leading this work with PGM means getting to discharge more easily in general. It also means being part of creating the conditions that show us the way out of racism and MHO, ways to bridge those gaps that will lead the way to a better society. As we white people become more hopeful about ending racism and MHO, we are better able to provide contradictions. We understand better how MHO has distorted our perceptions of who people of the global majority are. We better understand the depth of what has been done to them and how to be better allies. We can then find more ways to both stop perpetuating racism by our actions, and to make deeper connections across the barriers that racism imposes. All of this makes racism and MHO disappear faster.

The more we discharge on racism and MHO, the more we help people feel hopeful, which also gets rid of the oppressions more quickly.


Last modified: 2018-02-27 03:36:53+00