Getting up close to examine why everyone everywhere needs to continue race and class discussions if we love one another.
Through critique and criticism, I examine my thoughts and own what I believe–leaving space to modify my beliefs as new and truer information is received.
Finding purpose and meaning in life is human nature. The brain by its design generates thoughts about our experience of being alive. What does it mean to be on a planet, in what appears to be a cosmos devoid of other similar life forms? Are we unique? Is our presence here of some significance, whether grand or inconsequential?
Is it human nature for the brain to think about and then move individuals to act on those thoughts and form ‘out-groups’ based on biases like skin tone, sexuality, gender, abilism? Or to form ‘heirarchies’ based on heuristics like stereotypes, cognitive ease, the halo effect, et cetera? The human brain produces and processes thoughts that involve ideas and concepts about the future. What is the future for the planet where humans discuss the source of these biased and hierarchical thoughts and behaviors?
Today is the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (21 March). Thus, this reflection of the Oscar nominated feature film documentary, I AM NOT YOUR NEGRO. What struck me most profoundly is author James Baldwin’s prescience in clearly understanding the dynamic at play in America regarding power’s use of racial bias as a means to economic gain while at the same time ignoring the oppression and suffering this brings to individuals and communities.
This documentary film does just that. It explores and examines the life of distinguished American James Baldwin. Baldwin devoted his life to understanding the nature of humans to racially discriminate and manufacture class hierarchies. Those thoughts formed his writings, his understanding of reality and his experience of the world. He lived a fascinating life. One that lead him to believe that only through acceptance that these biases and hierarchies are the product of the thoughts and actions of a few intent on achieving and amassing power, and then rejecting that power structure could humans live the realized shared aspiration to be equal and pursue happiness.
I acknowledge the scientific fact that emotions influence the thoughts that inform my opinions.
Exposing myself to the thoughts of those who have dedicated their lives to exploring history, philosophy, ethics, religion, science, et cetera enriches my experience and understanding of what this life is. It gives me knowledge of what to do, how to live a life as an independent individual (with responsibilities to self) and how to live a life as a dependent individual in community (with responsibilities to others).
Watching this film was admittedly emotionally challenging. Seeing the history of America unfold in the murders of democratic society leaders Macolm X, the Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King, Jr., Robert Kennedy, Meadger Evers, civil rights activists Andrew Goodman, Michael Schwerner, and James Chaney, and so many more as it maintains race and hierarchy to provide a continuous source of cheap labor for capitalism’s economic system. It has become an increasingly deregulated, unaccountable economic system that has spread to the global community of all humans.
I can now more consciously act in ways that form my experiences of the world, the lens through which I see, the filter through which I understand others and myself.
The film has enlivened me to face the reality that generates these racial and class divides. I actively seek insights from fact-based and truer sources that tell me how, in America’s flawed democracy, how to resist and dismantle the limiting, biased thought and actions that keep humans everywhere from equality with one another and the ability to purse happiness. I resist anxiety-generating thoughts of my own and those of others that are not based in truth and fact. And, I act in the spirit of all humans are created equal, and the pursuit of happiness.
I’m now more fully aware of my thoughts, how they influence my feelings and actions. I experience life with more emotional well-being and happiness.
James Baldwin inspires me. His debate with William F. Buckley, Jr. remains an icon to discussion and logical conclusion to end racism and class hierarchy.
#jointogether #standup4humanrights #fightracism #AfricanDescent
 the Educating Gossip ™ pioneered a way to approach life using critique, criticism, emerging science of how humans acquire belief through the processes of the brain (thoughts and emotions), and the spirit or energy of belief is expressed in the world. For more information, see SSRN Paper