What is Racism?
Note: Try your chance to win $10.00 off your next massage session by giving the correct answer to the quiz of the day at the bottom of this post.
The most popular dictionary in the U.S. Merriam Webster defines racism as the following:
rac·ism | \ ˈrā-ˌsi-zəm also -ˌshi- \
Definition of racism
2a: a doctrine or political program based on the assumption of racism and designed to execute its principles
b: a political or social system founded on racism
3: racial prejudice or discrimination
I have recently been discussing the issue of racism and what it means to my family members, clients, students and colleagues. I decided to conduct a survey of how people define racism with their own terms. I am hoping to get the opinions of at least 50 members of each nationality in my region, Austin, Texas and beyond, ranging from 25 years of age and above, including both male and female participants.
The purpose of this survey is to open a new public conversation towards racism in order to discover many different avenues of thought about racism in order to understand where every one is coming from and to get a decent measure of the delicate climate of racism in our current time.
As an instructor of yoga teachers and yoga students I teach the Sanskrit term AHIMSA meaning non violence in thought or deed. It is a yogic principle and is part of the Niyamas (moral commandments, one of the 8 limbs of yogic philosophy). Back in the 1960’s non violent protests were extremely powerful tactics used by the leaders of the civil rights movement in an attempt to bring awareness to the public of the atrocious injustices done to the African American population throughout the history of the United States of America, and to gain an equal standing as citizens of the United States.
Non violent protests trumped the violent tactics of attacking or violently fighting back against the establishment, simply because most human beings will automatically take the side of the person who is being bullied. I want to dedicate this post to all the brave Americans who volunteered to be participants of the non violent protests during the American civil rights movement in the 1960’s. These people sacrificed their physical bodies, mental well being and risked death in order to make a better life for their family, friends and fellow Americans.
it is my opinion that we have come a long way since the time of the American civil rights movement, but racism and inequality still exist among the different races and cultures of this country. I have seen it myself on a fairly regular basis throughout my life, and I believe that racism is an instinctual part of every human and can be activated in anyone given the right circumstances,. I know that doesn’t sound politically correct, but I am a realist. I am not religious but one of my favorite sayings is “For by the grace of God, there go I.”
Please understand that this is my first attempt at conducting a survey of this manner and I am open to helpful suggestions in order to make this a better conversation in the long run. Feel free to ask me any questions in the ‘Questions for Me” box in the survey form. Also feel free to express your definition of racism or anything you have to express on the subject of racism by commenting on this post.
Fun Fact: Did you know that the state of Texas makes up 7,494,271,488,000 square feet? Dividing this figure by the current human population of 7 billion leaves each person with about 1000 square feet, a small plot the size of a big room about 33 ft x 33 ft. HOLY COW!
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