If you really think that “white” is supreme, you don’t know what you’re missing!!! As a “white” person, I am so grateful for the beauty, joy, connectivity, humor, love, life, and everything that my “colored” friends share with me.
I sometimes feel uncomfortable using the terms “white”, “black”, “brown”, or any “color” in general to identify people’s lives. Our skin colors, of which these terms are so vaguely descriptive, do not encompass the multi-colored, multi-dimensional, realities that we are all interdependently created in. Our unique histories and herstories are woven together with rich threads that run beyond skin color and our ancestral lineages are far more nuanced than such blunt mono-chromatic terms.
However, I also feel even more uncomfortable in today’s world to not use such terms at all because that is akin to spiritual by-passing and acting as if we are culturally colorblind, a privileged pretense that is not systematically true, either.
Privilege is ignorance. To begin awakening from our ignorance, we do need to love our diversity more than fear our diversity. Awakening from ignorance is an invitation to celebrate diversity. Our divisive and hurtful past is not something that we have to pass on unconsciously from the present to the future.
Yoga is a practice of awakening the unconscious to the conscious. Yoga reminds us that we can consciously change our patterns and create a new reality right here, right now, in the present.
Humanity suffers from systemic patterns of violence predicated on our appearances, but we are also healing! The worldwide web is like a magnifying-glass in which we are able to see ourselves as more interdependent than ever before, not just with fellow humans but with all species. We are able, individually, to become more aware and more familiar with our collective diversity as a planet. We can see the tragic absurdity in “white supremacy” or “human supremacy” or any assertion of supremacy on behalf of one small part of this huge picture.
White supremacy is a very sad position to see on display anywhere in the world, ever. All supremacist positions of any kind are born from deeply harbored insecurity. If we consider that a superiority-complex is actually born from an inferiority-complex, we may awaken some compassion for all those who have tried to assert their superiority over us and others. This doesn’t excuse their behavior, but it might help forgive them for the harm they’ve caused.
For inner-peace, we do need to forgive; for outer-peace, we need not to forget.
I don’t have all the answers but I do believe in Art as a way to forgive while not forgetting, and as a way to continue raising the questions that keep us from settling for the violence in our status quo.
We need the cooperation of many aspects of society, including legislators and educators, to change from patterns of violence (including police brutality, environmental racism, economic discrimination, stereotypical representation) to patterns of compassion and celebration: but we also need artists to keep tending to the fire that awakens and fuels such change. Art is crucial to dismantling the cultural patterns of systemic violence by creating new waves/new patterns of common ground and compassionate awareness. We are seeing this happen and I hope we see it more!
As a humble celebration of art, this is a video that I directed, shot, and edited in 2009 featuring African Nouveau artist Woodrow Nash who was at that time represented by my sister’s art galleries.
ॐ सं गच्छध्वम् सं वद्धवम् सं वो मनाँसि जानताम्
देवा भागम् यथा पूर्वे सञ्जानाना उपासते
ॐ San Gachhadhwam Sam Vadadhwam Sam Vo manaansi jaanataam. Devaa Bhaagam Yatha Poorve Sanjanaanaa Upaasate.
Om May we march forward with a common goal. May we be open-minded and work together in harmony. May we share our thoughts for integrated wisdom. May we follow the example of our ancestors who achieved higher goals by virtue of being united.
समानो मन्त्र: समिति: समानी समानं मन: सह चित्तमेषाम्
समानं मन्त्रमभि मन्त्रये व: समानेन वो हविषा जुहोमि
Samaano Mantrah Samiti Samaanee Samaanam Manah Sah Chittameshaam. Samaanam Mantramabhi Mantraye Vah Samaanena Vo Havishaa Juhomi.
May our prayers be one. May we belong to one family. May our hearts and minds move toward one supreme goal. May we be inspired by common ideals.
समानी व आकूति: समाना ह्र्दयानि व:
समानमस्तु वो मनो यथा व: सुसहासति
ॐ शांति: शांति: शांति:
Samaanee Va Aakootih Samaanaa Hridayaani Vah. Samaanamastu Vo Mano Yathaa Vah Susahaasati. ॐ Shantih Shantih Shantih
May our aspirations be harmonious. May our minds be in unison. May we strive to reduce disparity. May we be bound in strong fellowship and unity. Om Peace Peace Peace
– Sangathan Mantra
(mantra text copied and reassembled from rss worldwide.com)