Racism is a disease

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Praise for Preserving Oneness of Humanity

An uplifting read, “Preserving Oneness of Humanity” contains pearls of wisdom and a perspective that is missing from the discourse on human and planetary development…V. M. Gopaul describes oneness as the “new frontier of our collective consciousness”…The premise of the book is simple yet profound…racism is not innate but is a disease which can be “caught” during early childhood from the social environment and is expressed as a learned behavior; as such, it can also be eradicated through the development of spiritual, intellectual and emotional capacities.  

– Jean Parker Ph.D.

This book is intended as an antidote to throwing up one’s hands in despair. He wrote it…out of a sense of urgency. He feels that there is a desperate need for these ideas and solutions. –Ed de Jong

Unlike so many doom and gloom books written today, this book is a breath of fresh air with positive solutions for the future and good news about our successful achievements as people and nations of planet Earth.

–Saundra Arnold.

V.M Gopaul devotes time towards keeping his readers informed about the root of social injustice—leading to violence and racist acts. Convincingly, the writer shows that inside each human being lies an instinct which has both evil and good qualities. –Vimal Kodai

Table of Contents

CHAPTER 1: Golden Rule  1

CHAPTER 2: Power of Oneness, A personal story  5

CHAPTER 3: One Thousand Paper cranes   13

CHAPTER 4: One Good Deed Pays Big Dividends  17

CHAPTER 5: Freedom of Speech  23

CHAPTER 6: Riches of Oseola  31

CHAPTER 7: Racism is a Disease  37

CHAPTER 8: What is Race?  45

CHAPTER 9: How do we eradicate racism?  53

CHAPTER 10: Racists come in all colors  59

CHAPTER 11: Power of forgiveness  65

CHAPTER 12: Tribalism won’t last forever, thank God  73

CHAPTER 13: Who is telling the truth?  81

CHAPTER 14: A glimpse of compassion after arson at Mosque in Peterborough  89

CHAPTER 15: Ever expanding consciousness  95

CHAPTER 16: PURE LOVE IN A BOX  105

CHAPTER 17: The king and the dervish, Attachment to identity, religion, and wealth  115

CHAPTER 18: Erasing hatred one power wash at a time  123

CHAPTER 19: Institutions Under Attack  129

CHAPTER 20: The power of courage  139

CHAPTER 7: Racism is a Disease

Racism is a social disease. Its affliction on the organs of humanity goes back a long time—ever since groups of different colors and ethnicities were forced to coexist.

There is a parallel between discrimination based on racial boundaries and countless physical illnesses that humans have suffered. The great news is that in the last hundred years, science has made incredible progress in finding the cure for killers such as smallpox, polio, measles, yellow fever, malaria, typhoid fever, and whooping cough to the point of totally eradicating them in some parts of the world.

It begs the question: why is racism still so rampant in most parts of the world? In the last decade, this destructive ailment has floated to the top of our consciousness, making headline news worldwide.

Racism is a belief that each race possesses characteristics or abilities specific to that race to distinguish it as inferior or superior to another race or races.

In times past, racism has been contemplated by politicians, philosophers, writers, poets, essayists, academics, and commoners. Each has given a commentary based on their personal beliefs, experiences in society, and understanding of human nature. However, thinkers of our modern age, regardless of their differences, are coming to one common conclusion: racism is evil.

Racism puts certain groups at a disadvantage. A pattern of race differences has created income inequalities, health disparities, and differences in academic achievements. However, some unfairly blame racism for certain social injustices without looking at other causes such as education, family values, and acquisition of marketable skills.

Thinking about this problem raises many questions. What is the nature of this illness? Who is affected by it? How can we eradicate it? As I read books on this subject, talked to experts, and reflected on it, I discovered the complexity of this problem. I’ll distill the facts I gathered from numerous sources and present them in ways that help us understand its nature and explain its ill effects on the body of humanity. Finally, I’ll make suggestions to solve this age-old problem.

Are we born racist?

Some assume a position of privilege is a birthright. Others believe being born into a certain caste or race dooms one to an unfulfilling life without hope of achieving one’s purpose and dreams. Therefore, it is important to examine whether the family into which we’re born predisposes us to a certain future or whether other factors play a role. 

When it comes to physical deficiencies, it is a fact that some babies are born with diabetes, heart problems, or other health issues. At this early age, many factors determine one’s physical well-being, but according to science, we inherit many physical characteristics from our parents through the genetic code.

Are babies born racist? Scientists disagree on the answers to this question.

Kang Lee, a neuroscientist at the University of Toronto, has studied facial recognition in babies from birth. His reports show that infants possess no bias or negativity to people they are familiar with until six months old. He concludes that a preference is developed towards people of their own race.

Andrew Baron, an associate professor in the department of psychology at the University of British Columbia who also studies bias in babies, came up with a different conclusion. A baby staring longer at a familiar face, as in Dr. Lee’s study, does not necessarily indicate racial preference. Baron explains, “But they could be looking at something in the face other than race because it’s new and strange; there could be other interpretations.”

Psychologist Phyllis Katz, studying behaviors in six-month-old infants, determined that infants do in fact register differences in skin color. However, these findings do not conclude that infants are racist. According to Katz, they simply mean that infants are able to register facial characteristics, and they have not learned to attach any social meaning. Social environment in later life shapes their thoughts and adds significance to it.

Based on my own interactions with and observations of babies, I agree with Baron and Katz. When my children were young, they more often jumped to my wife’s arms (a white person) than mine, a brown-skinned person. I interpreted that action as smart because they knew at that tender age where to find food, love, and comfort. As adults, they still prefer their mother over their father for certain needs. Are they racists? Of course not.

In fact, many times, white babies stare at me. It is hard to interpret what is going on in their minds at this stage of their life. They are so hungry for knowledge. 

What is the nature of this illness?

We are born without prejudice. But we may catch it during our developmental period. It happens at home, at school, and in social groups. A young mind, like a dry sponge, absorbs anything fed to it or experienced by it through personal observation. Slowly and certainly, ideas, whether true or not, crystalize into a belief system, becoming part of one’s personality, making thoughts become reality. Do we not talk to our children about how good or bad other groups are? At the dinner table, do adults tell stories about the behaviors of certain groups? This kind of petty talk, misinformation, and prejudicial remarks happen in all groups: whites, blacks, Asians, and Aboriginals. During the formative years, young, knowledge-hungry minds with limited rational ability learn from everything thrown at them. Many adults intentionally teach prejudices to their children as a way to hand down their dearly held values.

When the time came to teach my children, both my wife and I said nothing derogatory about any race or any group. Rather, we taught them to see everyone as humans who have the potential to achieve great deeds regardless of background.

Albert Memmi, a professor emeritus of sociology at Paris Nanterre University and author of several books, investigated racism as a social pathology and called for its eradication. He said, “We are all tempted by racism. There is in us a soil prepared to receive and germinate its seeds the minute we let down our guard. We risk behaving in a racist manner each time we believe ourselves threatened in our privileges, in our well-being, or in our security.”

Ann Morning, assistant professor of sociology at New York University, studied the thought processes of scientists and what they teach about human differences. In her book, The Nature of Race, she explained, “Our understandings of racial difference are undoubtedly shaped by our families, friends, neighbors, and peers. But in a society where racial classification pervades bureaucratic life, our everyday experiences in settings such as schools, companies, agencies, medical offices also leave their mark on our notions of race.”

As suggested by these studies, humans catch this disease after birth through the environment we live in, prejudices infected in us, and personal perception. The good news is that such an illness can be cured too.

Get your copy of Preserving Oneness of Humanity and start making your impact in the world today!   

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