Consciously Unlearning Racism
This question came up in the “Dismantle Racism” group that I am currently facilitating, and I thought I would also share it here.
We have been indoctrinated into a white supremacist system, so we have much to learn and unlearn.
Q: What does it mean to me to “unlearn?”
A: I believe that humans are taught through particular lenses, based on direct and indirect learning. “Taught” refers to both social conditioning and formal education here.
These lenses affect everything and form our Core Beliefs—what we believe about ourselves, others and the world at large. They become what I call our “subconscious operating systems.”
From a racial perspective, most of the world has been established through a white supremacist lens or a core belief that “white people are better” or “white people are the “gold standard” or, simply “white is the norm.” This belief can be embodied by a human of any race.
Now, like most of our limiting beliefs, many of us would not, individually, consciously choose this core belief, which is why we often deny this is our internal or social operating system.
But, alas, it is still there whether we want it to be or not—just like our personal beliefs about our worth or safety.
So, unlearning is about choosing to unwind previously established beliefs and re-educate ourselves consciously through a new chosen filter.