Go deeper into Soul Focused philosophy and explore new ideas with us.
Go deeper into Soul Focused philosophy and explore new ideas with us.
Historically talking, the concept of race and racism originated in the United States centuries ago. It is so old that we cannot even put a date stamp on it. Most people believe that racism is only a social evil; an injustice to mankind. But there is so much more to racism than what meets the eye.For example, the origins of racism are also related to the ego of human beings. Many parts of racism exist because of our ego. You must be wondering how is it possible? That’s what we will talk about and discuss in detail in this piece.
While we talk a lot about race and racism, we don’t spend enough time understanding what type of mind would create a social system like this. If we contemplate things properly, it would be evident that a mind that has given birth to racism must have been a mind that was in conflict, not just with others, but with itself.
And a conflicted mind is usually full of ego. When a person has a flawed idea of what is right and wrong, it is easy for them to believe that only their opinions are right. They believe that their opinions, actions, and beliefs are the only things that matter.
And that’s how ego is born.
Many people think that is just about being arrogant, rude, selfish, and other similar things of that nature. However, that is not true. At least, not entirely! Ego is also about having an outside perspective of yourself versus your inside perspective.
It is based on messages that you receive from a very young age. As a child when you are told a person is bad, a person is beautiful, a person is ugly, and so on, your mind starts grabbing those ideas without questioning them. And from there, your ego starts to get constructed.
It keeps on developing from that point onward. It starts to encompass the identities that you're told you are, whether that's by color like black or white, gender, or personality traits like smart, dumb, pretty, ugly, etc. You start to believe that those identities are the ultimate truth and when someone has a different opinion than yours, your ego takes a hit.
Our ego operates in such a way that keeps us separated from the truth. It makes us blind to the reality that is clearly in front of us. And that is how human beings created racism. They were convinced that their idea of human personalities is the ultimate truth. They were so blinded by their ego that they refused to consider another point of view. In the simplest of terms, racism is like ego on steroids.
Now that we have a rough idea about racism and its relation to ego, let’s talk about the most pressing questions. Why was race actually invented? What was the purpose and thought behind creating the idea of race and dividing and subdividing people based on phenotypes? Why would someone differentiate between people based on their skin color, facial features, and hair textures?
Just like we talked about, ego is something that defines us from the outside in. It is an external identifier or a set of external identities and identifiers that we later internalize.
Genetically, human beings are 99.98% similar. And so, people decided to divide us based on race. They didn't say, “we're going to do this because it makes absolute sense scientifically.” Instead, they said, “actually, we're going to do this because it makes sense socially.” Because this similar thing was already going on in other parts of the globe.
What we are implying here is that, back in the day, when people in the U.S. decided to divide human beings based on race they were just mirroring what was already happening in different places of the world. Especially in the places that were becoming the present-day United States, which had been the colonies earlier.
So, the rule-makers in the United States saw racism playing out in different parts of the world. And they probably thought, “we're going to do this because it's going to be serviceable to humanity.” And at that point in time, the entire humanity revolved around the group of people that would later come to be known as White.
And that was why race was invented.
The conversation about the origins of racism and how it is related to the human ego is an under-explored area. When we talk about racism, our major topic of focus is moving towards the solutions to ending racism. And it’s natural too. Most of us want to put a full stop to such an insensitive practice towards humanity. Most individuals want to end racism, not just fight it, but end it completely.
And to do so, we usually keep on appealing to the people with the same mindset that created racism. People with power, status, and ego are so big that it prevents them from seeing the truth.
And here’s another truth: for many of us, who are on the other side of racism, saying we want to end racism is also a result of our ego. So we say that we want to work towards ending racism, we are usually operating from our ego, and we haven't even recognized it.
The origins of racism were also the beginning of social sickness. It was a kind of social sickness that slowly crept into our personal lives and started influencing every part of it.
Whether we realize it or not, racism affects almost every part of our lives today. From the type of neighborhoods we live in to the type of food we consume to even the kind of air quality in our community, everything is impacted by racism one way or the other. Consciously or subconsciously, we all make decisions based on racism too. It’s a hard fact, but it is the truth.
And since everything about race is such a big part of our lives, our ego cannot stay separated from it. However, most of us do not understand ego and how it is influenced by racism.
Most individuals don’t possess an understanding of ego. This is because we don’t even try to explore and learn about it in the first place. We try to avoid it. And so, people who are full of ego and who want to be in charge of everyone else manipulate us for their benefit.
Imagine you are someone who wants to control other people for your benefit. Wouldn't it be in your favor if they misunderstand your true intentions? Won’t you want them to misunderstand what you are actually doing? You would, right? You would totally want to manipulate them for your personal benefit.
Now, imagine a group of people who want to control everyone. A pretty small group of people that have economic and political motivations to be in control. They would naturally look for tools to control human beings, right? And one of the best ways to control human beings is to give them an idea of who they are. No matter if it’s a totally false and made-up idea. Like, a made-up idea around race, religion, or gender.
So, this group of people starts to define people externally. And they do it in such a way that we don’t realize their actual motives. They repeat their messages over and over and over again. They do it so many times that it starts feeling natural and real even when it's not. They sell us a false idea of who we are and manipulate us. And because we are unaware of the concept of ego and how it works, we start acting the way they want us to.
After all, why would we even want to know about a concept like ego, it’s not even interesting, right? On top of that, this external messaging and manipulation (from certain powerful individuals or groups) has made us not want to explore it. This is because most of us are pretty accepting of the status quo. We're pretty accepting of how things are because we believe that things are the way they are because of us.
Simply put, the ego has been around since the dawn of humanity. Think about any
of our religious texts- the Bible, the Quran, or anything. All of them talk about the Devil or Satan. Isn’t that a kind of ego too?
Ego is what has driven us to war. It has driven us to all the forms of slavery that we have had throughout the history of humankind. It has driven us to conquest, exploitation, jealousy, fear, all the awful things that every religion talks about- the negative aspects of humanity!
The ego has been around for at least the past 75,000 years in terms of our human experience. And so, it was only natural that our collective ego, which is the total of all our egoic thinking, would create something like racism.
Racism was almost like the Ph.D. of ego like this is the highest it can go.
Now, it’s our job to understand that ego and have meaningful conversations about it because that is the only way to bring a positive change into the world.
While racism was invented to give privilege to white people, it is very important to understand that ego is not exclusive to whites. It is not only about white people. Human beings have always dominated other human beings since the dawn of humanity. They had taken other human beings as slaves long before the concept of whiteness even existed.
Think about Shaka Zulu or the empire of the Mayans. Weren’t all of them operating from their ego? They were dominating and doing horrible things to other human beings that existed long before whiteness.
Similarly, today we have the likes of the Taliban doing dreadful things to humanity. Thus, ego is not unique to white people. Ego has existed in human beings dominating other human beings forever!
As we think about the evolution of both race and racism and their correlation with ego, another thing that must be noticed. And that is the human ego got a boost when television came into being. Television exasperated the egoic mind, and somehow, it became a tool of perpetuating constant ego. So many TV shows normalize violence. They are all for the glorification of violence, patriarchy, and killing of indigenous people and people of color.
And all of that became such a huge part of our collective and individual ego. Television has such power that it can lock us into an egoic framework. So when we think about wanting to change society and put a full stop to racism, patriarchy, and other forms of oppression, the mass media has done such a good job of locking us inside that circle of ego.
So even as we rebel against certain aspects of racism, there is a whole mechanism and variation of racism and oppression that the society has accepted as normal and a common denominator. This is because the power of mass media has played a huge role as a tool of perpetuating ego and all these forms of oppression.
The ego creates a constant state of comparison and separation. And the only way to overcome this is by leading with love. Love is a true antidote to ego. It takes us back to our original, higher, and authentic selves.
Love is the essence of our Creator. And ego prevents us from seeing our Creator and from seeing ourselves in each other. Ego doesn’t let us act and relate to each other; it becomes a barrier in our relationships and friendships. So, the only way we can reduce the impact of racism is by moving on the path of love.
And the only way we can go to the roots of the origins of racism is by understanding everything going around us. So we need to study the history of Africa and how racism, its nuances, and complexities came into being. It is also essential to know more about Black Power movements, civil rights movements, black history, etc. There is so much more to black history than what meets the eye. And understanding that will help us understand racism and how our ego plays a part in it.
When you start knowing in-depth about the origins of racism, you will be able to see your ego footprint. This, in turn, will help you realize how your individual ego contributes to the collective ego of the world.
If you want to end racism, your first step should be to acknowledge that you have an ego. Then try to find out how your ego keeps you separated from your higher self and your divine soul. Another essential thing to do is reduce the consumption of materials that pollute your mind. It can be social media, Tik-Tok videos, television, and news. If it is harming you, try to reduce its consumption. This will go a long way in reducing your egoic energy.
When you reduce your ego, you will have more love for others. The gaps created by ego reduction will be filled by love. And whether you realize it or not, love is the answer to everything; it is the solution to every problem.
The origins of racism created something that made us stop seeing ourselves in other people. We started believing that we were somehow better than others. And when we stop seeing ourselves in other people, we stop loving them. And that is the root cause of all problems.
So, here are the key takeaways of everything we discussed in this blog post:
Racism, by its very nature, is an assault on our humanity. It takes us away from our Creator and from our soul. It stops us from being our authentic selves.
On the other hand, love takes us closer to our soul. While ego brings disruption, love brings peace and oneness. So, make sure that whatever you do, you do it out of love. And rest everything will fall into place!