Racism Is Connected to All Other Injustices
We are all descendants of the same ancestors, none of us more than 50th cousins.
Posted Jun 29, 2020
The evolution of consciousness has expanded our worldview toward thinking in a more holistic, systemic way. This has also brought with it the raising of values, virtues, and standards. What was acceptable 200 years ago, such as slavery or dueling to the death, is no longer considered virtuous or even humane. The distinction between right and wrong has become sharper. A trend toward compassion and justice has been clearly visible since the mid-19thcentury. Caring for any and all members of humanity in need is the new standard.
We evolve collectively through stages, just as we do individually, from a childlike innocence and vulnerability to an adolescent-like preference for putting self-interest above others and finally to a stage of mature responsibility integrating prosocial interactions. Yet traits of earlier stages linger as a new stage is settled in to. Racial injustice persists as deeply rooted prejudices and the systems they gave rise to clinging to a stage of humanity’s development that is ending.
The recent protests across America and the world, as well as the 2017 Women’s March, have shown that one injustice is connected to all injustices. Today’s social activism in the streets reflects research now understood in genetics, genealogy, and molecular anthropology from DNA that all human beings alive today are the descendants of ancestors who set out from Africa some 70,000 years ago on a long migration that spanned the earth. We are all nomads, at home wherever we are on this planet and one human family at the same time, with none of us more than 50th cousin to anyone else. Every so-called ‘individual’ family tree meets and merges into one genetic tree of all humanity. Knowing that we are one humanity creates a consciousness of selfless caring for all other members of our family.
Sacred wisdom has always known that we are interdependent. As the Buddha put it, “All things originate from one essence, develop according to one law, and are destined to one aim.” The illusion of separation, the misunderstanding that we are of separate and unequal “races,” contributes directly to all of the social and cultural issues that challenge us today, and in fact, threaten our very survival.
Racism is America’s most challenging issue and at the heart of all the other issues facing humanity today. Prejudice, poverty, oppression, nationalism, and many more injustices, resulting from a pervasive consciousness of duality, exist on a continuum that has led to even graver crises: hate violence, terrorism, genocide, and ultimately war, the effects of which are all transmitted from one generation to subsequent generations, causing unhealed transgenerational trauma.
All of these great challenges of our time create opportunities to be solved. The surest way of accomplishing this is knowing that they are all connected. Just as all parts of human society are connected, so too are all parts of the human body. What the heart feels, the brain can feel. Neuronal cells in the heart monitor and influence all functions of our body andcommunicate with the neuronal cells in our brain. This means the heart has its own brain made up of the same neuronal cells found in the brain, and it can communicate with the brain using its peace-building gifts such as intuition, creativity, connectedness, and transcendence.
This is what inspires trauma healing expert Dr. Lori Leyden, who, in her chapter in Our Moment of Choice: Evolutionary Visions and Hope for the Future, writes that leading-edge healing modalities, such as evidence-based Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) and The Grace Process, can not only repair our heart-brain-body connection but can also be scaled to heal the effects of transgenerational trauma throughout the world. She says, “As we heal our traumas, we change our genetics, our brain chemistry, and the ability of our hearts to connect, conspire, and co-create new possibilities for healing ourselves, our children, and our world.”
Having worked with people who have experienced the worst of human tragedies in post-genocide and post-school-shooting communities around the world, her vision is to cultivate “an army of peace-builders” – parents, educators, mental health professionals, and young people themselves – who will establish incubators of peace that can foster resilient global citizens whose hearts are open to inner peace and peace in the world.
Her Project LIGHT (Leadership Inspires Global Healing and Transformation) in Rwanda was the world’s first international youth healing program for traumatized young people based on trauma healing, economic sustainability, and heart-centered leadership training. The healing results chronicled in her award-winning documentary, "When I Was Young, I Said I Would Be Happy," illustrate how peace is built from the inside out. She believes this is what we are “heart-wired” for.
What can give us all hope is the very nature of the evolution of consciousness. This is what tells us that everything is tied together, that all living organisms, including humanity, are evolving toward their innate potential, and that this evolution, including the evolution of consciousness, is purposeful and directed toward wholeness.
Atkinson, R. (2017). The Story of Our Time: From Duality to Interconnectedness to Oneness. Delray Beach, FL: Sacred Stories Publishing, 30-35.
Atkinson, R., Johnson, K., & Moldow, D., eds. (2020). Our Moment of Choice: Evolutionary Visions and Hope for the Future. NY: Aria/Beyond Words, 129-135.