How To Communicate With Racist Family Members

What a difference a week can make! Though things may feel chaotic and confusing, we have to remember why this cause is so important — for a more equal, just and loving world.

If there is one thing spirituality teaches us, is that we have to first move through the anger, then the sadness, then the neutrality, to move into joy. We can’t bypass the denser emotions and pretend they don’t exist. This is called spiritual bypass. Collectively we are continuing the deepest shadow work of our lives to look at racism in ourselves and in the system.

I recently wrote a post on my Instagram on how to communicate with racist family members that went totally viral because— well, many of us have racist family members! I wanted to email them to my community in case it could be of benefit for you, along with an addition on when it’s not worth the communication.

How To Communicate With Racist Family Members (that are willing to listen)

  1. Speak your truth — kindly.
    Getting them defensive will never open them up to hearing your perspective. Rather than yelling at them and calling them a racist, let them know WHY their point of view is prejudice and may have been taught to them in a time where we were less respectful of other cultures.
  1. Put your family in their shoes.
    Ask them how they would feel if they were afraid every time a police drove by them that they’d be arrested. Ask them how they’d feel if they were called names just for the color of their skin. Ask them how they’d feel if they were considered second class citizens. Chances are, they won’t like it.
  1. Humanize the cause.
    Share with them stories of real people. Humanizing the cause is extremely important because most people create separation by making it political. This is exactly what politics does — place numbers over people rather than tell their story to create division. Tell them a story and ask them how they’d feel if it were them, their mother, father, son or daughter.
  1. Hear them out.
    I know this may be the most difficult thing but if they don’t feel heard, they’ll never change. Listen to WHY they feel the way that they do. Chances are, they feel AFRAID of the other person. They think this group is dangerous, whether it is Blacks, Muslims or Mexicans. They believe their prejudice keeps them safe. Listen to why they are afraid and educate them on why that is an overgeneralization — and how many wars, shootings and other atrocities are committed by white people every day.
  1. Send/ show them videos by POC on these causes.
    This will help educate them because chances are, they’re getting all their information from mainstream media news sources by people who look and think exactly like them. Opening their mind to different perspectives will allow them to question the narrative they’v been hearing.. and create their own.
  1. Be patient.
    Overcoming racism will not happen overnight. But by you continuing to show up, be respectful and open up the conversation without it turning into a brawl, you will open up their perspective in ways you could never imagine.

What do I do if my family member is racist and not willing to listen?

Racist people are those in pain. The reason why someone would think they’re superior on the basis of their skin color is because they don’t love themselves. In fact, the only way you can hate others is if you hate yourself. One of the only ways they can feel better about themselves is to put someone else down, simply for their skin color. This is a method of self preservation. It’s an easy “win” that is unearned. It stems from a history of colonialism where whiter people were deemed as more upper class, hence the reason why racism exists in so many ethnic minorities as well.

Racism is the symptom of a deep-rooted hatred that takes time to dissolve as it’s taken thousands of years to create.

What a racist person really need is therapy and healing. However, many racist people resist doing any type of inner work because they don’t see anything wrong with themselves.

Coupled with narcissism, they have created a story that their method of self-preservation is right and will do anything in their power to keep it because shattering their belief means shattering their whole identity. They are not willing to give up something that once made them feel superior, important and significant.

There is no point in arguing with someone who is not willing to look in the mirror. Someone who is not willing to listen will not change their mind.

Unfortunately there is nothing you can directly do to a completely closed off person. However, you leading by example will show them that it is possible for them to love a person that thinks differently than them.

The point of this movement is not to break families apart, which will just create more separation, but rather to love each other through our differences. Raising your voice doesn’t help someone hear you more clearly. It just makes them more defensive and take their stance even firmer.

Set your boundaries. If they refuse to go to therapy or do inner work, then set the boundaries to what you’re willing to talk about and how much emotional/ energetic access they have to you. They cannot text you every day racist things and think you’ll be okay with it. They can’t complain about Black or POC in your presence. They will only have access to you in a loving context and that’s it. You will not tolerate emotional abuse that is putting down our brothers + sisters.

Just know that many of us have racist family members and we’re in this process together. Nobody is born racist, but it is learned and the systems that have taught it are falling apart. Look at Generation Z— they are more open-minded than any before. Racism is on its way out with the old paradigm so instead of focusing on changing your parents mind, focus on putting love, awareness and education out for the future generation.

New Highest Self Podcast Episode

What is happening in the world is a reflection of what is happening within. In this episode, I sit back down with 69-year-old Shaman Tatyana Rae, of the Aztec + Toltec lineage, to discuss her Shamanic perspective of what is happening in the world today.

We GO THERE yet again, discussing tribal warfare, fear of the other, cultural appropriation and other topics that may be on your mind but you’re afraid to speak about. Enter with an open heart and open mind.

Tune in on iTunes, Soundcloud or Spotify

This month we’ll be featuring Black voices on Highest Self Podcast, as well as spotlighting our melanin sisters in Rose Gold Goddesses to lead workshops and share their gifts.

Remember to breathe, take care of yourself and stay connected to your body.

Your alignment is the basis of your activism.

Together we unite,

Sahara Rose

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