Some thoughts occurring to me this morning, regarding how to deal with racists. If I encounter a racist, do I try to convince them into NOT being a racist? Is that even possible? If so, how could I best accomplish that?
I’d like to think the best possible means of doing so is simply engaging with them about their views and letting them get to know me, so they can see for themselves that they have nothing to fear with me (as a brown person). They may come to realize: “Damn, this guy is cool.” And if they can realize that one brown person can be cool, perhaps they can realize that many brown people can be cool, and if many brown people can be cool, then many black people can be cool, many Asian people can be cool, many Latino people can be cool, and so on and so forth.
Granted, I don’t really encounter much overt racism in my adult life (not like how I did as a child growing up!), but if/when I ever do in recent years… that’s generally been my approach. My natural reaction is not to DEMONIZE people who may have racist views, but rather… to engage with them with the hope of enlightening them that there is another way.
A new strength that has emerged with my adoption of Stoic philosophy this past year is that I don’t really care what other people think of me any more (well, at least not to the degree I USED to.) If a racist insists on being racist to me, well then so be it. That’s their problem, their loss… not mine. I will go about my day, go about my life… surrounding myself with awesome people (of all races, beliefs, creeds, etc.) as I have done my entire life.
I do not give racism the power to rule over me.