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Why Racism?

By Dr. Margaret Paul
August 25, 2014

Discover some of the underlying causes of racism and what is necessary to heal this scourge of our society.

I do not pretend to be an expert on what causes a person to be a racist, but I would like to explore some ideas based on the principles of Inner Bonding.

Those of you who have worked with your wounded self know that one of the characteristics we often suffer from when we are in a wounded self state is that we feel either one-up or one-down. Because the wounded self is based on the core shame beliefs that we are inadequate, flawed, defective, unimportant, and so on, we feel deeply one-down to others. Often, to compensate for these difficult feelings and protect against feeling them, we deny them and instead move into the opposite position: I am better than others.

This position can take many forms:

  • I am better than others because I have more money than they do.
  • I am better than others because I am thinner, sexier, prettier or more handsome than others.
  • I am better than others because I have a better car.
  • I am better than women because I am a man, or I am better than men because I am a woman.
  • I am better than homosexuals because I am heterosexual.

Racism comes into the picture when the false beliefs about being one-up extend to race and religion:

  • I am better than Blacks, Asians and Latinos because I am White, or I am better than Whites because I am Black, Asian or Latino.
  • I am better than Jews, Buddhists, Hindus and Muslims because I am Christian, or I am better than Christians because I am a Jew, Buddhist, etc.

All of these false beliefs of the wounded self stem from fear and a deep desire to have control over not feeling the fear. Hate and resulting violence are always protections against feeling the fear of believing, in a deep, unconscious place within the wounded self, that you are unworthy.

To me, white supremacists and other racists are waving a large flag that says: "I feel deeply inadequate, insecure, fearful, flawed. I am terrified of anyone knowing about these feelings, and I am especially afraid of admitting them to myself, so I will hide them by pretending to be better than others. This will protect me from ever having to know how defective I really feel."

The problems of racism and violence will not be resolved until:

1) Our child-rearing practices change to produce people with high self-worth instead of deep core shame/self-rejection.

2) Adults do their inner work to heal the wounded aspects of themselves that resort to hate and violence when threatened.

What is necessary is for each person to practice Inner Bonding on a daily basis, so that gradually the fears and false beliefs of the wounded self get healed and are replaced by the truth: that we are all children of God, equal in the eyes of God. When we heal our wounded selves, we will feel our oneness with all living beings, and would never think of harming another person. When we know our core Selves to be the love that is God, we will see and feel that love within each person we meet, regardless of what they look like on the outside. When we learn to see and love our own soul, we will naturally see and love the souls of others.


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