Updated: Jun 22
We are living through a very turbulent time in America, there's no doubt about that. Old fears, old angers, old rhetoric have been on the rise. While the deep pain caused by the murders of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd and Rayshard Brooks (among many others) might be the catalyst, the fact remains that attitudes and behaviors that should have been left in the past a long time ago (or never have existed at all) must now be faced and changed. I say this is good for the growth of the country and for individual growth as well, despite it being uncomfortable for some.
The murders occurred, as so many have happened before, as a result of hate. Hate is a form of anger, which is an emotion based in fear. When animals are fearful, they attack and try to get rid of whatever they fear. Humans are animals to be sure, but we hope we have better control of our animal nature. In many ways we have not. Certainly, the police officer who knelt on Mr. Floyd's neck for almost nine minutes, causing his death, did not have control. The police officers who entered Ms Taylor's bedroom and shot her in her bed did not have control. The officers who shot Mr. Brooks in the back and then stood on his shoulders as he lay on the ground did not. They had better tools than animals but not better control. These individual white police officers had a hatred of Black people and they allowed that feeling to control their behavior in ways that were deadly to their victims. This has been going on in this country for about 400 years, even before it was a country, and it is time to put an end to it.
Before I discuss how to address the deadly fear-based hate of so many white people. I want to talk about the fear that has plagued Black Americans for as long. This fear is different. It is based on reality, on personal and family and cultural history. This fear also turns to anger, but it is generally expressed in less violent, more creative ways. It has given rise to community organizations, vigils, voter registration drives, and (as in this case) mostly peaceful protests and marches. While individuals in the Black community might want to work with a therapist on the strong feelings they are having, and they should be free to do so if they wish, their feelings are not causing harm to other people.
This brings me to the (mostly) white people who are threatening, beating, killing, looting, and committing other disgraceful acts agains their fellow citizens. Their fear-based hatred for Black people causes often irreparable, unjustified harm. I am definitely including those in power in this, those who ordered tear-gassing and firing on peaceful protesters and those who carried out those orders. They have a fear (and therefore a hate) that goes back a long way, probably handed down from their parents. They can overcome it, and be welcomed back into the full expression of humanity, but it will take work. They will need to learn and study and question everything they were taught, often by people they loved very much. That is their work to do, and nobody is obligated to suffer along as they do it.
So what does this have to do with hypnotherapy? Well, I didn't set out to write this to encourage people to come for therapy. I just felt it needed to be said. However, a good friend pointed out that hypnotherapy can help people overcome any kind of fear, so I would be happy to work with the "fear of the other" that is at the base of racism. Be forewarned, however, there will be homework! In this instance, I have little or no time for those who simply want to say they tried or those who want to find reasons that they are OK. Fear-based hate has taken too much from too many to dance around it. It is a problem and those who have it must acknowledge that fact. This problem can kill, and it kills other people. It must be eradicated in every person who harbors this fear and hate.
I wish every one of my readers peace.