"Taking the Discrimination Bull by the Horns"
B Y D A N I E L J A C O B
At the start of this year's Summer Olympics, I summoned up an age-old saying: "The family that plays together stays together." And I suggested that we apply this wisdom to the whole world.
And if these "World Games" have taken on a bit of commercial pallor, due to the high-stakes economic poker that must be played in order to plan and host them, our world athletes occasionally manage to insert a bit of "tom-foolery," here and there, just to keep things lively. This year it was Spain who didn't disappoint.
The Spanish Basketball Team decided to take the World's Racial Discrimination "Bull" by the horns (which is what Spaniards tend to DO, I suppose)........and proceeded to opened up a huge can of worms for EVERYONE to sift through.
At the request of one of their sponsors, Team Spain posed for a commercial ad which was meant to declare: "Look out, China! Here we come!" When the ad appeared in newspapers across Spain---and eventually, all around the world---it set off a RACIAL TIME BOMB that is still hurling shrapnel in all directions. In the ad, members have both hands up to their faces, mocking the "slant" of Asian eyes. Though they claim it was all done is "good fun" and gentle humor, a goodly portion of the world is not buying their story at all.
Oddly enough, the ones who seem least affected by this picture are the Chinese people, themselves. When the Spanish delegation entered the stadium during the Parade of Nations, there was polite applause, punctuated by a few random "boo's." It was nothing like the moral outrage currently being spread throughout Canada and the U.S.
In my view, this whole business becomes an excellent litmus test for how we're all attempting to handle the issue of discrimination these days. Instead of the "Affirmative Action" we tried to employ in the 70s and 80s, we have slowly gravitated towards "Negative Re-Action" against anyone who offends us. Since both of these "fixes" are ultimately POLITICAL in nature, neither of them will work.
As the Reconnections put it so succinctly in one of their transmissions, following the September 11 disaster:
"The shifts and changes we are describing here cannot be enacted through political action or deliberate intent. They are born of a higher vibration, and can only begin manifesting when humankind lets go of its addiction to ego-centered control, and simply begins to flow with the river of life that has always been within you. The struggle and hardship of your Limitation Journey are just about complete! Your hearts are opening, and becoming knit-together through communication, and your growing realization of who you really are." (entire transmission)
People who are FORCED to withhold their natural feelings and free expression about a subject (any subject) will find ways to rebel, even though they outwardly comply with society's rules. We can take away Don Imus' radio show, but we can't take away his deepest feelings about people. Those are part of his process, and also our own.
We can make Mel Gibson "say sorry" about getting drunk and blaming Jewish people for the world's ills, but we can't uproot the inner beliefs that produced those feelings and actions in the first place. If a shadow is not recognized and embraced by ALL, it tends to come up again and again in different forms until the healing is complete. Although this can sometimes be painful---especially if the person who opens the can of worms ends up saying "I was only kidding"---it still must be done if we are to move beyond the inevitable "walking on eggshells" environment that these interactions create.
In this case, what constitutes the "shadow" could be defined either way. It could refer to a hypersensitivity certain people have around ANYTHING racial, or it could refer to a correspondent hardness felt by others around those same issues. As usual, the interpretation AND the lesson is always in the Eye of the Beholder.
Copyright, 2008, by Daniel Jacob. All Rights Reserved. May be copied and shared, for purposes of personal growth and/or research, so long as the above URL and this copyright are included. All reproduction for profit, by any means, requires the written permission of Reconnections, Inc.