There is no truly adequate way for a White person to pay tribute to the Black men, women and children who have suffered, and are still bearing the intergenerational imprints of suffering, brought on by my ancestors. However, visiting this sacred site in reverence and humility is a step in the right direction. On the journey on the civil Rights Trail, I became even more aware that there is not only intergenerational-trauma, there is intergenerational-perpetration of trauma, and that I am the racist, the slaver, the lyncher, the greedy dominant, the oppressor, the cause of this suffering.
In my journey through Washington, Idaho, Oregon, California, Arizona, New Mexico,Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Mississippi, Alabama and the panhandle of Florida, I also saw intergenerational indoctrination of White children that promoted and still promotes the superiority of their skin color. And although I thought it would more prevalent in some areas than others, it was consistent and persistent throughout all of these areas.
In the same way that Black people have awakened to an understanding of the multi-generational imprinting of slavery and racism and how they have been struggling to undo its impact for over four centuries, White people must awaken to an understanding of our multigenerational imprinting of fear, greed, dominance, hate, and oppression of anyone not white, and how we now must be in a constant state of reflection and awareness to undo this imprinting.
In these coexisting processes of undoing there is a great resistance to true freedom and a clinging to what we have all considered the safe ways of being, or the only ways to keep what we have, in an attempt to make life free from struggle and suffering.
This has only resulted in even greater suffering as we have clung even tighter to our belief systems. As the great awakening to these realities unfolds, many of us will lose what we hold dearest; our livelihood, our property, our family, our belief systems, our entire way of being. This fear of loss will cause some of us to hold on even tighter and, in the process, be willing to threaten the life and limb of others or sacrifice our own life and limb and of those we love.
We have a choice. We can loosen our grip on our property, our pleasures, our belief systems our entire way of being and through that process of loosening and opening our hands, hearts, and minds, we will make room for being with instead of being against.
People of Color and Native People have been doing this work with a minuscule amount of White self-awareness or participation for centuries, even millenia. It is now our time, the White folk’s time, to awaken, understand, and undo, without any preconditions or qualifications. From the entire political, spiritual and emotional spectrum, Left to Right, Religious to atheist, righteous love to righteous hate, we must loosen our grip. We must loosen our arthritically tightened fists and allow ourselves to be led by those who have already walked this path. We must close our mouths and quiet our minds, listen like a still pond, and relinquish our authority to humility. If we do not, we, the White folk, will lose our place in the evolving cosmic consciousness as we claw and cling to the crumbling cliffs of our history and tumble into the abyss of an even greater, and endless suffering.