Is Racism Ingrained In Our Psyche
I think it is a responsibility of psychotherapists to be active in the sociological debates of the day. As an American born, British citizen, as well as being a psychotherapist, I am troubled by the opening up of racism ideology which is happening both in the country of my birth and my adopted country.
One of the most important parts of a psychotherapist’s training is about diversities and equalities. The reason for this training is the belief that we all harbour certain prejudices. Whilst a person cannot be damned for his/her thoughts, one can be for his/her actions. It is hoped that in our training our prejudices can be looked at and understood and overcome in order for us to act as ethical practitioners.
With the current climate both pre and post referendum and the toxicity of the US Presidential elections, it appears that rather than understanding our differences, some people have used these events as an excuse to allow their racism to flow without abandon. The difficulty with this, other than the obvious, is that children will begin to see that racism, sexism, and homophobia are acceptable and the risk that these horrid attributes will be passed down to the next generation.
Back to my original question, is racism ingrained in our psyche? I would say that a caution of things and people different from us is something we are born with, but with education and experience we learn to live with one another as equals. Well at least most of us do.