Many of us have heard the phrase "in a perfect world", which refers to a situation where we would like to see everything perfectly played out. In a perfect world, there would be no violence or hatred. Love would rule. People would be kind and compassionate. Caring for others above ourselves would be the order of the day. Sadly, we don't live in a perfect world. It is tainted with flaws and mistakes, judgments and pain. Each day that we live, we are faced with this reality and our hearts must be prepared for what the day will bring forth because at the end of it our hearts may not be as happy and content as we would like. Racism is one of those traits we should not want to see in a perfect world. It is more the poison that has been eating away at the world in which we live and has now been given another injection into the lifeline of humanity.
Racism is no new concept. It has been around for centuries. It can be traced back to the days of Pharoah when the Isrealites were enslaved under his rule. Made to feel subservient to the taskmaster's whip and do their bidding. It was a horrible life and time for the God's chosen people. They were looked upon with disdain, and severely attacked if they "stepped out of line." This ugly spirit of racism continued to further generations, even until the founding of this country. Just as racism has perpetually found itself seeping into the mindset and lifeline of humanity, so has the presence of animals. While they may not have been highly regarded, they quietly served mankind throughout the awful periods when racism was a continuum. Yet animals possessed something that humans forgot or lacked in their daily lives. Animals did not know racism. Even when they themselves were mistreated, with stout hearts, they served mankind. When certain men came to appreciate how very special animals were, their perspective changed. They treated animals with love. Not because they were a dog, cat or a horse. An animal that when shown love and appreciation, reciprocated that love, unconditionally.
The climate of our country has been changed drastically due to the ongoing spirit of racism and how it mounted itself in the form of police brutality. A brutality that has been seen the world over when one man, George Floyd, was murdered at the hands of those who were sworn to protect and serve us. It has especially been hard on the Black community because we seem to be the constant victims of said brutality and racist behavior. A racism where one race feels they are superior to another, and can treat them the way they feel, no matter the oppression or injustice of their behavior. A behavior that has evolved into a system where black people (black men in particular), feel like we are targets where we are put down, and seemingly kept down by racist acts and its awful by-products. These by-products include injustice, inequality, oppression, humiliation and so on. Yet here again, animals stand out in teaching us a lesson some just don't want to learn. Animals don't choose us because of the color of our skin, socio-economic status, political affiliation or level of education. They respond to us with LOVE, plain and simple. If an animal feels love, they return it immeasurably and unconditionally. Why is that so hard a lesson for people to understand? Maybe because they don't want to learn it. Or in learning it, it means they may have to change what is inside their heart and the behavior that should follow.
Racism is a learned behavior. It is taught by someone who practices it and continues to practice and harbor the mentality that they are better than another race. That behavior is passed on to their future generations, and if the cycle is not broken, it shall continue. The spreading of that poison that has hurt and broken so many lives. It is the same with animals. When they are taught to hate and be angry at a particular person or group, they will in turn practice what they are taught. Case in point: the dogs used during the riots of the Civil Rights movement. These dogs were taught to attack people (black people in particular) for going against a system of injustice. The oppressors (white people) didn't care about black people receiving justice. They thought that they were the superior race , and if you got out of line, you would be put back in your place (like the Israelites). The police would release these animals onto people in attack mode, not minding how vicious the attack or the extent of the injuries inflicted. Someone, with a heart filled with hate, passed that on to those dogs. It was a terrible thing they did. Yet, I can't help but think that those animals were probably very special and loving towards humans that treated them right. They would have never attacked anyone had they not been instructed to do so.
We must understand, black people did not ask to be brought to this country. We were kidnapped and forced into a way of life that was cruel, vicious and dehumanizing. When we abode in our native land, we learned to acknowledge the Creator who was the giver of ALL life. That meant we understood animals, whether in the wild of be they domesticated. We appreciated their presence and value to the earth. Another race that also shared this appreciation were the Native Americans. They occupied this land before the white man came here. They cared for the land. Appreciated nature and its beauty. They cared for the environment. They treated the land and its inhabitants (including the animals ) with dignity and respect. In a perfect world, it would have been a wonderful thing if one race had come to that same appreciation. They did not. Even the founding fathers engaged in the practice of slavery, which meant they saw themselves as being superior over another race. It was sad to think that the words of a Constitution were not totally fulfilled because all men were not treated equally, even though they were created equally in the sight of God. They treated their fellow man as an economic gain and beneath them more than being treated with kindness, dignity, care and respect.
In the initial image of this entry, we see a display from a Chinese museum that characterized black people as animals in the jungle. This characterization is completely false and an offensive racist act. The museum received such a backlash and outcry of disapproval they removed the images from the museum. What an awful way to think of another human being and try to characterize them in that light. Sadly, some people think this way and their behavior shows us how much they adhere to this form of logic. This pattern of thought is still very prevalent today, and has been displayed through an oppressive system that compels one race to see another race as poor, uneducated, with behavioral tendencies to that of animals in a jungle. Nothing could be further from the truth. Those of us who know this to be false must continue to raise our voices against such indignities. It is a war that has been going on for a longtime. The spirit of racism has caused untold racial tensions that have evolved for generations. It is a fight that will only be won with love. A love that must be tempered with kindness and respect for your fellow human being. We must learn to see one another as human beings and not COLORED beings. An appreciation for one's ethnicity and culture is to be celebrated in every way possible. However, we must never make the mistake that we are better than anyone else. Our differences make us unique, but we are still connected through the thread of humanity. Humanity can celebrate another's culture and appreciate it. It can also see its worth and value towards making humanity a more peaceful way of living.
As a lover of all animals, I am so grateful that they do not know racism. This is what makes them so unique. Knowing that my dog or my cat did not see me as a black man. They saw the open arms of someone who wanted to love and care for them. In that love, they would be made to feel safe and secure. They would never see anyone for their skin color or feel the superior need to attack them with anger and hate. Their behavior would reflect that of the one who has trained them to walk in love and kindness to all living creatures. This becomes the reflection of the One who created us all in love and would have us to walk in that love always. This has been my comfort and consolation in loving and caring for animals everywhere. They love UNCONDITIONALLY! Let's take note and practice that in HUMANITY.