It was a gray fall afternoon. I was hanging out right in front of my middle school’s main entrance during the last break of the day, when I noticed a group of three baldheaded men walking towards me.
A few seconds later, I found myself laying on the ground while being kicked in the head and all over my body with steel-toed boots. Thanks to the adrenaline that my bloodstream was being saturated with, I couldn’t feel much pain.
After about a minute, I managed to free myself up, get up from the ground and run up the stairs and into the school.
I had just been attacked by skinheads.
A police report was filed but nothing was done to bring the attackers to justice.
Growing Up Black in Poland
Being one of only a handful of people of color in a town of about 30,000, being called “czarnuch” (English: ‘nigger’), “monkey”, and “asphalt” (in reference to the color of the pavement on a road) was a very frequent occurrence. I would hear those racial slurs while walking on the street, taking public transportation, and even at school.
A lot of the people who were calling me those names were doing it out of pure ignorance. It was clear to me that these people were doing it because they themselves had seen others do it but didn’t personally believe that they were superior.
And then there were also those who did it because they genuinely felt hatred towards anyone who wasn’t of pure Caucasian descent. It was the people who shared these views that I was physically assaulted by and had to sometimes run from when I heard the chants of “white power” while walking in the city.
Despite the racial prejudice that I faced while growing up, I was surrounded by a loving family and loyal and supportive friends (who were mostly white) who became my extended family. Besides, being one of only a handful of black children in the entire town, a lot of people knew me by name and treated me respectfully.
Racism: Poland vs. United States
A few years ago, I took my wife, who is black, to Poland for the first time. I was a little concerned about how this new experience would be for her, but despite a couple minor incidents (involving a few drunk folks and an ignorant teenager) we had a truly amazing time.
Since Poland didn’t have colonies in Africa, its black population is extremely tiny compared to places like France, England, or the Netherlands. Unlike the United States, Polish racism is more of individual racism (stemming from conscious and unconscious personal prejudice) rather than systemic. That is also why, in contrary to the United States, racism in Poland is very much in the open.
Why I don’t believe in ‘white supremacy’
Despite my childhood experiences of being called derogatory racial slurs and even assaulted because of my race, I never developed an inferiority complex. I aways knew who I was and felt very confident and proud in my skin.
In my world, ‘white supremacy’ doesn’t exist. I refuse to accept the idea that some human beings are superior to me simply because of their racial background.
The reason why believing in the concept of white supremacy is so dangerous is because it makes us feel as if there were a superior group of people that was in control of our lives. On the psychological level, such idea is extremely disempowering, disenfranchising, and limiting, which is what makes it so damaging.
Racism isn’t responsible for the condition of African-Americans today, and it shouldn’t be seen as a barrier to progress.
There’s no doubt that the hundreds of years of slavery and structural racism have greatly damaged the African-American community. However, at the same time, I don’t see them as neither the main factors that keep African-Americans in their current collective condition, nor something that prevents them from improving that condition.
I feel like more than racism, it’s the internal state of affairs (within the black community) that has created, and is continuously creating, a lot of the turmoil that we see.
As a natural method healer, I always teach that healing, for the most part, comes from within rather than without (a bottle of medicine). The same analogy can be applied to the current collective state of black people in the United States.
As someone who strongly believes in personal responsibility, I believe that the solution to the problems black Americans face today lies in their own hands.
I refuse to accept that it’s racism that’s preventing black men and women of this country from realizing the great potential that lies within them. If I did, I would be placing their future at the mercy of white people, thus make someone outside of them (who may not always have their best interest in mind) responsible for their fate.
In my opinion, nothing will empower African-Americans more than the acknowledgement that they are responsible for their collective condition. That will empower them to take charge of their lives and in turn enable them to effectively improve their collective state.
Personal responsibility is crucial to taking control of our destiny. Without it, there’s no way forward.
Looking beyond race
We are spiritual beings, first and foremost. The body is something that we have, not something that we are. That’s why we say, “My body.”
As the planet transitions out of the Dark Age (Kali Yuga) and reaches higher levels of consciousness, race will play a much less significant role than it has in the past several thousands years, which, due to the unconscious state of humanity, saw countless of ethnic and religious conflicts and wars.
The recent racial tensions that we’ve been seeing in the United States (and across the world) are just the result of certain people desperately trying to hold on to their old belief systems and fixed ways of thinking. They will soon realize, however, that their only choice is to either elevate (embracing the new consciousness) or to disintegrate.
I do hope that they choose to join the millions of people (of all colors and races) worldwide who have chosen to align with this new planetary consciousness, and are moving forward and creating a new world of peace, love, and unity.