Hi Boston Communities United and Change Agents,
Below is a blog article that I wrote in my role as President of the Association for Humanistic Psychology (AHP). It might be helpful for you who are accessing the Boston Communities United (BCU) website to know that what BCU is doing is in alignment with a Call To Action by a recognized national psychological association. I made a little history in 2006 by becoming the first African American and first person of color to become president of AHP; I’m currently back in the role for the last couple of years.
The title of the blog that I wrote is: AHP’s Call To Action: Take A Stand To
Consciously Deal With Racism.
Dr. Carroy (Cuf) Ferguson, PhD
AHP’s Call To Action: Take A Stand To Consciously Deal With Racism
With the unsettling injury-ridden violence and deadly event in Charlottesville, Virginia on August 12, 2017, involving the alt right and white supremacist groups, this country (the United States) was once again shaken by what I call the unconscious race-linked wound in the human psyche. I called attention to this unconscious race-linked wound in a 2015 article I wrote for the spirituality and social justice magazine, Anchor Magazine by Still Harbor, titled “Healing Our Race-Linked Wounds”.
The Charlottesville event culminated in the injury of 19 people, and the death of three courageous souls, one of whom was Heather Heyer, who had a history of being a “passionate advocate for the disenfranchised.” The current political climate in the United States and the divisive racial and ethnic rhetoric explicitly or implicitly expressed verbally and/or nonverbally at the highest political levels, therefore, have unearthed and brought to light once again this unconscious race-linked wound. It was there when the United States was founded. It was there as the country raged and fought a Civil War about race. And, it was there in Charlottesville as the symbolic remnants of that Civil War (Confederate flags; Confederate statues) were finally targeted for dismantlement. Heather Hayer heroically took a stand to consciously deal with this unconscious race-linked wound (racism) and AHP can do no less.
While valuing the complexities of the human experience, as an Association for promoting well-being (mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually), we want to make it clear that racism in all its overt, covert, and subtle forms is antithetical to the humanistic values and principles of AHP and humanistic psychology. Indeed, hatred, based on skin color, has no place in a humane society. And, in fact, hatred of any form, for whatever reason(s), has no place in a humane society.
While it is extremely important to continue to peacefully and vigilantly resist all forms of racism, it is not enough simply to resist. One important consciousness-energy principle is that what one resists may persist if a person (or group) does not also insist on an alternative to persist with a set of human care values that seek to uplift the focus on their consciousness toward their higher soul-linked ideals and if one does not seek to nurture and sustain their soul-linked higher vision with positive energy and action. Racism is born out of ego-linked fears—fear of differences (otherness), of intimacy (closeness), of the unknown (unfamiliar or new things), and of vulnerability (death or annihilation). It is also born out of the lowest forms of mechanistic thinking and feeling whereby people, real human beings with worth, dignity and value, are easily reduced to “objects.” Such mechanistic thinking and feeling can no longer be allowed to influence and/or direct the focus of our individual and collective consciousness.
So, this is an AHP call to action to all readers and supporters to do both their “inner work” (i.e. explore their own race-linked, self-limiting beliefs) and their “outer work” to heal the race-linked wound in the human psyche and to become active participants to evolve and shape a more uplifting reality. Such an uplifting reality must be one that authentically respects and honors diversity, social justice, freedom, inclusion, passion with compassion, the sharing of one’s inner truth about human care, and yes, love. This call to action is also an invitation to consciously take a stand to consciously deal with racism in one’s personal, societal, and global life spaces. I/We believe that when people with loving hearts take a stand to intentionally act to heal the unconscious race-linked wound with positive energy, important transformations in consciousness and societal and institutional practices are possible.
One way that I have personally tried to assist in healing the race-linked wound is through my writings and university teaching. So, while on the surface it may appear to be self-serving, my latest 2016 award-winning book, Evolving The Human Race Game: A Spiritual and Soul-Centered Perspective, was actually produced for times such as these. It was designed to assist people at individual and collective levels to evolve their consciousness in regard to race relations and human relations. It invites readers to use what I call a Transformational Race Game to evolve out of the three human race games where we are currently stuck and to consciously move toward three higher, more harmonious forms of human race games. If you are inspired to do so, please feel free to play with whatever ideas you may find useful in this book as stimuli for deeper self-reflections and for reflections and taking actions with others.
We invite you, therefore, to take a stand and to take action to consciously deal with racism. Form discussion groups, create support groups, have family dialogues, create educational events, support positive campaigns, and join existing inclusive-thinking groups, political and otherwise, that appeal to you. And, let us know what you are doing so that we can share your outer work with others.
And, of course, we invite you to join or re-join AHP and to use our social media platforms to network with one another, to share your ideas and feelings, and to support one another. If you are inspired to write a constructive blog or article, and want to share it online via our AHP blog or AHP Perspective, please feel free to submit your writings. If you are already doing work in the world that directly or indirectly deals with race relations and/or human care, we invite you to share it with AHP for the Activism section on our website. Let your voice be heard by acting NOW. Start and nurture constructive dialogues about positive ways to consciously deal with racism in your life spaces. Do not be afraid to take a stand to consciously deal with racism. It’s time to do so.
Dr. Carroy (Cuf) Ferguson, PhD