There's no panacea or magic pill when dealing with social healing or modifying harmful behavior and thinking. It's a process. A process that has to include the following:
Sure there's a place for joking in our culture and lives. And we don't always mean the way we come across or come across the way we mean with our language. We're human. In the final analysis, it's probably wise to avoid distracting debates over the language (semantics, specific words/phrases, and contexts). So where should we focus our attention? The Bible provides a clue. But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these make a man 'unclean.' (Matthew 15:18).
Perhaps our language is betraying something about our collective psyche — thoughts/feelings (conscious and subconscious) — that might indicate some destructive, undermining force within our community. If called upon to "transform" our language and thinking, will we be prepared to step-up and substitute positivity for negativity?
The real promise of healing for our community rests with the children. They are the future and best hope for "real" change. Because the family is the first, and most powerful agent of socialization, we have to commit to them by not nourishing them with negativity. We have to be more responsible with the messages we give them and the language we use around them.
A child's primary identity comes from the parent. It's only at ages 3, 4 and 5 that kids even begin to think about color … Also be aware of some of your own attitudes about skin tone, hair texture and the like. Too often, Blacks unknowingly translate negative messages to children. Dr. Alvin Poussaint (esteemed author, psychiatrist, educator, and respected social critic)
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