February 8 , 2023 /


This is a follow on via a brief exchange between Kumud Ajmani and me in the comment section of this previous blog post:


AjmaniK on 2/4/23 Reply

  1. I remember Rodney King. I was getting ready to graduate from Grad school in VA when that happened. It was perhaps my first real ‘face to face’ with the scope, extent and complexity of racism in the USA. My simple question all these years has been – Why does it still persist? I have heard, read and seen that many in the white majority have fought and still continue to fight against racism. So, it isn’t a universal attitude of ‘white’ against ‘colored’. So why is it that otherwise good folks want to deny or rewrite or even erase the history of racism in the USA? If we don’t accept who we are — all the good bad and ugly parts of us — we will always remain Us vs Them. We will never be US.

Thanks for the history lesson and the references. I will be reading up for Black History month…

Gary Gruber 2/4/23 Reply

The history of racism in the U.S. may be different from other countries because of a persisting attitude of white supremacy and the fear surrounding that ideology. I never understood it, even as a young person. There may be something about the fear of a white majority being in the minority but we are all minorities in many ways. Why we separate into islands apart from each other because of differences rather than finding ways that unite us also confounds me. Believing that we are stronger together, I have come to the conclusion that there are just too many people who prefer dividing rather than uniting. Those of us who believe systemic racism needs to be decreased significantly, ideally eliminated, keep on working to try and make things better for everyone regardless of all the differences.

AjmaniK on 2/4/23 Reply

According to the ‘Mahabharata’ – the Great War in which hundreds of thousands perished because of one person’s ‘ego-blindness’ – one of the greatest challenges for a human being is to overcome their ‘pravritti’ or intrinsic nature. In other words, even knowing that what they are doing is wrong, i.e. contrary to natural law, they are unable to bring themselves to do the right thing, even when ‘God Incarnate’ is advising them to do so. Perhaps that is one explanation for the behavior of the ‘dividers’ – they see the light, but they can’t or won’t walk towards it… it may take a few more generations. Until then, may the uniters follow their intrinsic nature…


Gary Gruber on  2/7/23 Reply

Unable, can’t or won’t? As I reflect on my experiences over 8+ decades, my impression is that they could if they would. In other words, the Spirit is willing but the Flesh is weak? I believe it is more unwillingness than inability although I could be wrong. I know for certain that there are people who are learning disabled and I wonder if we should look there for more clues, the failure to teach and the failure to learn?

“Conversations matter.”


AjmaniK  2/7/2023 reply

Yes. More often than not “the Spirit is willing but…” the deeply ingrained patterns are more powerful… It goes the other way too. You cannot stop the helpers from helping, even when it may put them in the way of physical harm…
Yes. There is also the teaching / learning aspect. Perhaps those are the relatively ‘easier’ challenge to take on?

Gary Gruber 2/8/2023 reply

Thanks, again for your thoughtful comment. Each of us needs to decide what we can do, what we are willing to do to help make better relationships between diverse groups or between diverse individuals. There is such richness in diversity. I’ll end here with the words of John Lewis, “When you see something that is not right, not fair, not just, you have to speak up. You have to say something; you have to do something.”

People can choose to subscribe to that action or they can remain silent,  Or worse, they can oppose change for the better.


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