Understanding The Impact Of Racism, Colonialism And Heterosexism And Genderism Through Unhelpful Thinking Styles

It is important to recognize the impact of oppression on the thoughts and feelings of those who are oppressed. For example, how do you honour your experiences of racism, colonialism, heterosexism, or genderism and not OVERGENERALIZE what you just experienced? Racism and colonialism can never be overgeneralized. Racism is racism; colonialism is colonialism. Period. Can you JUMP TO CONCLUSIONS about your thoughts when you have just experienced a microaggression against you, and you are trying to say, “Was that what I think it was?” No, microaggressions are microaggressions. Period. 

So, how can you understand cognitive distortions to help you fight your negative thoughts about racism, colonialism, heterosexism, or genderism? How can you do this to help you advance YOUR SELF to a place of positivity?  You can consider the following:

  • Consider how racism, white supremacy, imperialist and colonialist  has possibly produced an internal turmoil of your own negative thoughts and negative behaviours
  • Understand cognitive distortions or unhelpful thinking styles, so you can learn to remove the self-blame, guilt, and shame. 
    • You could use MENTAL FILTERING to filter out any negative sense of self and change it to a positive sense of self by claiming your pride in your race, your culture, your people, your gender, your sexuality. 
    • If you do a lot of EMOTIONAL REASONING for example, you can choose to recognize your feelings of hurt but choose to not act on them. You can walk your own path and claim your own power.
  • Explore the potential offered by Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, as this CBT model can help you find self-acceptance within a world of White supremacy and White animosity. 
  • Find a guide to help you reclaim that place of positivity. 
  • Who can help you honour your personal history or your family’s history of resistance against racism and colonialism?
    • Do you have any spirit guides or strong ancestors who maintained their positivity within a place of pain? Can they guide you to a place of confidence and mental wellbeing.
  • If you do not have access to Black or Indigenous social workers, then reach out to White social workers. 
    • Make them accountable to explain their UNDERSTANDING  of their place within White supremacy.
    • What are they doing to honour Black Lives Matter?
    • Are they unlearning their racism and their colonialism?
    • Are they learning the Truth and are doing the work that they need to do for Reconciliation? 

Remember: You have a strong foundation to stand upon, and shoulders to stand tall. You have a historical resilience through your ancestors, your community, and your family. That’s generations that have led the way and made positive contributions to society and even greater contributions to your country. So, stand strong and ask questions.