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You cannot possibly understand
June 15, 2015

I am commenting on a current piece of news – of the young American woman who it appears has falsely claimed to be black when in fact she is white. This woman has built a career in the American NAACP organisation. The reaction has been quite visceral as it touches on very raw nerves. In particular many black people (or at least those whose career it is to be black) have been outraged by “the deceit”. They claim that only blacks can truly identify with being black. So this case has fed the politics of identity and those who see the world through this prism – while leaving the rest of us bemused and confused.

Well I know where I stand as my reaction to this story has crystallized. It is that I hate the basis of identity politics – because it rejects what it is to be human. Our humanity cannot be pared down to our race or gender or sexuality or religion or indeed whatever it is that turns us on.

For we humans have the capacity for empathy and understanding and we advance as a species when we can understand and empathise as widely as possible and choose to do this, rather than to judge and put us all in our own little boxes.

The woman’s name is Rachel Dolezal. And her sense of herself as a black woman rather than a white woman is an opportunity for all of us, including her to reaffirm our essential humanity as being much more important.

best wishes

Andrew Richardson

Direct Line: 0208 257 0429 Mobile: 07870 104651 Skype: famrichhg

by Sophia Yasmeen

    When my days seem filled with unwanted negative feelings, there is only one cure that I look for. When these feelings come, I choose them. I don't ask why, I don't wonder how and I don't fight them and I never put myself down for having them. But most of all I never blame someone else for how I feel. If I do, it means I am still fast asleep and my choice is to be a victim. When the feelings come, even big disturbing emotional feelings .. I say to myself, "I choose this feeling" and know it comes because of something I have thought or done in the past, perhaps a certain belief that I have learned or an attachment that is threatened. Choice does not mean I want the feelings, but it does mean I am taking responsibility for them. And that is the beginning of self mastery. It is the first step to the healing and resolving of my emotions. But only the first step. Why don't you try this today and then ask yourself what the next step might be. If you are really interested to know, you will come to know!

Sophia is a beautiful writer and I am happily sharing her work in my Feelbetter Newsletter.

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