Op-Ed Piece to New York/LA Times The recent controversy and an d criticism of America’s Ame rica’s walkout at a t the United Nations meeting on racism reminds me of a useful quote by Albert Einstein: “The world we have made, as a result of the level of thinking we have done thus far, creates problems that we cannot solve at the same level we created them.” My take on his words suggests that human beings have a decreasing ability to solve problems such as the perceptions and perversions of race-based global logic without addressing this timeless dilemma from a new and different level of thinking. What is clear from the reports of the meeting meet ing is that there’s little being said or done to abandon the politics of racism and replace them with the social possibility of a cultural alternative to individual identity. Instead, we are seeing a world united in the embeddedness of race-based thought, with little being postulated that could lead us to thinking about each other differently. The terrible consequences of race-based thinking t hinking are much too prevalent to ignore -- from religious persecution to racial extermination. Our world is not only a product of the evil results of thinking about one another along ethnic or racial lines, but we are its legacy as well. Moving beyond race will require a new dialogue that presently appears to be missing on the planet. It is a dialogue free of racism and grounded in the transcendence of culture. The modern world we live in is being redefined red efined by culture. We need not look past the art and music, nor the fashion and entertainment
icons of our age. The great possibility of how we identify our personal taste, lifestyle and, indeed, our own personality and individualism, is a product of cultural identity -- not race or ethnicity. Moreover, with global technology, our children, the so-called Millennials (ages 9-14), have embraced this new culture-based identity structure. In their world, what I feel, how I dress and what lifestyle I choose means much more than race or ethnicity. Could it be that meetings on racism will only call forth the very demons we seek to exorcise? Perhaps. But surely, somewhere in the dialogue must be the addition of another way of looking at individual identity -- especially a cultural view that is fast becoming the practice of a new generation.
Jo Muse Chairman, Muse Communications Author of The Shaman Chronicles