Pastor Ron Buford is the founder of Racists Anonymous, which is a 12-step program for “recovering” from internalized racism. Like COVID-19, Pastor Ron sees racism as a sickness which has infected society – which impacts each of us as individuals – and which must be fully eradicated for the overall wellbeing of society. He believes that the first step to creating systemic change lies in taking personal accountability by admitting that we are powerless over racism, followed by us humbly submitting ourselves to the kind of conscious, engaged, and sustained effort provided by the 12-step process.
In this episode we discuss:
-Pastor Ron’s definition of racism, which extends to any discrimination based on a person’s external identity
-Why racism is a “disease” that can infect anybody – including people of color
-Why admitting we are “powerless” over racism is the first step to healing from it
-How the 12-step program can provide a safe framework for confronting racist thoughts, beliefs, and behaviors
-How the Buddhist practice of mindfulness can help us to interrogate painful truths
-Racism being a virus (like COVID-19) like that must be fully eradicated for the overall health of our society
-How the Black Lives Matter movement has been the backdrop to a collective—and ongoing—“Step 4” around racism, as we take our personal moral inventories around race
-Why change must happen on a personal level before it can happen on a systemic level
-Why an ability to own one’s own racism shows a willingness to change it
-Anti-racism work as part of our human evolution in the continuum of creation
Racists Anonymous aim to get 250 meetings started globally this year. If you’re interested in attending you can visit rainternational.org for more details.
This episode is supported by Lyres non-alcoholic spirits. Visit lyres.co/sobercurious and subscribe for 15% off.
Thanks also to Monument—personalized online support to change your drinking. Visit joinmonument.com for plans and pricing.