As two persons - one black, one white - who have been friends for over 25 years, we like so many others are very angry at the killing of young Trayvon Martin.
We feel it is a national emergency that people use this tragedy to once and for all understand what racism comes from and how it can end. And yes racism can end!
The answer is in the important philosophy and education Aesthetic Realism, founded by Eli Siegel. It explains that there are two desires in every person, regardless of the color of their skin.
The first is our deepest desire to like the world honestly and see meaning and value in things and people. The second is the desire for contempt, “the addition to self through the lessening of something else.”
Contempt is so ordinary, from making fun of a person who makes a mistake or thinking you’re better than another because of the section of town you live in. Contempt is also what makes for the great injustices of this world from war to racism—it's what made for slavery and Nazism.
In the international journal The Right of Aesthetic Realism to Be Known, of June 25, 1997, titled “Racism Can End,” Chairman of Education Ellen Reiss wrote: “The big thing people have not known about racial prejudice is that it does not begin with race. It begins with the world itself, and how one sees the world.”
Unfortunately, these horrors will continue unless the larger and stronger desire for respect is gone after, and the desire for contempt is criticized in all of us. We want the tragic and unjust killing of Trayvon Martin to be a means of people being truly against injustice in others and ourselves.