Being “Not racist” is not an absolute. It is a conscious and daily decision. In order to be “Not racist” a person has to first accept that the world itself and most of their opinions that deal in race are in fact, racist. Being “Not racist” is something that has to be part of every single day. There is no “Graduation date” for anti-racism. There will never be a day when a person can say, “I’ve read all the books, seen all the movies and heard all the lectures. I am now not a racist.” There is no ready made “Not a racist” desk set.
When people say things like, “I’ve never had a bad thought about another race,” and believes this statement is proof they are not racist, it serves as the opposite. You would HAVE to be a racist to claim that you’ve never had a bad thought about another race. If you live in America or any other first world country, capitalism dictates that there is a top and a bottom. People love to associate the top and bottom with money. All the while choosing to ignore the very real fact that money is extremely racially entwined.
To live in a first world country and say that you’ve “Never had a bad thought about another race” implies that you, somehow, were never affected in any way shape or form by your parents, your teachers, television, books, movies, advertisements, friends, other family members or society as a whole. I am sure you think that you are an awesome human being but no one, I repeat, no one is capable of not being affected with THIS much propaganda being thrown at them the moment they enter the world.
In turn, if you believe this to be true, you are a person who is incapable of change and being “Non-racist” because as far as you’re concerned, you aren’t the least bit racist to begin with.
The very first step in being “Not racist” is to figure out where your racist thoughts and feelings lay so that you can focus and change them.
“Being “Not racist” is not an absolute. It is a conscious and daily decision.”
The day I acknowledged that I was racist—albeit unintentionally, and not usually in outwardly harmful ways—was a damn hard day. But it was probably the most progress I ever made as a human being in one day.
I go to great conscious effort not to do things that harm other people, especially based on issues like race, gender, sexual orientation, and so on. I grew up knowing that racism was wrong, and doing my best to avoid it. But to say that I was not and am not racist would be to say that despite growing up in America, and specifically in a small, conservative, milk-white town in eastern Pennsylvania, I somehow never internalised a single racist thought.
It would be, in short, total bullshit.
We drown in racism and sexism and classism from the day we’re born. It surrounds us. It is simply not possible, regardless of one’s gender or class or the color of one’s skin, to avoid internalising a metric ton of toxic bullshit. The only thing you can do about it is to acknowledge it and promise to keep working to reject as much of it as you can. And that work will never be done.
It is a hard thing, as a white person who values friendships with people of color, to say out loud that you are racist. It sticks in your throat. You never want to utter those words because it feels like an admission of absolute failure. You expect that your friends of color will immediately draw away from you, having suddenly realized that you are a terrible person.
That outcome is technically possible, I suppose. But it’s pretty unlikely, because guess what: they already know. If a person of color has accepted you as a friend, it’s not because they think you’ve never had a racist thought, or even because they’ve never seen racist behavior from you. It’s because they have decided that even though you may occasionally say or think some truly toxic things, you don’t do it on purpose, and you are actively trying to improve.
So when you say, “I’m racist, and I’m working on it”, mostly your friends are going to breathe a sigh of relief. They will be glad that you have finally figured out and begun to seriously work on what they have known about you since they met you. They will likely trust you a little bit more.
The important part is not claiming not to be racist; it’s acknowledging that you have been, that you probably still are, and that you’re trying like hell not to be anymore.
- s-t-r-a-p reblogged this from gwydionmisha
- s-t-r-a-p likes this
- weepinglesbian reblogged this from gwydionmisha
- trinaflower likes this
- awkward0w1 reblogged this from gwydionmisha
- awkward0w1 likes this
- gwydionmisha reblogged this from queerkhmer
- gwydionmisha likes this
- correctingposts reblogged this from racismschool
- shinecryzephyr likes this
- possiblysilently reblogged this from nueva-bordena
- athenadelchuco reblogged this from nueva-bordena
- athenadelchuco likes this
- nueva-bordena reblogged this from racismschool
- smdy reblogged this from fuckyeahfeminists
- captfeels likes this
- frenchshrimp reblogged this from daystarsearcher
- sesquipedaliantea reblogged this from tinsnip
- tinsnip reblogged this from daystarsearcher
- tinsnip likes this
- ravenskyewalker likes this
- feralphoenix reblogged this from feltelures
- aangg likes this
- daystarsearcher reblogged this from feltelures
- chellerrific reblogged this from feltelures
- daystarsearcher likes this
- feltelures reblogged this from laronmi
- byronicmooch likes this
- laronmi reblogged this from vanishingage
- fallintoyourarmstonight likes this
- hellene likes this
- noir97 likes this
- riotofpassage reblogged this from fuckyeahfeminists and added:
- suchasmittenkitten reblogged this from juvjuvychan
- ibexofthefreemountain reblogged this from fuckyeahfeminists
- destielprince reblogged this from princekarkat
- ellaayeaye likes this
- cielito-lindo likes this
- scheriff likes this
- amon-loves-magical-fuck-frogs likes this
- amon-loves-magical-fuck-frogs reblogged this from juvjuvychan
- korydwen reblogged this from juvjuvychan
- korydwen likes this
- juvjuvychan reblogged this from firefly20ffm
- tifannilly likes this
- goddamnitjunko likes this
- rearadmiralefeferi reblogged this from princekarkat
- fuckyeahruisheadspace reblogged this from racismschool
- cloudbat likes this
- jarasmod likes this