Let’s Clear This Up: I’m Racist (You, Too)

Content advisory: intended for white audience, racsim, other social justice issues, sass

I can tell that a blog post has been shared recently because there’s an uptick in abusive comments telling me I’m racist. 

Newsflash: yes. I am racist. Are you white? You probably are too. This is my opinion as well as fact. Most of the people I trust about social justice issues believe this way too. 

Do you like to use definitions to prove someone is incorrect (or a terrible person)? Here’s the definition of fact: “a thing that is indisputably the case.” It’s indisputable both that we live in a racist culture that teaches us to be emotionally racist as well as that we live in a racist institutional system of governance and community. It’s indisputable that if you are white, you’re benefitting from and participating in those systems. 

However enlightened, equal, and postracial or post-identity you think you are, you are most likely not. And no, I’m not going to elaborate or define what would mean that you are. I’m tired of people turning to definitions as a way to say theyre not racist, bigoted, whatever. Looking towards a dictionary definition of racism (written, edited, published, and profiting all probably by white people) does not absolve you of discomfort or working through your issues. Nor does it prove that I’m wrong when it comes to me pointing out a problem like white people shitting repeatedly on their PoC friends and being confused about the ramifications. 

I think I’m racist. I don’t think I know everything. Am I pretentious? Probably; my degree is in English literature (I used “nor” up there and here comes a semicolon; did you notice?) and I’m interested in “extreme” social justice issues (you know because telling people they should try to examine power dynamics and their discomfort is so redonk and extreme).

My point is that commenting to say, “I’m not a racist, YOU’RE a racist” like a kid isn’t an effective tool for making me feel bad about my opinion on the facts; it also doesn’t actually make any kind of compelling case for why I might be wrong. And I might be, I have no problem admitting that. I already agree with you that I’m a racist. I also think you’re right there with me. 

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