(Photo by PBS)
We must stop denying racism and instead acknowledge it, examine it, critique it, make every attempt to abolish it. We live in a racist society where people of color have less agency than white people. We internalize the reality of the situation, regardless of which race we are. If you’ve ever seen that video of black kids saying they’d rather have white dolls because they’re more beautiful, you’ve seen (a minute example of) what internalized racism does. If you view the status of black people in this country – more likely to live in poverty, more likely to be accused of crimes, more likely to go to jail, more likely to be on welfare, etc. – and do not actively consider it the effect of hundreds of years of subjugation, starting with forced removal and slavery, and consistent inequality since – then you are passively blaming black people for their own status in this country.
We all live in a racist society (just as we live in a misogynistic, transphobic, homophobic, etc. society), therefore we are all racist and have to actively examine ourselves and reject the impulse to have racist thoughts and, more importantly, actions. Additionally, we need to hear our black friends when they call us out, and take responsibility rather than deflecting.
And if I hear “I have black friends” one more time I will drop kick a motherfucker.
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