There was a post I saw the other day, that said something along the lines of “no one who is actually anti-racist, says I am not racist. Ever.”
And that’s facts.
I’ve only ever heard/seen someone say “I’m not racist,” followed by all the ways they absolutely are racist, tokenization and/or willful dismissiveness of our Blackness. It’s like a tried and true indication of somebody who’s about to tell on themselves. You might as well walk around with a sign that says “racist” and an arrow pointing at your dome. It’s an easy mark.
It never ends the way they intended.
Do you know why it is that “I’m not racist” never leaves the lips of someone who is actively anti-racist? Because they learn/acknowledge that their actions, politics, views, and ideals ARE racist, and then work to dismantle them – as the post I mentioned earlier also noted.
I know I’m not the only one who has heard a non-melanated person say that “everything seems to be racist.” The truth is, yeah, a lot of things are. And that’s exactly the point that Black people have been yelling from the rooftops, since forever.
No matter where you turn, racism and race play a part to some degree. For all you “do they have to always bring up race/play the race card people?” Yes, TF we do. Because it impacts almost every part of our lives.
Politics and laws.
Relationship preferences, be that romantic, platonic or familial.
Access to resources.
Access to jobs.
Movies and TV.
Racism does (and has) affected most everything. That’s something that anyone who is anti-racist understands. They understand that is it nearly impossible to have not been influenced by racism, in some way, in a country that thrives on it.
They acknowledge the viewpoints that they have, words that they’ve used and otherwise hurt that they’ve perpetrated – because even if unintentional, it’s still racism. Then they do the damn work to unlearn it and destroy the systems involved in doing damage.
This applies to other “isms,” “ists” and “phobias” as well.
Men who care about breaking up the patriarchy and putting an end to misogyny, don’t run around saying “I’m not sexist.” Instead, they own up their sexist views and course correct.
People who are intent on getting rid of transphobia in the world, don’t walk around saying “hi, I’m so and so, and I’m not transphobic.” They listen, to determine how their words have been transphobic and adjust accordingly.
To work on any of this, you HAVE to first accept that you’ve been a part of a society that parrots, encourages, weaponizes and rewards these harmful views. Even *if* you were unaware. Even *if* you don’t/didn’t understand entirely.
If you can’t do that, can’t challenge your own defensiveness then chileeee, you ain’t as “woke” as you claim.
That’s not to say that critiquing your own beliefs, upbringing and actions will be easy. We’re talking about breaking (probably) lifelong habits and taking into account different opinions from the impacted marginalized groups. Because while there are usually generally accepted ideas, we ain’t a monolith. You’ll find opposing positions and will STILL have to listen and figure out what’s the best course of action. It’s hard work. Uncomfortable work. But it’s GOOD work.
The kind of work that’s necessary for anyone who claims to be disgusted with the way things are and have always been. For the “allies,” feminists and folks with BLM and “destroy the patriarchy” in their bios.
Unless that’s all just… for show?
So are you ’bout it or nah?
When JanayB isn’t posting memes, scrolling through “wokebook” posts, ordering food and otherwise being your typical millennial, you can find her here destroying white tears and basking in her unapologetic blackness. Get in touch with her at JanayBsays@gmail.com.