there are degrees of racism. racism is not always black and white. that doesn’t take away from the fact that it’s still racism. racism is not always intentional. we can be unintentionally racist. it’s still racism. racism can be causal and racism can be overt. it’s still racism.
racism is a system we are all conditioned in. if you are unintentionally racist, don’t waste your time on guilt. apologize and move on. commit to learning and correcting your behavior so it doesn’t happen again.
i find that most people get defensive when being called out about racist actions because they associate being racist with being a bad person. but being unintentionally racist isn’t a signifier of morality, it’s a signifier of a system of conditioning operating as it should.
one of my favorite things to do is to call myself out, out loud and openly, and name the microaggressive thing i did as racist so i can mark never to do it again. then i apologize and move on. without making a meal of it. we should normalize this.
and this is all in reference to those little acts of racism we commit daily. microaggressions, intrusive thoughts, comments. i feel like we’re getting better as a society at naming overt and intentional acts of racism. and we are learning to give it the weight it deserves.
but there needs to be more space for accountability for smaller acts of racism. and i’m not saying it has to be a self righteous, i’m-shutting-the-conversation-down-to-address-racism, show of wokeness. just casual normalized accountability.
i admire the people in my life who can check themselves and say “shit that was racist. my bad, man. won’t happen again.” or even asking “was that racist?” and if i say yes, apologizing and moving on. i see you doing the work and i appreciate it.
and i admire the people who call me out when i’ve said something racist towards another community of color. cuz although i’m a person of color, i can still participate and perpetuate racism towards other racial minorities.
keep the company of people who check themselves as often as they check you. we’re all in this together and we are all doing our best. you’re not alone in your mistakes and you’re not alone in your virtues.
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