12 Things I Wish Racists Knew

Peoples World
Peoples World

1. You were born on third base you didn’t hit a triple. The saying goes, “Some people were born on third base and go through life thinking they hit a triple.” And you were born on third base you didn’t hit a triple. This is called privilege.

2. The racial caste system has not been abolished in the US it has merely been redesigned.

3. Someone being mean to you is not the same thing as someone oppressing you: Growing up in the white westernized church I’ve seen a fundamental misunderstanding of what exactly oppression and privilege are. We need to debunk this on going belief that hurting someone’s ego is of equal moral harm to that of systematic oppression. To be clear, oppression is not getting one’s feelings hurt. Oppression is living in a constructed system that leaves you at a cultural, social, and therefore economic disadvantage. This is why calling a racist person a “bigoted asshole” is not equally immoral to calling a POC a racial slur. In other words, when someone is being mean to you this does not mean someone is oppressing you.

4. If you’re going to complain about black people rioting at least show an equal amount of outrage towards the dumb shit white people riot over. White people riot far more often, over stupid meaningless shit, like winning baseball games. When white people riot, let’s be honest, because they’re drunk, it’s somehow “understandable,” but when black people riot on issues of justice fighting against a systemic of oppression it’s incomprehensible… Can someone explain this to me?

5. You’re living on land seized from Native America, that was cultivated by abusing the hands of slave labor, all the while using violence as a means to protect and continue your life of privilege. So when you preach nonviolence, it comes off a tad bit hypocritical. Speaking of pacifism…

6. Pacifism is not the same thing as doing nothing. I refer to this as “pseudo-pacifism.”

7. A white family’s dog was murdered and the 15-year veteran officer who shot the dog was immediately terminated. Just think about that for a second. There was no grand jury convened, he was just fired because he shot a white families dog. In the words of Nyle Fort, “It seems as if this country treats the dogs of white folks better than the children of black people. This country values white property over black humanity.”

8. Reverse-racism does not exist! It’s a myth. Race is a figment of the white imagination. It’s a socially constructed means of creating a hierarchy that wrongly gives more value to certain people because of arbitrary factors, like skin color. There are people who look different than us but in the end they are people. Mind blowing, right?

9. Stop pretending like you don’t see race. It’s not helpful. Pretending that race is not a thing — when research shows it is the first thing people notice when they see or meet a new person — is more about you fearing being labeled as a racist than it is about actually trying to not be a racist; it is then more about you, then it is about the other. While we’re on the subject… saying to me or any other POC that “You forget that we’re not white,” is super offensive, especially if you say it as if it’s supposed to be taken as a compliment. It ignores the reality in which society has heaped upon the shoulders of POC. If we ignore the problem that this social construct has created, how then can we address the problem?

10. If someone calls you racist, it’s probably true. Be humble, do not become defensive, and apologize. If you want extra credit, then go home and think really hard on how you can stop being so racist. Doing this will make for a much better world.

11. POC do not need white people to be their Savior. As privileged folk we are nothing but tourists in someone else’s oppression. We should submit to their humanity and serve, and love, and become one with them as Christ did with the church.

12. The protests in Ferguson and around the country are not simply about this one case, just as the Civil Rights Movement was not merely about where Rosa Parks sat on a Montgomery bus. Systemic injustice is when the structure of society works and only works for the good of a certain group of people at the cost of another group of people suffering. For example: When the wealthiest 1% own 43% of wealth, where one out of three black men will be incarcerated, when women make 84 cents to every dollar a male would make in the same exact position*.

Consider this: The most fucked up aspect is that this never even got to a trial. You ask, “How then do you explain the grand jury?!” Well for starters the grand jury’s job is to decide whether or not there is going to be a trial. Again, this is why this whole thing is so jacked. No indictment says, “We see no reasonable explanation that would take this to a trail.”

If your rebuttal is, “Well it’s all obscure…” then yes, that’s my point and that’s why it should have gone to a trial.

Imagine if Michael Brown was your son, best friend, or significant other and a grand jury decided that there was no reasonable cause to go to trial even though he was unarmed. All the while millions of people, including professionals, are rampantly suggesting that the handling of the grand jury was callously sloppy, due to their outright disregard of eyewitness accounts that were obscuring significant information that would have otherwise impacted a grand jury’s decision… you’d be pissed.

If by chance you’re a privileged person reading this, please know that this is simply about raising your political consciousness on the very structure of an oppressive system. A system that disregards the humanity of those with a darker skin pigmentation. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

* Read the New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander – and then read it again.
* Suburban Family Says Dog Fatally Shot by Police in Front of 6-Year-Old Girl
* I understand the pay gap is closing, but this does not negate the reality and experience of women in the US, not being equal to that of a males experience in the US.

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