To White Allies Who Claim They Are Incapable Of Racism, Think Again

To White Allies Who Claim They Are Incapable Of Racism, Think Again

Recognize your racism, correct it, and move on.
135
views

I am very white. I am very liberal. And I am also racist. I have grown up seeing the media misrepresent people of color as gross stereotypes that oppressed them. I’ve been taught by the school system that white people have contributed more to society than people of color. Even at a young age, I’ve held personal prejudices against people of color based on what I was taught by friends and family and even teachers. Am I proud of this? Absolutely not.

Before we begin, I want to clarify a few things. First, this article is not justifying racism. Racism is not acceptable period. Second, this article is not about how I’m okay with being racist. Third, this article is about people who are racist but deny that they are racist. White liberals, I’m looking at you.

As a white liberal, you might feel personally attacked, and my response to that is to just take a moment to hear me out. The most important thing to define is what exactly racism is. According to Oxford Dictionary, racism is “prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against someone of a different race based on the belief that one's own race is superior.” While in theory, this definition implies that any race can be racist towards any race, we need to consider the concept of institutionalized racism.

Ever since the Age of Exploration in Europe, through the Slave Trade, and the murder of thousands of Natives in America, to the exploitation of Chinese immigrant workers and Hispanic/Latino workers, to the segregation of Black men and women in the south, to the imprisonment of Japanese Americans- I haven’t even covered a measurable percentage of the atrocities that have been committed- white people have benefitted from the oppression of people of color through centuries of holocausts and enslavement from governmental institutions in the United States.

While you are white and may want to consider yourself an ally for people of color, you must understand that even though you know racism is wrong, you are still capable of it. We were raised in a society that promotes this kind of inequality whether it be intentional or accidental. Being in denial of your racism won’t help the problem.

I will have racist thoughts from time to time. I will say something that is not at all okay. But I recognize what I said, did or thought. I evaluate why I said, did or thought that thing. Then I correct myself. If a person of color calls me out or calls something out as racist, I listen to them. They know racism more than I do and have experienced racism on levels that I will never be able to understand.

I know sometimes it can be scary to admit to being racist. You might think we live in a society that will call out and attack racists, but you have to understand that anything that you experience from admitting your racism and ignorance is nothing compared to the hundreds of years of suffering the ancestors of people of color have experienced. It won’t compare to the hardships a person of color could experience due to race. Or the fear a terrible ally can provoke. Imagine a person you trust doesn’t want to listen to you when you tell them, “Hey that thing you said about me and people who look like me is pretty awful. Don’t do it again.” and they reply, “No I couldn’t possibly do that, I’m a liberal ally. Look at what a great ally I am.” (Disclaimer, I’ve only experienced this as a white woman who has had liberal men claim “but actually, I can’t be sexist as I am liberal and an ally therefore I’m not capable.” I’m going to throw up.)

Like I said, recognize your racism, correct it and move on. And continue being a fantastic ally by sitting down and listening when a person of color says something is racist. If we’re going to get anywhere and try to dismantle the institutions that keep equality from happening, we actually need to listen to our own racism and the people who our oppressed by systems that benefit us.

Cover Image Credit: pexels

Popular Right Now

3 Reasons Why Step Dads Are Super Dads

29987
views

I often hear a lot of people complaining about their step-parents and wondering why they think that they have any authority over them. Although I know that everyone has different situations, I will be the first to admit that I am beyond blessed to have a step dad. Yep, I said it. My life wouldn't be the same that it is not without him in it. Let me tell you why I think step dads are the greatest things since sliced bread.

1. They will do anything for you, literally.

My stepdad has done any and every thing for me. From when I was little until now. He was and still is my go-to. If I was hungry, he would get me food. If something was broken, he would fix it. If I wanted something, he would normally always find a way to get it. He didn't spoil me (just sometimes), but he would make sure that I was always taken care of.

SEE ALSO: The Thank You That Step-Parents Deserve

2. Life lessons.

Yup, the tough one. My stepdad has taught me things that I would have never figured out on my own. He has stood beside me through every mistake. He has been there to pick me up when I am down. My stepdad is like the book of knowledge: crazy hormonal teenage edition. Boy problems? He would probably make me feel better. He just always seemed to know what to say. I think that the most important lesson that I have learned from my stepdad is: to never give up. My stepdad has been through three cycles of leukemia. He is now in remission, yay!! But, I never heard him complain. I never heard him worry and I never saw him feeling sorry for himself. Through you, I found strength.

3. He loved me as his own.

The big one, the one that may seem impossible to some step parents. My stepdad is not actually my stepdad, but rather my dad. I will never have enough words to explain how grateful I am for this man, which is why I am attempting to write this right now. It takes a special kind of human to love another as if they are their own. There had never been times where I didn't think that my dad wouldn't be there for me. It was like I always knew he would be. He introduces me as his daughter, and he is my dad. I wouldn't have it any other way. You were able to show me what family is.

So, dad... thanks. Thanks for being you. Thanks for being awesome. Thanks for being strong. Thanks for loving me. Thanks for loving my mom. Thanks for giving me a wonderful little sister. Thanks for being someone that I can count on. Thanks for being my dad.

I love you!

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

Donald Trump's Reluctance to Acknowledge Growing White Supremacy Is Bad For All of Us

Suspected terrorist in Christ church massacre names Donald Trump as a "symbol of renewed white identity."

104
views

In wake of the recent terror attack in New Zealand where a man killed 49 people inside a mosque last week President Trump was asked by the media if he thought " White nationalist were a rising threat around the world?" The president responded by saying he does not think they are a rising global threat but a small group of people.

White supremacy domestic terrorism is on the rise in the United States and across the globe, while many of these crimes are not originally categorized as white domestic terrorism in part because of the mass denial of our society but also because of flaws in our justice system that often allow white supremacist terrorist off with insanity pleas.

Donald Trump has repeatedly taken the gentle approach when addressing white nationalist getting criticized for his comments on the Charlottesville riots saying " You had some very bad people in that group, but you also had people who were very fine people on both sides." Even though his comments may not be in direct support of white nationalist they do not condemn them or discourage their actions. Trump is known for taking harder stances than that when he is against something. He once said that NFL players who kneel "shouldn't be in the US."

President Trump has developed a reputation of being reluctant to point fingers when it comes to wrong doings involving White supremacist and saving his harsh words for marginalized groups especially Muslims. Trumps ideology in this regard proves to be extremely harmful. Islamaphobia has been promoted globally by the mainstream media for years and as a result mass hatred and false beliefs about muslims have developed.

It is time that everyone takes an active role in the dismantling of these harmful beliefs that can so easily lead to violence. This involves more than just social media post condemning the shooters actions but community programs educating the everyday Joe about the muslim religion. It means speaking up and stepping in when you witness injustices against muslims just as you would be inclined to do for your own family.

We may not be able to expect this type of behavior from every citizen but it is definitely something we should be able to expect from the leader of our nation. As one of the most influential people on this planet Donald Trump could easily impact the conversation had regarding Muslims and Islam by coming to their defense or by rebuking white supremacist ideologies.

It cannot be denied that Donald Trump is well respected by white supremacist, even if he has never explicitly stated his support for them. It is in his actions where they get their motivation, his policies, and ideals. If Donald Trump does not take a firm stance against white supremacy this epidemic will grow. Instead of taking that stance President Trump deflected and has claimed that the media is trying to blame him for the New Zealand attack.

With the option of taking a hard public stand against white supremacy to clear the air being so easy it makes you wonder why won't Donald Trump denounce white supremacy.

Related Content

Facebook Comments