Over the past few weeks, I've watched multiple films and started reading some books about racism. Many of the movies were hard to watch, and the books were no easy way to learn, either, but it was a vivid depiction of the reality black people face.
As I watched and read, I realized further how dangerous it is to turn a cheek away from the reality of racism. I realized further that no one can better understand racism by censoring the reality of it. You can't understand and seek justice by censoring the reality of racism.
Censoring racism robs people of education from current events involving racism. If people want to understand, they need to face the issues head on, rather than push them aside. An example of this is the "white washing" in many history classes in school. In a typical class that is "white washed," you learn about people deemed as key people of civil rights, segregation, etc. To name some: Martin Luther King, Jr. and Rosa Parks. Often times, other events and people such as W. E. DuBois, Shirley Jackson, Stonewall Riots, Juneteenth, are not included in history classes in school. Sadly, it is no accident that other black people who had key roles in history are excluded from history classes.
Censoring racism dismisses the reality of racism. Racism is not limited to the past, where black people and white people were segregated. It is happening NOW. it is not just limited to hate crimes, slavery, and slurs. Microaggressions, racist stereotypes, redlining, and systemic racism are still present and have been for many generations.
Censoring racism diminishes the ability to achieve justice for black people and POC. We can't achieve justice by pushing acts of racism under a rug and not acknowledging them. Nothing ever changes when you remain as a bystander. Acting for change is how we work towards justice. Benjamin Franklin even states that "Justice will not be served until those who are unaffected are as outraged as those who are."
Not only is it misleading to censor the reality of racism, but also dangerous. It prevents people from understanding, and ultimately justice for black people and POC. Censoring the reality of racism perpetuates racism.