I, Racist
John Metta

I think that among the white racists, there are white americans, in groups and as individuals, who are upset by the existence of racism toward black people, and who take relatively big and small actions to change the system. To say that “White people, every single one of you, are complicit in this racism because you benefit directly from it” is stripping a human being of their agency. People can and do reject systems from which they benefit. Labeling a person as a criminal based on their identity is what so many of us want to avoid.

A conversation on racism, should absolutely NOT center around white feelings. But to disregard a person’s feelings entirely, i.e. make an accusation based solely on their race and not their actions, is likely to begin a new downwards cycle of non-understanding. To accuse someone of racism on the basis of their identity is more likely to make white people withdraw from conversations on race, to give up trying to improve to system, and thus, the racist system becomes more entrenched.

The anger that black people feel as individuals and a group is incredibly and overwhelmingly valid, and that’s is what’s important here. If our collective goal is to change the currently racist system though, and if it is true that white people need to use their privilege to renounce this system, well, I think that recognizing white feelings, even though that’s not the point, could help more white people begin to renounce a terribly racist system.

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