I, Racist
John Metta

So, maybe I’m being all individualist etc, but surely there’s a rather wide gulf between benefiting from a racist system (i.e. privilege) and being a racist (belief, or deliberate action or omission to favour one race over another). The system is also sexist; does that make all men (who are beneficiaries of the system, whether they approve of it or no) sexists? The system is also homophobic; does that make all straight people homophobes? What about disability rights? Etc. It seems to be such an extreme position as to render the terms “racist”, “sexist” or “homophobe” basically meaningless, as everyone who isn’t a Black disabled lesbian must be at least one of racist, sexist, homophobic and/or disablist.

In short, I think it is much more useful in having this sort of conversation to maintain the distinction between “privilege” and “discrimination” — and to educate people about privilege, and why/how they should help.

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