Racism is Child Abuse

Racism, like those other isms, is insidious. It seeps into the marrow of being, it permeates into hearts, it rots minds — and like all rotten things, it spreads, it releases spores that infect.

This isn’t news, not to anyone — but I would like to take analogous connections further, to a conclusion that initially appears horrific, but is actually logical, and irrefutable.

Racism is child abuse, plain and simple. Just as children are affected and effected by the physical and mental anguish of experiencing abuse, so too does the presence of racism (and please do acknowledge all other isms and bigotry) destroy the potential of children.

The comparisons are there, the legacy is there, the internalized shame, stigma, apologetic mindset, disempowered hearts and minds, the fear, the hyper-vigilance, the unease, and the understanding of what it means to not feel safe or accepted; all of these are there in racism as they are in child abuse.

Each act of racism, each thought, each quip, slight, dig, comment, and poisonous piece of propaganda cuts right into the action of hurting children — it stunts their potential, diminishes their self-image, and becomes their legacy. It is intergenerational harm.

Speaking it, acting upon it, hiding it, apologizing for it, and institutionalizing it should be abhorrent.

The next time you come across it, whatever its form may be, consider reframing the experience into one where you are witnessing someone contribute to the systemic epidemic of child abuse; to the phenomenon of otherness.

For more information, follow the trail to before children are even born:

Does racism harm health?