Denying You Are Racist Is Racist.
It seems to be the latest trend in racial debate to shun and deny the accusation of racism rather than actually acknowledge racism in practice.
Need it be said that acknowledgement of racism would lead to learning how NOT to be racist?
It seems we need to repeat the lessons born of racial equality movements from eras gone by and start all over again in trying to bridge the divide and correct our arrogant and disrespectful, paternalistic approach to racial issues.
Wether it be acknowledgement of personally practicing racism or that of our networks or identifying the systemic racism practiced in society it seems that just to point out the actuality of it is taken as more offensive than its being practiced.
White people are intent on protesting their innocence rather than protesting the actual practice of racism. It seems we have convinced ourselves that we (white people) need to agree to the accusation in order to validate it.
Lets be clear, nobody is waiting for white people to validate their truths. Wether white people admit to being racist or not is not going to make the issue resolve itself when Western society as a whole is an extension of white supremacist values.
Personally I believe the focus should be on accepting the truths and histories of those who are being subject to racism in practice. To propel their voices and invest in their movements that seek to minimize the gap in socioeconomic and political disadvantage. To support their intention to self govern and recognize non white cultural practices as valuable and worthy of preservation.
It seems many whites view these points as something to be given in a gesture of good faith rather than something that already exists and can succeed further if acknowledged equally as we do current white social norms.
We have invested so heavily in disempowering and trying to silence non white cultures for the benefit of whites that it seems profound when we extend acknowledgement or respect. Or, in terms of those who openly hold racist ideals, respect for non white cultural practices is deemed invaluable and regressive.
The fact is, whites perception of non whites is always going to be skewed as we have been indoctrinated to view non white cultures as “other” or different from that we consider normal. Sure, some of us have lived experience in non white settings. Some of us openly support non white initiatives and cultural practices but we have been educated and trained to think with an “us” “them” mentality. We have also been convinced that the white supremacist structure of society is right and any attempt to go against that grain abnormal.
For example – how many of you are prepared to give up on the ideal of owning a house when your purchasing that property instils the practice of acquiring stolen land? The answer is – not many. You may even try to excuse your purchase of stolen land under the guise of social norms. You could quite likely feel aggrieved at the suggestion that your intention to buy stolen land is empowering the continuation of white supremacist ideology. Its a harsh truth for those molly coddled by society and fed a utopian image of themselves through the open bias practiced in every area of society. Its a truth none the less.
So why is it so hard to accept the truth?
How do you suppose this same truth feels for those ostracized and oppressed by the practice of racism and white supremacy?
Believe me, there is no grand gesture in admitting your faults. There is no generosity being extend when you accept that you are flawed. It is not an act of sympathy to acknowledge your racism or be open to learning how you benefit from its practice.
Everything in Western society is centred around the normality of whiteness and the otherness of everyone else, regardless of the fact that this is bias, disingenuous and a fabrication to delude us from the actuality of our failure to be civil and genuinely humane.
Your protesting your innocence when confronted with your complicity and being guilty of racism is racist in itself.
You are continuing the practice of devaluing the truth of non white peoples and upholding the assumed authority of whiteness.
For you it is merely ego at stake. For those telling you it is a matter of once again being dismissed as unequal and less deserving.
So I say once again, nobody is waiting for you to validate their truth. It is a truth regardless of your accepting it.
People have determinedly spoken into a void of obnoxious, self serving paternalism ever since white people set foot on foreign shores.
Regardless of your reluctance they will survive the odds and no doubt lead the movement for equality, away from white supremacist ideology towards a more equitable and fair future – for all. Along the way, they will, as they have done, inspire many white people to support their efforts and what once seemed far fetched and accusatory will finally become a well known fact, instilled through societies acknowledging truth rather than perpetuating falsity.
This is no grand gesture. It is not favourable to congratulate yourself for being honest. Just as your approval is not expected or anticipated. Your reluctance to accept the truth of someone telling you you are being racist speaks more of your ignorance than any percieved falsehood in the accusation.
Could you imagine a child telling his teacher that he doesn’t agree with being corrected when his mistakes are pointed out to him?
Thats how I want our governments and white people in general to view being accused of racism. We are not at risk of racism. We have never been targeted culturally to any degree that would suggest there is power to be gained from subjecting us to targeted prejudice. We are merely students in the realm of racism so the accusation should be seen as correction where we have failed. That acknowledgement of failure should be encouragement enough to do better. It is not a call to respond with denial or counter accusations. It’s an opportunity to correct a mistake. To learn. To improve. To value the truth and respect the humanity of those subject to the practice of racism and the way that institutional white supremacy supports white privilege and disadvantages non whites.