Explicit Push For Equality Leaves Racists Angry

“What If I Said I Want A White Editor?”

Jun 20, 2020 · 5 min read
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Photo by Steven Van on Unsplash

It repeatedly comes up: find out someone is racist, they are removed/fired from their position. However, racism is more than just slurs and police brutality, it’s the constant underlying preferential treatment and deference given to white people. It’s the fact that proving discrimination is damn near impossible because this society needs the white hoods and the slurs to actually say, “that was racist” with their whole chest.

Without that, there is ambiguity (at least on the part of white people) and they will focus on the “intention” of the white individual rather than the demonstrable impact that their actions create. The most recent case was the instance shared by Nicole French on Twitter showcases this perfectly.

A Black editor, Rikarlo Handy, was looking for other Black editors and white editors decided to lose their collective white shit.

The issue is that white people understand the game of racism. They know that implicit racism is rarely effectively challenged because they’ve been doing it, and thriving, for decades. Impact is rarely the focus of any argument regarding racism — it is always about intent because that leaves them protected. When a field is largely white, that is all the proof needed to demonstrate racism at play. Racism is multifaceted (bias, discrimination, prejudice) and this all snowballs into white people rationalizing hiring white people for a job over their Black and people of color counterparts while claiming there is no racism.

These white editors cried anti-racism (a myth) and made it seem like they’re being hunted and driven out because someone was looking specifically for Black ediotrs who are not given the access granted to white people. They all said “imagine if we said we only wanted to hire white editors”. White people, we don’t have to imagine what a world of mostly white editors look like — we’re in it.

Nathan Lee Bush, a white editor, went on a rant that by asking specifically to hire Black editors, who are underrepresented, is discriminatory against him and all white people, despite the inequalities. Nathan Lee Bush has worked with countless businesses (Nike, Capital One, Youtube, Old Navy, Morgan Stanley, to name a few) and his mindset is that of a racist scared that they will actually have to earn solely on their skill and character rather than implicit racism lining their pockets.

There is a difference between equality and equity. Equality means henceforth all will be fair and ignores the generational racism that curtailed wealth and advancement for those who were not white. You can’t be 5 feet ahead in every race while putting ankle weights on the other runners behind you, then say “to make it fair we will take of your weights” while still leaving them 5 feet behind you. Everyone must start at the same line, with no biases holding them back. That is equity and it’s precisely why white people like Nathan Lee Bush, Russ Blaise, Jared Tarlow (worked with Shondaland, Greys Anatomy, Scandal, ABC), Jonathan Launer, Jon Budd, Simon Hutchins, David Beerman, Antonio CT, Jeff Samet, and Marc Fisher (MTV) are scared, because if everyone starts at the same line, the game is no longer fixed. So how will they win?

Despite this, white people will say there is no racism in their field, and will list so many excuses as to why white people are the majority in an industry.

— There is no Black people or people of color in their profession

It’s a lie. If you’re claiming this, that is an example of your failure, not theirs. Those looking to diversify will cast a wide net starting with talking, following and engaging with Black people and people of color on and offline to find out how to share their opportunities and find Black people in the chosen field.

— There is no Black people or people of color applying

Again, if only white people are applying for your positions that is because you, your company, etc. are likely already well known to be a breeding ground of discriminatory behavior and microaggressions. Your fault…again.

— The Black person or person of color they hired was difficult to work with (i.e. pointed out racism/misogynoir on the job)

Hiring Black people and people of color to avoid being called out while maintaining the same atmosphere of white aggression in the workplace means that what you want is a Black person or person of color who thinks like you, who doesn’t see, or at least pretends not to see, racism in the workplace.

— White people are hired because they have the most skill/experience

This issue is layered. White people get access to education, are allowed to make mistakes that land others with criminal records and are often hired for positions and receive more callbacks for interviews because they are white. This in turn, gives them more opportunities, experience and the larger resume.

None of you got your positions solely based on your skill set and your skill set was not achieved solely based on hard work. Period. Your white skin plays a role from upbringing to college to internships to employment and opportunities. Even white people and Black people applying with comparable resumes will see the result a white person given preference.

Do not use this excuse while ignoring why and how white people have the experience.

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Photo by Alex Nemo Hanse on Unsplash

Far too many of you think that just because it’s not explicitly stated and doesn’t have white before the name it means there is no racism. It just means you gave yourself plausible deniability. That is all.

If you’re mad about Rikarlo Handy looking for Black Union editors while completely disregarding that white editors make up the majority of the industry, go ahead and have a look at the racist staring back at you in your mirror.

If you’re not willing to put in the work to do better, don’t get upset when people call you by your name. Don’t get upset when people contact previous, current and future employers to let them know your name. It’s called accountability — a hard concept to grasp when you go through life shielded from it because you are white.

Either change or brace for the storm because, eventually, you will be discovered.

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Multi-ethnic creative non-binary. Spouts nonsense that occasionally makes sense. she/her/they/them

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