Friday, February 15, 2008

Baby Stepping Away From Racism

Right along with the Patricia Hill Collins writing, I have to post an abridged version of this piece from Paradox Dragon. Please, please, please go read the full post, it really is magnificent.

Baby-stepping away from racism: A guide for white people

Goal #1: Recognize and acknowledge your white privilege.

Baby-step: Gain an understanding of privilege in a way that's more comfortable for you.

Goal #2: Learn to live with your white privilege once you've acknowledged it.

Baby-step: Shut up.

Goal #3: Educate yourself about race and racism.

Baby-step: Learn the terminology. Love the terminology. Live the terminology.

Goal #4: Speak out. Act out.

Baby-step: Act in a supporting role.
Once you've mastered the basics, make it a goal to help educate other beginners, other white folks who are struggling with the same issues you have (at least mostly) overcome. Be there to lend your voice in support when a POC is dogpiled for pointing out racism. When you hear someone making the same arguments you once made (POC should use a less hostile tone when pointing out racism, POC are reverse-racist against white people, a person can't be racist unless they intend to be racist) be there to correct them, to explain, to make the counter-arguments so that POC are not so exhausted by the daily grind of such repetitive expressions of privilege.

This is not to say that you can never be the first one to call out racism, but stick to arguing the things that you can argue confidently and without bullshitting.

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