Accusations of "racism" have been tagged to institutions and people with heavy hands recently. The extent to which this occurs can make heads spin and render white people "racism numb."
Because you, as a white person, haven't been overtly racist toward someone who is a minority in America doesn't mean you don't operate within an institution of white supremacy: an institution founded and supported by the enslavement of nearly every black person who originally came here since 1619 and was legally enslaved until 1863.
In 1810, of the 1.2 million slaves in the United States, 156,000 were free people of color in the country. Our Constitution delineates slaves as 3/5th of a human being. So the stage was set for blacks to be considered elevated, trainable dogs. Let's not sugarcoat this.
Being an anti-racist is hard work, and it can be painful. I’ve had to sit with the discomfort of my ignorance and ego that have kept me from recognizing the racial disparities that were there all along.
“White people may get tired and decide they would rather not do it,” says Dr. Tatum. “
That of course is not a choice people of color can make; they must persist whether they want to or not.
Being an anti-racist means actively working against the system of racism by taking action, supporting anti-racist policies and practices and expressing anti-racist ideas.
Because racism is so ingrained in our society, it can only be interrupted by speaking up and taking action. "There is no such thing as ‘passive anti-racism.’
These are quotes from Abigail Liber, whose psychologist helped wake her to her status in society. Her sessions where she whined "woe is me as a Jewish woman in America," began to grate on her therapist, who dropped some reality nuggets about Liber's privilege.
"It would be easier and less painful to remain numb to it all, but I can’t unlearn what I’ve learned. And as (a wise woman) told me, “Once you’ve set out on your anti-racist journey, there’s no going back.”
What Liber is referring to is a grassroots, nationwide course offered in many communities via Zoom and other methods called the Undoing Racism workshop, a two-and-a-half-day program offered by The People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond (PISAB). It's Anti-racism "school."
And though this is primarily aimed at white Americans, everyone should take it, because a culture of racism pervades America.
Why is there "colorism" and "hair texture-ism" in the black community? Why do East-Indian films show fair-skinned protagonists? If you recall the film "Do the Right Thing," Sicilian Americans ridiculed each other about having "dark," or sun-tanned skin. Why? Because colonialists and conquerers the world over came from fair-skinned, European backgrounds from the 15th century onward.
The measure of primacy and success became associated with "whiteness," because of who was in charge: White people.
Yet the schizophrenia persists: White Americans spend time in suntanning booths and on beaches to darken their skins. They rub on fake tans. Look at muscle culture contestants. Spray tans are the rule, except for naturally dark-skinned competitors.
But, all these people want is the "look," not the life of someone of another race.
Remember, many interviews have been done with white people, asking them if they'd choose to be black in an audience of dozens to a few hundred people. No one ever raises their hands.
This 1984 Saturday Night Live skit is hilarious, but exposes truths and myths about how "whiteness" pays off in our country.
However, before we can sincerely laugh at racism, we have to render every myth of power and privilege due to race moot, and dead in the water. Then we can deal with the "content of our characters."