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Sunday, August 06, 2017

We Tell Ourselves Good People Can’t Be Racist


We tell ourselves that good people can’t be racist. We seem to think that true racism only exists in the hearts of evil people. We tell ourselves that racism is about moral values, when instead it is about the survival strategy of systemic power. When a large proportion of the population votes for politicians and political efforts that explicitly use racism as a campaigning tool, we tell ourselves that such huge sections of the electorate simply cannot be racist, as that would render them heartless monsters. But this isn’t about good and bad people.

For so long, the bar of racism has been set by the activity of white nationalists.

If all racism was as easy to spot and denounce as white extremism is, the task of the anti-racist would be simple. People feel that if a racist attack has not occurred, or the word “nigger” has not been uttered, an action can’t be racist. If a black person hasn’t been abused or spat at in the street, it’s not racist. But racism thrives in places where those in charge do not align themselves with white extremist politics. The problem must run deeper.
Excerpt from Reni Eddo-Lodge's excellent article, Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race

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