Writing, publishing, geekdom, and errata.

The Things You Say That Make Me Think You Want To Keep Being A Racist

Some brilliant images explaining white privilege (about as well as the Invisible Knapsack, IMHO) got posted to Buzzfeed about three days ago.  You can still seem them right over here:  http://www.buzzfeed.com/aaronc13/this-comic-perfectly-explains-what-white-privilege-is .

I don't often link to Buzzfeed, but in this case I have to.

Because the originals were taken down.

The OP is referring to the Buzzfeed post getting popular.

I have been looking for a kinder way to put this for a while, but this has me pissed.

So let me just make these points perfectly clear.
  • When you say "White privilege doesn't exist," I hear "I'm a racist."
  • When you say "I don't see race," I hear "I'm a (possibly naive) racist." 
  • When you say "We live in a post-racial society," I hear "I'm an ignorant racist."
  • When you say "...those people," I hear "I'm a racist who thinks you're stupid."
  • When you say "reverse racism," I hear "I'm a willfully ignorant racist." [1]
  • When you say "You should be less sensitive," I hear "I'm an asshole and a racist."
When people get death threats because they address white privilege, racism still exists.

This is not a point of debate.  These are the ways I will judge you.  

The only question is whether or not you want to be a racist.  Whether or not you want to behave like a racist.  Whether or not you want to be judged as a racist.

It is possible to change (I've met people who used to be Neo-Nazis and are now anti-racists).  It's definitely possible to change your behavior and how you talk.

It isn't about whatever excuse you're about to splutter at me.

It's a matter of choice.

Do you want to be a racist?  Or do you want to be better than that?

Your choice. 

[1] Yes, because you're ignorant of the difference between prejudice and racism, and haven't bothered to educate yourself.   (Try this on for size.)

The powerless, by definition, can never be “racists,” for they can never make the world pay for what they feel or fear except by the suicidal endeavor which makes them fanatics or revolutionaries, or both. - James Baldwin

Another good place to start your education is "Racism 101" at ResistRacism.