25 Ways to Combat Racism
I, along with the rest of America, watched in shock as the horror in Charlottesville played out this past weekend. Then, I shifted through the deluge of outrage and disgust that flooded my Facebook page. People are unhappy as they should be. However, in my opinion (cue the lines "Everyone is entitled to his/her opinion" and "I'm just saying my opinion just like you are." "Blah, Blah, Blah."), that is where the problem with racism lies. Sure those deranged white supremacists and neo-nazis are frightening with their tiki torches and costumes, but let's be honest they have to be mentally unstable. Right? Right? Uhhh... Instead, what is frightening is the perfectly stable and sane majority who stand quiet and passive or shift the blame off themselves or who fail to see the underlying message. We are what is frightening. So, how do I stop being a racist or, at least, less of one? Read below.
1) Realize that there are many different forms of racism. This article explains some of the ways racism manifests. Chances are that your actions will align with one of the examples. Figure out which one you are.
2) Become aware of the fact that most likely you got where you are not only from hard work but also because someone else wasn't given the opportunity that you were. Don't wallow in guilt. Give back.
3) Not all black people will like you. It's not reverse racism. Get over that. And if you feel as if someone pulls the "race card," let it be. It's on him. Accept the things you cannot change.
4) Do not expect praise from black people because you have now become a social justice warrior.
5) Quit asking black people to help you understand them. Understand yourself first and then seek to understand them by educating yourself.
6) Never begin a phrase with "I'm not trying to sound racist but..." Just don't.
7) Do become just as outraged over the segregation, poorly funded, and dangerously located schools for black CHILDREN in our public school system as you are for Colin Kaepernick taking a knee.
8) Do become just as outraged at the American prison system with minorities as you were when you saw Neo-Nazis and White Supremacists take to Charlottesville.
9) Do not avoid sending your children to a mostly black school because it is bad. Work to make it better. Someone has to go there.
10) Do not be afraid of black children coming into your school and claim that is because of test scores and drugs. They deserve an equal education. They are CHILDREN!
11) Realize that when you say "nice neighborhood" and "bad neighborhood" you mean "white neighborhood" and "black neighborhood." Language is powerful.
12) Every time you see or hear a rant about Colin Kaepernick make a donation to his foundation. Make someone else's lack of clarity your charity. We will actually be working together and the CHILDREN win!
13) Do not compare Black Lives Matter and White-Supremacy/Neo-Nazis. One wants to be superior. The other wants to be equal.
14) When you see groups of black people resorting to violence and destruction during protests, know that they are hurting. After you have been physically and metaphorically kicked around for so long, sometimes you just want to smash some shit. And while you are at it, acknowledge that violence from alt-left groups stinks. But racism stinks more. Stop debating it. It's irrelevant
15) Be aware that your desire to live near a Trader's Joe and a Vegan Juice Bar might be hurting someone else.
16) When you see a black person who appears to be homeless out on the streets and it appears to be safe do not avert eye contact but instead look him or her in the eye and acknowledge their presence with a smile. Give them back some dignity. If they ask for money, politely decline or incline. Your choice.
17) Realize that your advocating for choice looks a lot differently for them than it does for you. Work to give them your choices.
18) Realize that your advocating for life looks a lot differently for them than it does for you. Work to give them your life.
19) Quit saying, "I'm not to blame for the past." You're still benefitting from it.
20) Stop saying, "I'm tired for having to feel guilty because I'm white." That's on you. Build your endurance.
21) Listen when someone wants to change a team name or remove a mascot. Chances are it will have no bearing on your wellbeing. And for goodness sake, listen to black leaders. They have been saying this for so long.
22) When you see a group of black teenagers listening to loud music and wearing hoodies, do not approach them as if they have already done something wrong.
23) If someone calls you out, swallow it like a champ.
24) Having a black friend, a black spouse, or a black child doesn't let you off the hook.
25) Pray that you have the courage to change the things you can.