Thinking that “I am not racist” is not enough. This is often because we create narrow definitions of racism that ignore the systemic structures and process that perpetuate entrenched racism. It exists in EVERY part of this country, in every sector (education, policing, health etc). When we make excuses, or try to justify any aspect of it, we are perpetuating it. We are supporting a systemically racist society.
If we are not willing to question ourselves, and our roles in it, then we are implying we have nothing left in our lives to learn. I hope people are better than that. I hope my colleagues in education are better than that, I hope people I love and care for in policing are better than that. I hope the people I trust in health care are better than that.
I acknowledge my privilege. It doesn’t matter how I identify myself as a person, I have been afforded privilege in my life because of my fairer skin and because a myriad of other things that I probably do not even think about because they have just made life easier for me. I have also been afforded privilege in my life because I have a university education, and because I do not live in poverty. It doesn’t matter that I worked hard for that; what matters is me recognizing that other people are discounted or devalued as human beings because they do not have the same.
This does not mean that I have not had significant challenges in life, but if we all really “want everyone to just get along” (a phrase usually uttered by non-BIPOC folks), then we need to have more self-awareness and understanding of how life is for those who are not afforded the same privilege we may have. And even if we do not really deeply understand what that looks like right now, then at least we can work on opening our minds to recognize that maybe there is something new we can learn.
The graphic below is from @AndrewMIbrahim