So this morning as I was scrolling through my Face Book feed. (I actually set a timer and give myself 15 minutes of guilt free scroll time before I begin my day). One of my friend had posted a video made by The Guardian that addressed the difference between Non-Racism and Anti-Racism. It made me think. A lot!
I am definitely not a racist. Most everyone I know would say they are not a racist. That is because racism is a moral dilemma. Similar to being anti abortion or pro abortion. (I NEVER use the term pro life, because people who are FOR abortion are also FOR life). Anyway, being a non racist is commonly said by almost everyone I know. As a matter of fact, I don’t think I know anyone who would publicly say they ARE a racist. However, according to the point being made in this video, that just isn’t enough.
Don’t get me wrong, NOT being a racist is GREAT! But herein lies the difference: According to Webster’s dictionary, “non” means “not doing; not involved with”, while “anti” is defined as “one that is opposed”. Do you see the difference? Let me break it down a little more:
The definition of non racist: simply means you are NOT a racist. Great!
The definition of anti racist: Anti–racism includes beliefs, actions, movements, and policies adopted or developed to oppose racism. In general, anti–racism is intended to promote an egalitarian society in which people do not face discrimination on the basis of their race, however defined.
Does that help? Being a non racist means you aren’t a racist, and I would assume don’t like racism. It is a passive word. It is a feeling. It is something you can KNOW about yourself, and turn a bind eye to the racism in the world, and even in the US. You can cluck your tongue and be upset about the killings of people like Tamir Rice, Freddie Gray, Sandra Bland, etc, but as long as you feel badly about it and don’t do anything to MAKE it happen you can go about your life feeling A-OK.
There are others, many others.
However, Anti-Racism is an action word. It demands deliberate action to develop policies and fix our industrial complexes such as poverty, redlining, prisons, etc to OPPOSE racism. It demands that we ALL work towards an egalitarian society where everyone has an equal opportunity.
I myself, choose to be ANTI-Racist!!!! I will do everything I personally can (DO is an ACTION word) to oppose racism and CHANGE policies that allow racism to happen. Will you join me?
Here is the video: It made me think I hope it makes you think too!
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Originally published on The Seattle Lesbian
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