Rae’s Rules to Remember #67: “Inherent Racism”

A good friend of mine read an article that claimed that everyone was inherently racist and she asked me if I agreed with that.

No. I don’t.

If you have racist thoughts and biases 1. You either know that it’s racist and you’re doing it on purpose or 2. you don’t pay close enough attention to other people’s realities and need to educate yourself a little more. This isn’t only applicable to racism but to any minority group really.

No one is born with racist, sexist, or transphobic thoughts. They are taught to be that way. Some people will say that “society tell us this” or “society says that this is how we should think” and that’s a bullshit excuse. Our society is so fucked up that if your knowledge of what’s right and wrong is based on what “society says” then you are seriously fooling yourself. Our society sweeps serious issues under the rug and focuses on materialistic bullshit. If those are your priorities then congrats, you’ve fallen right into the trap.

Some people will also use the excuse “I don’t know what it’s like to be POC or gay”

So what? You don’t know what its like to be anybody but yourself, but that doesn’t mean that you’re incapable of respecting other people and their experiences.

In my opinion, saying things like “everyone has racist thoughts”or “we’re all a little racist”  is an excuse. An excuse to call yourself an ally while still doing and saying things that perpetuate oppression of minorities.

If you’re one of those people, do us a favor and take your “allyship” somewhere else.


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About Bookmark Chronicles

Hi! I'm Rae. 23. Avid Reader, Book Blogger. Intersectional Feminist. Gryffindor.
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11 Responses to Rae’s Rules to Remember #67: “Inherent Racism”

  1. [ Smiles ] I also agree with you, Rae.

    We are not born racist; racism is a learned behaviour!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. queerlytexan says:

    I definitely agree. Hate is learned, not innate.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Lila says:

    i 100% agree with you. no one is inherently racist–which is a good thing because it means that, if given the means and the opportunity, people can be taught to not be racist and can grow beyond racism. I think that ties into something I’ve been thinking a lot about lately, which is ignorance vs. racism. I personally believe that racism requires *intent*. racism is intent + action, whereas ignorance is thoughtlessness + action. i feel like a lot of people don’t recognize that difference and it’s a shame because the ignorant can be taught. and often times i feel like the ignorant get piled onto, which is no way to treat someone who’s made an honest mistake. lately, i’ve heared my fellow poc frequently saying things like, “well it’s not our job to educate the ignorant!” and i can’t help thinking that if no one is willing to teach the ignorant, how will they ever learn? and if the never learn, how will they stop treating us like this? trying this back into what you were saying, if racism were inherent, no one could learn to grow beyond it. but luckily for us, i don’t think that’s the case! racism and hate are learned, in my opinion, and that means there’s plenty of hope for humanity, so long as the majority of humans are willing to learn, grow, and progress!

    Like

    • I like your example with racism needing intent however I think intent can go both ways. Even when someone is in the process of learning that certain things are not okay to say to people there’s the problem of “intent vs impact.” They may have thought that they were saying something inclusive but the person they spoke to felt the opposite. Kind of like when someone says “I don’t see color” To me that’s 1. a blatant lie and 2. Don’t deny this part of my identity because it matters to me.

      I disagree with you a bit on educating the ignorant. As POC it really isn’t our job to constantly educate people, especially if they aren’t willing to listen to us. That’s where allies come in. Many times, a white person is more likely to listen to another white person when it comes to race relations because 1. they respect them more and 2. They will actually take the time to listen whereas with a person of color they will either dismiss it or feel attacked.
      Not only that but activist burnout is real. It’s incredibly stressful and tiring. I went to a predominantly white university, met with the president multiple times, and he (as a white man) still does not understand that him saying he supports inclusion and diversity on campus means nothing if he doesn’t take action to support it. I wasted hours with that man. Now that I’ve graduated I’m still hearing that he isn’t doing the things he’s promised.
      Yes, POC will lay the ground work for educating and in most cases will do the actual educating but we can’t do it alone

      Liked by 1 person

      • Lila says:

        i actually agree with the majority of what you’re saying. I definitely think impact can’t be ignored, so it becomes a delicate balance. I think what I mean is that an action can be racist, but that doesn’t make the *person* racist. however, that doesn’t mean that action is any more okay and ignorable–actions must be atoned for. am I making any sense?

        in terms of educating the ignorant I also believe that the burden falls to ALL of us–allies and poc–not just poc. first of all, its unfair to ask poc to go it alone and second of all there is the unfortunate truth of white people being more willing to listen to other whites, as you mentioned. I think, *personally*, I am a teacher by nature–in fact I hope to teach high school while getting my graduate degree. I am pretty patient, calm, and even tempered, so I think that makes it easier for me to teach. I do recognize that not everyone has that temperament and for others teaching and repeating things so often can get very frustrating. and I certainly wouldn’t advise teaching an unwilling student–that’s just kind of like banging your head against a wall repeatedly and expecting it to crumble–the only thing you’re gonna get out of that is one hell of a headache!

        i’m sorry to hear about your experience at your university. I too attended a majority white university and had friends who, while well intentioned, *refused* to acknowledge their privilege and how some of their actions and attitudes were unintentionally racist. it is indeed very frustrating. I think part of it is the art of knowing when to just let something go. some people just aren’t ready to learn. I can personally say that i’ll be there when they desire to learn, but i’m not wasting my time on an unwilling student when I could be doing other things to combat the racism that I ad other poc face.

        sorry for the essay, but thanks for making me think and having a great conversation/discussion!

        Like

      • Yeah I agree with that. I personally think that in that situation the responsibility then falls on that person to right their own wrongs you know? Mostly likely someone will either cringe or say its offensive and once they’ve had that conversation it’s up to them what they take away from it.
        I agree that the responsibility to educate falls on all of us, On the other hand, I also understand what it’s like to be tired of explaining the same thing over and over. So if someone decides they don’t want to have to do anymore, I don’t blame them. You can only handle saying the same thing over and over until you get tired of being ignored or dismissed. At least with that one person I would probably give up and continue it with someone who actually listens. (I’ve dealt with this from people on WP and I walked away after a while).
        Thanks for participating, these conversations are always welcome here 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: December Wrap Up! 2016 | bookmarkchronicles

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