Updated: Aug 1, 2020
Now before you get offended, no I am not calling all white people racist, but you don't have to be racist to benefit from it. Here are some of the most ignorant quotes that really piss me off:
“All Lives Matter”
“But I’m not racist”
“It was just a joke!”
“People are so sensitive”
“What more do they want?”
“Tag 10 people you know won’t break the chain” - This one REALLY vexed me.
Black Lives Matter is not a temporary movement, it is not a trend that will die out once you’re bored of it. It is not something you can “harmlessly” nominate your friends to share by starting “Tag 10 people you know won’t break the chain”, meaning you are clearly either racist or a racist sympathiser if you don’t share it. It is just another meaningless trend by white people to almost feel like they’re participating. Doing that is along the same lines as telling people that you “have black friends” as a way of protesting your innocence, its ignorant and empty.
POC have been racially oppressed since America was “discovered” by Christopher Columbus. Jane Elliot eloquently reminds us that “He can’t discover a place where people are already living". But, education tells us that prior to a white male laying claim to land, the land had no merit and was historically denied existence. Since slavery ended, black people had years of open segregation. Just because segregation has ended, doesn’t mean racism has.
Let’s compare this to homophobia; people stating that we no longer need pride because we have equality, is heterosexual privilege. Okay, firstly we don’t have equality. In some countries you can marry your partner, in others you can be stoned to death for having sex with them. Until we're no longer be afraid of coming out, we will not have equality. Until we are given the same, fair societal representation as heterosexuals, we will not have equality.
The same applies to racism, except people are being killed by those that are meant to be protecting us. Those that are meant to enforce the law are bending and breaking it. Is it any wonder people are rioting and have no faith in the system?
White privilege doesn’t mean you haven’t had a hard life; it means that the colour of your skin isn’t something that’s made it harder. There are people that are socio-economically ‘privileged’ and born into money. Just because they have money doesn’t mean they don’t know what it means to struggle, it means that having money isn’t something that makes the struggle worse. White people all benefit from white privilege; and a clear example of that is thinking that sharing a hashtag is enough to make a difference, it’s insulting.
The United States great economy was built off of the back of African American slaves. The United Kingdom’s great economy was built off of the back of their racially oppressed ‘commonwealth’, where we built an empire around the world on the basis that we were superior.
Racism isn’t just having prejudice against another race. It isn’t just using racial slurs, attacking people, or believing in inequality. Having the opinion that another race is in some way different to yours or believing in racial stereotypes is a form of internalised societal racism. Trump enforcing the ‘Chinese virus’ term, allowing people to think it’s ok to clump the entire 1.4-billion-person population of China into one category, is racism.
You don’t have to be racist to benefit from racism. The hierarchy of life naturally favours you if you are white, as you do not have the same struggles. You do not face the same difficulties. Therefore, you are automatically given the upper hand in life.
Some of us may feel hopeless and may be saying “well I can’t change the world by myself”. It is this kind of mentality that leads to no change at all. So, here’s what we can do:
1 .Recognise Your White Privilege - This is the first step. By recognising that racism is benefitting us should horrify us. Recognise the daily struggles of those that are overtly and covertly racially oppressed.
2. Raise Awareness - By this I mean ACTUAL awareness, just a bloody hashtag. If you are going to partake in this #BlackLivesMatter chain, do so with the intention of actually raising awareness, not just a black screen with your friends’ usernames. Share facts that will help others recognise their white privilege. Provide links to places to donate, use your own voice, share your own words.
3. Actively Participate - Do more than simply re-sharing posts. Donate to organisations that can make change, march with our brothers and sisters, sign petitions. Do whatever we can to fight this.
4. Move Away from ‘Non-Racist’ to ‘Anti-Racist’ - Being non-racist is not the same as anti-racist. Actively fight for those who do not have the strength to do so. Fight with solidarity as humans.
I hope this is in some way beneficial, let’s make a difference together.
To help make a real difference, follow the below link: