A White Cis Hetero Male’s Current Comprehension
This is a post about racism, a topic on which I am absolutely not an expert. I present my comprehension of one element of it not to educate others, or moralize, or defend. I present it because it’s where I am, and I know my current position is fallible, incomplete, and in need of constant work on my part to evolve.
This is not my original idea. This is an idea that has come from my efforts to understand, through listening and study, to the voices and experiences of others. Any failure to understand the words and teaching lies with me, not them. I want to specifically credit the writing of by Ibram X. Kendi (Author), especially his book How to Be an Antiracist and the ongoing efforts of Tonya DePass and I Need Diverse Games. I recommend reading their words and listening to their voices (as a starting point, not as a one-stop center to learn all you need to know and be forgiven any other work educating yourself).
Here’s my current comprehension of this one idea:
Simply not being racist is not good enough.
We must choose to be antiracist.
As a result, things which go from being antiracist to just status quo are subject to criticism for doing do, even if they didn’t become actively racist.
Actions that nonmarginalized groups or systems take against other nonmarginalized people or groups can have a different impact when taken against marginalized people and groups. Claiming otherwise is naïve at best, often disingenuous, and sometimes actively racist.
The problems are systemic. Just not making them significantly worse cannot be the acceptable bar.
I’m going to screw this up sometimes. When I learn I have done so, I will try to take steps to be better, and do better.