“I’m Not Racist, But…” (Mini-Blog #25)

If you say or use the phrase (or hear it) “I’m not racist but…”

What always follows is in fact a racist idea being verbalized and expressed.

Folks, there’s no such thing as “not racist.” Being “nor racist” implies one is neutral when it comes to racism. Being neutral is to side with the oppressor.

We’re either racist, or we’re antiracist!

If you say this phrase above and express a racist idea, you aren’t necessarily a racist. You are capable of changing and becoming antiracist. Think and challenge yourself before using this nasty phrase.

‘Racist’ is not—as Richard Spencer argues—a pejorative. It is not the worst word in the English language; it is not the equivalent of a slur. It is descriptive, and the only way to undo racism is to consistently identify and describe it—and then dismantle it. The attempt to turn this usefully descriptive term into an almost unusable slur is, of course, designed to do the opposite: to freeze us into inaction.

Dr. Ibram X. Kendi, “How to Be an Antiracist”

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