The Opposite of "Racist" isn't "Not Racist"

The concept of "anti-racism" is deeply explored in Ibram X. Kendi's book How to be an Antiracist. It is a concept that asks us to look not just at our own feelings and intentions ("but I'm not racist!") and consider the systems, contexts, and infrastructures that we all exist within. Thus, any of us can participate in or uphold racist systems without meaning to or feeling personal antipathy to any particular race. Anti-racism asks us BE AWARE by critically examining our own biases and internalised racism, and see how we participate in harmful behaviors even if we had no intention of doing so. Anti-racism also asks us to DO BETTER by being awake to the systems we exist within that harm people of colour, taking responsibility for harmful (even if unintentionally so) behaviors, and consistently working towards dismantling them.

For more readings on anti-racism, consider these:

Photo by Heather Mount on Unsplash

“In a racist society, it is not enough to be non-racist, we must be anti-racist.”

Angela Y. Davis