1. iiandyiiii says

    Good way to think about it. My answer had always been “I strive to not be racist, and to not say and do racist things” — I don’t think it’s possible to truly know whether or not one has any subconsciously held racist beliefs, and I’ve known plenty of racists who swore they were not racist in any way — but based on Mr. James suggestion, I think a better answer is “I strive to not be racist, and to not say and do racist things, and I will strive to actively oppose racism in all its forms”.

  2. Gorogh, Lounging Peacromancer says

    I agree with the sentiment that is not sufficient to abstain from immoral behavior yourself to change it’s impact on society. That said, I don’t think the video’s juxtaposition of “non” and “anti” has much use beyond the rhethorical (which is not saying it has no use – awareness is key). After all, we are dealing with a spectrum (well, at least one) – not harboring/allowing racists thoughts for yourself is less effective than speaking out against random instances of racism in your vicinity is less effective than seeking out instances of racism and protesting them is less effective than organizing and supporting organizations fighting racism. Where to draw the line of “non” and “anti” is irrelevant, I think the underlying message is that we should all strive to do more against injustice. To point that out, the video does a good job.

    As an aside, I first thought that the video would argue along the lines of what iiandyiii noted above. I could totally get behind the notion of saying “Am I a racist? Probably yes.” (same goes for sexism and whatever else privilege blindness conceals) But I am working on it.

  3. says

    iiandyiiii @ 1:

    I don’t think it’s possible to truly know whether or not one has any subconsciously held racist beliefs,

    I default to everyone is racist, just as everyone is sexist. No one grows up in a vacuum, and just like sexism, racism goes from very blatant to insidiously subtle. Most people absorb any number of stereotypes as they grow up, and often, never think past them, just assume they are true, and then confirmation bias happens, over and over, cementing such beliefs in place.

    I grew up with a couple of open, overt bigots. As I got older, I found that experience valuable, because it made me examine my own thoughts, ideas, and feelings from a fairly young age. You need to always be aware, and be willing to check yourself, in the same way that being aware of privilege works.

  4. numerobis says

    So…what are you going to do?

    I’ll post about it on this blog and reshare the video! Oh wait.

  5. says

    Caine (#3) –

    I default to everyone is racist, just as everyone is sexist.

    Same here. It’s better to admit to and be aware of one’s own failings than pretend not to have them. Honesty accomplishes more and it’s more appreciated by others.

  6. Athywren - This Thing Is Just A Thing says

    I think I’ll react violently to the idea that I should ever have to oppose a bad thing when it totally should be enough that I don’t wholeheartedly embrace it with zeal. I don’t think we have enough people doing that right now.

    Err… ^ joke.
    I don’t really know. I volunteer at a local BAME community charity thing, and I think what I’m doing there would count as helping provide and strengthen community support structures, but I’m not sure it really counts as anti-racism.

  7. khms says

    I have no idea how this happened, but growing up, I seem to have internalized the idea that women should be treated equally, and when I noticed problems with that, I became upset. Doesn’t mean I didn’t absorb sexist notions, too, especially as my environment was certainly not balanced in that respect; but it means that I try to avoid doing anything that is sexist.
    As for racist, once I got to abvout 7 and it was clear there would be no naturally produced siblings, my parents started adopting until we were four – all children of German-foreigner liaisons. My sister was half-Turkish (she’s dead now, from breast cancer and too long trying to fight it with woo, from which she was also more than broke, but the only one of us to produce offspring of her own), one brother was half-Sudanese (the only one who was German from birth: that depends on which parent was German), and one who was half-South-Korean. I think that kind of thing works well against racism. I believe that any such notions I have are of the kind “I know that other people have these notions, so take extra care to avoid the impression that I have them”, which obviously can lead to overreactions, which I hope are rare.
    I’ve always had some trouble relating to other people;; most of my attempts to argue against the (typically rather tame) instances of the two have been, let’s just say, unsuccessful. I’ve recently started to follow some of those organizations who send out all sorts of petitions; at least I can tell the world there’s one more guy who disagrees with whatever bad thing someone somewhere is doing. Not much, but better than nothing.