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3 Types of Racists That Are More Dangerous Than What You Think a Racist Looks Like

24 Aug

Millions March NYC

My favorite comedian duo, Key and Peele, once joked that “‘Racist’ is the N-word for white people.”

While this phrase is highly problematic, as there is no white N-word equivalent, I can’t think of anything I could say that would piss off my white friends and associates more than to call them racists.

Call someone racist, and they’ll clutch their pearls and pull out a rolodex of friends of color who can vouch for their “wokeness.”

They’ll explain how they’re not voting for Trump, how they love diversity, and how they cannot stand to stay in the room when they go home for Thanksgiving and their old Great Uncle Jack gets to talking about the problems with “the coloreds.” They’ll admit they have older racist relatives, but they won’t dare have you thinking that they are anything like those relatives.

This reaction is pretty understandable. Other than proud white supremacists like Great Uncle Jack, who really wants to be called racist?

But many people are racist without even realizing that they are. This is because many of us have a skewed image of what a racist looks like.

Everyone tends to picture an older generation of folks who are card-carrying members of the KKK from the deep south who proudly wave confederate flag, still use the N-word, and keeps mammy figurines in the window sills of their homes.

We think of these folks as the small percentage of the population that is dying out

They may not enjoy wearing white hoods and publicly promoting white supremacy; however, there are several types of racists can be just as dangerous as, if not even more dangerous than, Great Uncle Jack.

Here are 3 types of racists that are even more dangerous than the typical image of a racist.

Do you fall into any of these categories? Read more at Everyday Feminism

Hey Fam. I originally published this article on Everyday Feminism. You can enjoy the rest of the article there.

Photo courtesy of The All-Nite Images via Flickr.

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Here’s Why Refusing to ‘See Color’ Doesn’t Actually Mean You’re Not Racist

26 Jul

Blindfold

Whenever someone says “I don’t see color,” I think back to a time when I didn’t notice it either.

I was a little girl, excited to open Christmas gifts. One Christmas Eve, my parents were wrapping presents while I pretended to be asleep. I peeked through their cracked door as they pulled a life-size Kelly doll out of a box that had shipped earlier that day.

It was exactly what I’d asked for, and I was ecstatic but my parents weren’t pleased. Apparently, this wasn’t the doll they’d meant to order.

This doll was white.

I’d never noticed before that my dolls were a different color from the ones shown in commercials. I understand now that my parents only bought me dolls of color so that I could play with something that looked like me. I understand that they wanted to raise me in a pro-black household where I could love my complexion. But back then, I didn’t care about any of that – I simply wanted the Kelly doll, no matter what color… Read more at Everyday Feminism.

Photo courtesy of Mirko Tobias Schäfer via Flckr.

Respectability Politics: 4 Hints Your Approaches to Empowering Black Communities Are Harmful

18 Jul

There’s a running joke about whether or not black people should eat chicken in public.

When I’d bring a packed lunch with chicken wings to the office, I’d laugh at myself as I heated it up in the break room, thinking, “Am I really about to sit down with a plate of fried chicken in front of all these white folks?”

Of course I would. The chicken stereotype seemed silly to me, but there were other stereotypes I worked hard not to portray. 

I used to viciously side-eye anyone who argued that twerking was empowering. I’d quietly shame people who enjoyed reality TV shows like Basketball Wives and Love and Hip Hop. And I preferred artists like Janelle Monae over Nicki Minaj because I thought Nicki was a modern day example of the Jezebel stereotype.

I didn’t like anything that made black people look like we didn’t have home training. I wanted society to see positive images, like the high rates of black college graduates or the thriving black business owners.

To me, people who embodied stereotypes were enemies to black progress. These were my respectability politics.

Respectability politics are rules used by marginalized groups to help assimilate and survive in hostile environments that aren’t as accepting of other cultures. These rules define acceptable behavior based on mainstream values. They define how to act in front of (white) company.

These politics are frequently found in conversations about how to tackle racism and anti-blackness in America and how to uplift black communities.

For instance, some black parents will teach their children to dress and act a certain way around police officers, in hopes that their children will not suffer the fate of children like Mike Brown and Tamir Rice.

With the exceptions of a few “news” personalities whose intentions no one can be too sure of (ahem, Don Lemon and Stacey Dash), respectability politics typically comes from well-meaning people who love and support black people. Our mothers, teachers, friends, favorite musicians, and relatives use them to better our communities and protect loved-ones from oppressive situations… Read More at Everyday Feminism.

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