Racism as a Belief
Living in a world with so much racialized trauma, it is impossible for white people to not absorb some racist beliefs into our Consciousness.
It doesn’t make us* inherently bad people. It just means that we* adopted beliefs that were commonly held and taught, at some point. And, perhaps, we never took the time, intention or care to assess and dismantle those beliefs.
Many of these beliefs were created by those in power to stay in power. But this time period invites us into the opportunity to change these beliefs. My entire job is based on helping people recognize and shift beliefs. It’s hard work.
I watch people cling to limiting beliefs, that are no longer serving them, with a death grip. So, of course, when it comes to collective beliefs, there are going to be people that will continue to hang on with a death grip, as well.
But just like the brain is plastic and can create new neural pathways by reinforcing new beliefs. I believe in our Collective ability to evolve.
“”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.”
~Ibram X. Kendi
* I write this as a white person with an invitation to white readers, so I and We are directed in that manner.
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