1. What’s the difference between Race and Racism?
Race and Racism are different but defeating one is defeating the other.– Race and Racism are different though very closely related. We want a world without Racism, not a world without race. Race helps us categorize. Racism has no useful purpose. Race can be a source of meaning and culture. Racism is a political weapon. Race is a noun. Racism is a verb– not actually, but it is action. Racism is a deadly assassin creeping through our institutions and causing harm and lowered life-expectancy.
If we can defeat racialized thinking we can defeat racism. If we can defeat the idea that race is what divides us and come to agree that racism is actually the culprit we can win the war. Racialized thinking uses race as an excuse to not see racism. Racialized thinking separates people from their actions, excusing racist behavior–robbing us of individual accountability. This goes for white and black people– white people are never held responsible for their racist actions, intentions or thoughts; black people, instead of being seen as individuals with diverse interests, are coded as either black or non-black.
Categories are not the problem. Race categories help us to understand the world. Without race, we wouldn’t have a context for our history- black and white help us see the colors of a future world. Black and white help us see right and wrong. Slavery was clearly wrong. White people were clearly in the realm of moral evil. Without understanding race black and white become gray. If we understand that race is just another category of person, we see that people mistakes and that people all deserve the same opportunities to succeed in life.
Defeating racism means defeating a system that is stuck on unequal. Winning the war against racism doesn’t mean that we abolish race entirely– that we all become one shade of acceptably light brown– it means that all skin colors are valued equally.
2. What is The World Without Racism?
Short Answer: a book
Medium Answer: The World Without Racism is a self-help guide to anti-racism for white culture
Long Answer: The World Without Racism is an idea – Even if it’s just in my imagination, the world without racism exists at some level. Imagination is how we get our greatest inventions. Imagination is also a target of racism. I’m telling you, racism is a clever enemy- but not bright. Racism attacks our imagination because it’s an easy target. Imagination is all ideals and optimism. It’s easy to create shade where there’s sun.
Existing in the future is still existing. This world and this universe are so much larger and more majestic than words could ever do justice to. If there is to be a future without racism then that means it already exists just because it will exist. It’s like a baby or a start up. An idea without a physical manifestation is still something, an idea is something, and if it’s something then it exists.
Existence is taken for granted in this world, but it won’t be in the world without racism. I think we’ll get so close to missing our boat that when we finally arrive in this much better, healthier, cleaner place– we’ll be eternally grateful to each other. That’s another catch– we have to get there together. There is no going alone. In order for racism to cease existing the world without racism must come into being and vice versa. In order to get to the world without racism we have to go through the world with racism. The world without racism doesn’t exist without the world today–the world with racism.
3. Where did racism come from?
Racism is an aberration- Whether by accident or on purpose racism was invented. Like an invention it had many versions before and will likely have many after–hopefully one of those being a non-existent version, a version where we can talk about racism in the past tense. A version that is just a distant memory, like dial-up and honeycomb cereal.
Many white people contributed to creating racism. Whiteness itself was also an original inventor of racism. Racism was created to protect white women from threatening black men–men who were in chains at the hands of white men. In order to make sense of this racism stepped in, there was no logic just pure emotional hatred.
The many mutations of racism are what make is sneaky, tricky, clever and not-so clever all in one. It is dynamic. Honestly we were never meant to stay within the boundaries of racism. Where people are concerned there will always be change. Where people are oppressed and degraded there will always be blowback. From the very beginning of it’s existence it was doomed to end this way.
4. Why is Racism so important?
Racism is the lynchpin of all other systems.
A lynchpin is what keeps the wheels on a bike or other machine. It prevents the wheel or other piece from sliding off of the axle. It holds the system together through its integration into our institutions. Racism doesn’t have an institution of its own (capitalism has the economy, imperialism has the government and military, patriarchy has the dichotomy of gender to rely on) Racism is just infused throughout all of the other systems. Racism “holds the various elements of a complicated structure together” (Dictionary.com).
Our complicated structure includes sexism, racism, imperialism, capitalism, homophobia and transphobia, global warming and climate change and patriarchy. This system is only able to move and be flexible because racism holds it up on ‘wheels’. Our systems of oppression are moveable and sometimes interchangeable because we have racism as a malleable piece of the puzzle. Racism flows while the other systems are meant to create walls, bars, cages- racism is meant to create poison.
It’s a perfect balancing act. Racism allows the system to circulate–because black people experience all of the other oppressions but only black people experience anti-black racism. It’s like having a control group for experiments. Black people are subjected to every oppression, including racism. To be clear we’re all affected by all of these systems but the most adverse affects reach black people first every time. Black trans women are the most vulnerable group in our society right now besides children, and technically any black child could grow up to be a black trans woman.
5. What’s Anti-Racism?
Anti-Racism depends on Action– THe only way to defeat racism is to move with it. Like sports you must go where your defendant is going. Move your feet. Keep an eye on it’s weak spots and target them like your life depends on it. The first step is becoming aware that this battle is happening– once you’re in you’re in.
Then you have to practice, learn your weapons, learn the controls and take a few test shots.
Anti-racist actions are when everyday people stop racism by pointing it out (aim), seeing its intentions and stopping it from directing the situation. Racism works by being an invisible hand that guides people towards the satus quo.
The good news is that we already have the momentum. Actually, the hardest part is already done. Once you get started everything else is about direction.