Reply to "The Consequences of Being Openly Anti-racist?"

Jessica Porten posted:

Here is a list of reasons I have used and heard. I do not believe any of them are good reasons, but here they are.

- Don't want to be ostracized by my peers.

- Don't want to argue with family.

- Don't want to "disrespect" an elder.

- Can sympathize with a racist's views i.e. "I used to feel that way."

- Feels like a waste of time to engage with white folks who don't understand basic sociological principles like systemic racism and colonization.

As far as tangible consequences, the only that I have experienced are the loss of a couple of "friends". I know estrangement from family is quite common for openly anti-racist (and pro-LGBT) whites. I have yet to hear of a white person being fired from their job for being openly anti-racist. 

So the consequences pale in comparison to the lived experiences of POC.

Hi Jessica,

Thank you for such a transparent and vulnerable response!  Your response reminds me that we have all lost so much in this system of racism.  To properly calculate the costs does require a waking up/awareness of the reality around us and the ways racism resides in us. 

As to consequences for Black folks:  speaking for myself, I tend to take a "firm" rather than "loving" (what ever that means) approach to accountability.  For example, I call to task our inability to speak intelligibly about racism as trauma.  I write with that tone. My approach is the same regardless of audience. Regardless of public or private space.  Black family have suggested I shouldn't be so outspoken..keep it at home.  I do realize Why they are concerned.  Yet change doesn't reach a desired end at the dinner table among family; not in the way it needs to systemically. Besides, I am able to do both.  

Just today, someone who attended an event where I spoke told me it changed her life and I know that can't help but inform how she does her work, socializes, and advocates within her circle of influence/concern.  That is a good consequence toward my ultimate goal of racial equity and justice Now, not during the next generation (as promised before and before that too).

 

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