All white people in America are racist. If this sentence doesn’t make sense to you, then you haven’t fully reflected upon the historical, political, and cultural systemic realities and entitlements whites have benefited from since this country’s inception. Privilege, divorced from virtue or accomplishment, is wielded, consciously or not, to substantiate white supremacy.
“But wait! I am non-racist! I don’t discriminate consciously, I’ve marched in a Black Lives Matter march, I’ve educated myself on the issues, I have Black friends, my best friend is Black, I don’t see color, how can I be racist?” To those, I ask: “If Black people are oppressed in this country through no fault or virtue of their own, then how can we accept individual white virtue as an escape from racism?”
All white people benefit from white supremacy whether they believe it or not. It allows one mobility, the comfort of being the “designated” race, the beauty standard, the education standard, the standard. Its existence is created from the exploitation and oppression of people of color, which happens today in many different forms: procedural injustice, microaggressions, distributive injustice, cultural imperialism, unrealistic Euro-centric standards, discriminatory job hiring practices, discriminatory loan practices, lynching, witch hunts, and so much more.
America was, and still is, a cultivation of suffering, pain, and surviving of the Black person. Use this month to acknowledge not only past, but current Black friends, visionaries, inventors, innovators, scholars, enemies, strangers, and more, for they grow and survive in a time where their worth is measured by a white standard.
Non-black people of color, this fight is also yours. Though you do not experience white privilege, perpetuating anti-blackness is harmful to both Black people and you. Tackle anti-blackness in your community and use your platform to advocate for change. A history, a country, a world, built on the backs of others can never be truly equitable, unless ALL actors work to create a new world.
It is not enough to be non-racist. Neutrality does not exist in the fight of the oppressed against the oppressor. One must actively be anti-racist to be a true ally. Accept that your existence is inherently racist, and work against the power structures intended to hold you above your peers for no reason other than your whiteness. Go to a BSA meeting, a DWOCC meeting, a QTPOC meeting, an LSA meeting. Educate yourselves. Stop culturally appropriating. Call out your friends. Recognize your place in systemic racism in the United States and work to combat it. If needed, re-read the first sentence of this article over and over again until your blood boils. Then, utilize the power of your anger, your voice, your privilege, to make a change. Change that first sentence.