Power, Neutrality, and Participation

Photo by Clay Banks on Unsplash

Racism is not about hate, it’s about power. One may choose to hate those they wish to subordinate, but it is not necessary to maintain power over them. The nature of discrimination is that it posits a belief of superiority over others and develops policies to support those beliefs.

If you can believe that racism is a power construct for superiority, you may be inspired to explore its origins and what continues to uphold it.

Who created the concept of racism?
Who benefits from racist concepts and policy?
Who is oppressed and subordinated by them?

Racism is a power construct that divides people according to skin color. It is designed to benefit the White race and it is supported by racist policies in American institutions. The fear and apathy of middle class, White America provides the foundation for racism to persist.

Both White Privilege and Racism refer to a structure of racist policies and culture.

You cannot believe in Racism and not believe in White Privilege. They are interdependent. White Supremacy exists when racism is present. Racism is a belief, like a religion. It’s a way of being, not a type of human. It was designed by White people, to benefit White people.

If you have white skin, you benefit from this power construct.
You didn’t create racism or set out to enjoy White Privilege.
You don’t need to feel guilt or shame for it. That helps no one.
You don’t need to ask for forgiveness.

But you must recognize that your willingness to participate in the status quo is what makes it all possible. You are either actively participating in deconstructing Racism, White Privilege, and White Supremacy, or you are upholding it. There is no neutral ground.

Choosing not to participate is not an act of peace.
Rather, it contributes to the perpetuation of racism.
Neutrality is a myth believed by those that cannot be bothered to be an antiracist.

Our Founding Fathers were on a mission to gain the independence of their white bodies. America’s social agreements, institutions, and government were designed by these White, patriarchal, racist owners of Black slaves, while they orchestrated a national genocide of American Indians, and a hostile takeover of their land, which they still hold.

Photo by Clay Banks on Unsplash

In 1965, the population of America was 194.3 Million. About 250,000 people of all colors and creeds united together to support the Civil Rights movement. 194,050,000 people did not participate. Fifty-Five years later we are amidst another uprising of the same movement.

The Black Lives Matter movement is decentralized, so it’s more difficult to kill our leaders, as they did with Dr. King, Malcolm, Medgar Evers, and the scores of others.

Today, more people are participating in protests, demonstrations, boycotts, and other antiracist efforts across the globe than ever before. Major corporations are making significant, long-term commitments to antiracism. Confederate monuments are being toppled. People are taking a stand.

Now we have an opportunity to facilitate our next evolution as a nation and develop a culture and government that celebrates our uniqueness and prioritizes our collective vitality and unity. We are more capable of that than ever before.

It is our uniqueness, not Whiteness that makes us human. Humans, by nature, are diverse.

Stevie Wonder recently said,

If you want to be an antiracist, you must commit to organizing your life around your participation in the antiracism movement. That means you have to listen and educate yourself. More than ever before. You have to be vulnerable and let go of old beliefs. Strengthen your empathy muscles. Lean into all the discomfort and pain.

The goal is to eradicate Racist Policy and Cultural Racism in America, the most influential country in the world. We can set the tone.

If you’ve ever thought you would have been part of the Civil Rights Movement in the 60s, here’s your chance to find out.

One must be an extremely brave, patient, and empathetic human to lean into the pain and discomfort necessary to be an antiracist. It calls you to prioritize the deconstruction of racist culture and policy over your own comfort and convenience.

In a nation created through the genocide of the American Indian, on the bloody backs of Black people, you must choose to be an antiracist or to continue to support a racist regime.

Neutrality is no longer a luxury anyone can enjoy.

Today, you get to choose to actively participate in deconstructing racist policy and to contribute to a culture that celebrates our uniqueness and prioritizes our collective vitality and unity. I believe we can do it.

You’re invited to be an #ANTIRACIST.
Everyone belongs.

This article was heavily influenced by my journey through Ibram X Kendi’sHow to Be an Antiracist. This is my perspective on racism, tuned up with a lot of Ibram’s more elevated language.

I’ve been in the fight against racism for 25 years. But Ibram is teaching me how to be a real antiracist. (Much gratitude to Ibram for that.)

If you want to be an antiracist, don’t just read this book, study it. Study all his books. And lots of other scholars on race. Study it like you would anything else you really care about.

Then commit to living it all out. Every minute of every day.

My most recent articles on race and white privilege.

RACISM: A National Priority
What to Do with White Privilege
Here is my IGTV Channel where I create videos about these issues.
Here is the Statement of Solidarity I orchestrated for Space for Humanity.
(it is full of links to resources for being an antiracist)

Strategist & Philanthropist | Space + Environment + Indigenous Wisdom

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store