When you decide to associate with race on your own level and integrate those relations on a personal basis. Then you are one step towards closing the racial gap in thinking. Being selective in those relations only keeps that gap widened. Just believing you are not prejudice isn’t good enough.
And the sooner we both acknowledge this, the sooner we can begin to address the problem. So let’s talk.
“Wait just a minute here, Rachel. You’re like, the least racist person I know. You’re always sharing stuff about race and racism. You couldn’t possibly be racist.”
Here’s the deal. Racism isn’t just guys in white robes and Paula Deen shouting racial slurs. Racism is subtle, racism is insidious, and our culture is so deeply steeped in it that it’s impossible to grow up in the US and not be racist. It’s a kind of brainwashing: a set of default configuration files that come with the culture. It’s a filter, built up from birth, that alters our perception of the world. (Literally–racial bias makes people see weapons that aren’t there.) Racism isn’t just conscious actions; it’s judgements that happen so fast that we may not even be aware of…
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For one human being to love another; that is perhaps the most difficult of all our tasks…
The work for which all other work is but preparation.
-Rainer Marie Rilke