the oppose of ‘racist’ isn’t ‘not racist’.. it is ‘anti racist‘.. one endorses either the idea of racial hierarchy as a racist, or racial equality as an antiracist. one either believes problems are rooted in groups of people, as a racist, or locates the roots of problems in power and policies, as an antiracist. one either allows racial inequities to persevere, as a racist or confronts racial inequities as an antiracist.. there is not in-between safe space of ‘not racist’.. the claim of ‘not racist’ neutrality is a mask fro racism..
adding page while reading (and quote above from p9) Ibram Kendi‘s (2019) how to be an antiracisit
racist ideas make people of color think less of themselves, which makes them more vulnerable to racist ideas.. racist ideas make white people think more of themselves, which further attracts them to racist ideas
i thought i was serving my people, when in fact i was serving up racist ideas about my people to my people
a racist culture had handed me the ammunition to shoot black people, to shoot myself, and i took and used it. internalized racism is the real black on black crime
the oppose of ‘racist’ isn’t ‘not racist’.. it is ‘anti racist’.. one endorses either the idea of racial hierarchy as a racist, or racial equality as an antiracist. one either believes problems are rooted in groups of people, as a racist, or locates the roots of problems in power and policies, as an antiracist. one either allows racial inequities to persevere, as a racist or confronts racial inequities as an antiracist.. there is not in-between safe space of ‘not racist’.. the claim of ‘not racist’ neutrality is a mask for racism..
this book is ultimately about the basic struggle we’re all in, the struggle to be fully human and to see that others are fully human..t
mufleh humanity law: we have seen advances in every aspect of our lives except our humanity– Luma Mufleh
ch 1 – definitions
cone looked at dad w equal seriousness and responded: ‘a christian is one who is striving for liberation’ – christianity of the enslaved, no the christianity of the slaveholders.. this was a revelatory moment in dad’s life
if we don’t do the basic work of define the kind of people we want to be in language that is stable and consistent, we can’t work toward stable, consistent goals
i don’t know.. i think we’re adding too many words/definitions.. i’m thinking we just focus on 7b living their fittingness.. and trust us with that
so what is a racist idea? a racist idea is any idea that suggests one racial group is inferior or superior to another racial group in any way.. an antiracist idea is any idea that suggest the racial groups are equals in all their apparent differences – that there is nothing right/wrong w any racial group.. antiracist ideas argue that racist policies are the cause of racial inequities
we are surrounded by racial inequity, as visible as the law, as hidden as our private thoughts. the question for each of us is: what side of history will we stand on
we can only strive to be one or the other.. we can unknowingly strive to be racist. we can knowingly strive to be an antiracist
racist ideas have defined our society since its beginning and can feel so natural and obvious as to be banal, but antiracist ideas remain difficult to comprehend, in part because they go against the flow of their country’s history. as audre lorde said in 1980, ‘we have all been programmed to respond the human differences between us w fear and loathing and to handle that difference in one of three ways;: ignore it, and if that is not possible, copy it if we think it is dominant, or destroy it if we think it is subordinate. but we have no patterns for relation across our human differences as equals’.. to be an antiracist is a radical choice in the face of this history, requiring a radical reorientation of our consciousness..
ch 2 – dueling consciousness
assimilationist: one who is expressing the racist idea that a racial group is culturally or behaviorally inferior and is supporting cultural or behavioral enrichment programs to develop that racial group
segregationist: one who is expressing the racist idea that a permanently inferior racial group can never be developed and is supporting policy that segregates away that racial group
she called on people like my parents with ‘ghetto origins’ to save ‘ghetto males’ and women by impressing on them the values of ‘hard work, education, respect or family’ – 1985 – eleanor holmes norton
my parent’s followed norton’s advice: they fed me the mantra that ed and hard work would uplift me, just as it had uplifted them and would , in the end, uplift all black people.. my parents – even from w/in their racial consciousness – were susceptible to the racist idea that it was laziness that kept black people down, so they paid more attention to chastising black people than to reagan’s policies, which were chipping the ladder they climbed up and then punishing people for falling
in the same month that reagan announced his war on drugs on ma’s bday in 1982, he cut the safety net of fed welfare programs and medicaid, sending more low income blacks into poverty
americans have long been trained to see the deficiencies of people rather than policy
and so my parents turned away from the problems of policy to look at the problems of people – and reverted to striving to save and civilize black people rather than liberate them
they joined other black people trying to fit into that white space while still trying to be themselves and save their people. they were not wearing a mask as much as splitting into two minds
assimilationist ideas are racist ideas. assimilationists can position any racial group as the superior standard that another racial group should be measuring themselves against, the benchmark they should be trying to reach
assimilationist and segregationist ideas are the two types of racist ideas, the duel w/in racist thought. .. assimilationists believe that people of color can, in fact, be developed, become fully human, just like white people.. assimilationist ideas reduce people of color to the level of children needing instruction on how to act
but children don’t need instruction on how to act – that’s part of the ongoing oppression.. color or no
segregationist ideas cast people of color as ‘animals’.. unteachable after a point..
since assimilationists posit cultural/behavioral hierarchy, assimilationist policies/programs are geared toward developing civilizing and integrating a racial group (to distinguish from programs that uplift individual)
see.. individuals don’t need uplifting.. there’s no up and down..
since segregationist posit the incapability of a racial group to be civilized and developed, segregationist policies are geared toward segregating, enslaving, incarcerating, deporting, and killing..
and people don’t need to be civilized.. we made that up.. and it’s proving to be very cancerous.. anti human
since antiracists posit that the racial groups are already civilized, antiracist policies are geared toward reducing racial inequities and creating equal opportunity
that’s a distraction and cancerous.. to begin with the assumption that humans want/need to be civilized
the equal opp our souls crave.. isn’t uplifting ourselves via some ladder of success.. it’s a listening deeper.. to our hearts.. (as it could be) .. everyday.. it’s getting back/to our fittingness.. that would be equity: everyone getting a go everyday
white people have generally advocated for both assimilationist and segregationist policies. people of color have generally advocated for both antiracist and assimilationist policies..
none of those will get us back to an undisturbed ecosystem: ‘in undisturbed ecosystems ..the average individual, species, or population, left to its own devices, behaves in ways that serve and stabilize the whole..’ –Dana Meadows
but there is a way to get free. to be antiracist is to emancipate oneself from the dueling consciousness. to be antiracist is to conquer the assimilations/segregationist consciousness. the white body no longer presents itself as the american body; the black body no longer strives to be the american body, knowing there is no such thing as the american body, only american bodies, racialized by power
thinking we need to go deeper than anti racist
ch 3 – power
race: a power construct of collected or merged difference that lives socially
ch 4 – biology
biological racists are segregationists.. biological racism rest on two ideas: that the races are meaningfully different in their biology and that these differences create a hierarchy of value.. ie: blacks more natural physical ability.. more natural gifts of improv.. larger body parts.. et al
2000 – first survey of entire human genome.. 99.9% the same
this connecting of biology to behavior is the cradle of bio racism – it leads to bio ranking of the races and the supposition that the bio of certain races yields superior behavioral traits, like intelligence
there is no such thing as racial ancestry.. ethnic ancestry does exist.. camera jones: ‘people are born w ancestry that comes from their parents but are assigned a race’
when geneticists compare ethnic populations, they find there is more genetic diversity between population w/in africa than between africa and the rest of the world..
race is a mirage but one that humanity has organized itself around in very real ways. imagining away the existence of races in a racist world is as conserving and harmful as imagining away classes in a capitalistic world – it allows the ruling races and classes to keep on ruling
assimilationists believe in the post racial myth that talking about race constitutes racism, or that if we stop identifying by race, the racism will miraculously go away.. the fail to realize that if we stop using racial categories, then we will not be able to id racial inequity.. if we cannot id racial inequity.. will not be able to id racist policies.. then can’t challenge racist policies.. then racist power’s final solution will be achieved: a world if inequity none of us can see, let alone resist.. terminating racial categories is potentially the last, not the first, step in the antiracist struggle
i think we have the means to go deeper than this and i think.. if we don’t go deeper.. we’re just perpetuating the oppression
the segregationist sees six bio distinct races. the assimilationist sees one bio human race.. but there i another way of looking.. to be antiracist is to focus on ending the racism that shapes the mirages, not to ignore the mirages that shape peoples’ lives
ch 5 – ethnicity
ethnic racism is the resurrected script of the slave trader
the face of ethnic racism bares itself in the form of a persistent question: ‘where are you from?’
with ethnic racism, no one wins, except the racist power at the top. as w all racism, that is the entire point..
ch 6 – body
this is the living legacy of racist power, constructing the black race biologically and ethnically and presenting the black body to the world first and foremost as a ‘beast’ .. as violently dangerous, as the dark embodiment of evil.. american today see the black body as larger, more threatening, more potentially harmful, and more likely to require force to control than a similarly sized white body, according to researchers.. no wonder the black body had to be lynched by the 1000s, deported by the 10s of 1000s, incarcerated by the millions, segregated by the tens of millions..
researchers have found a much stronger clearer correlation between violent crime levels and unemployment levels than between violent crime and race
there is no such thing as a dangerous racial group. but here are of course, dangerous individuals like smurf.. there is the violence of racism – manifest in policy and policing – that fears the black body.. and there is the nonviolence of antiracism that does not fear the black body, that fears, if anything the violence of the racism that has been set on the black body..
ch 7 – culture
when the reaction to the nazi holocaust marginalized bio racism, cultural racism stepped into its place.. whoever makes the cultural standard makes the cultural hierarchy. the act of making a cultural standard and hierarchy is what creates cultural racism..
‘if black can close the civilization gap, the race problem in this country is likely to become insignificant’ dinesh d’souza once reasoned.. ‘civilization’ is often a polite euphemism for cultural racism..
i hated what they called civilization, represented most immediately by school.. i loved what they considered dysfunctional – african american culture, which defined my life outside school..
i related when tupac confessed, ‘i hung around w the thugs and even though they sold drugs .. they showed young brother love’
hip hop has had the most sophisticated vocab of any american musical genre.. i read endlessly its poetic text.. but parents and grandparents did not see us listening to and memorizing gripping works of oral poetry and urban reporting and short stories and autobios and sexual boasting and adventure fantasies.. they saw – and still see – words that would lead my mind into deviance..
it took me a while (after moving from ny south). months of loneliness – really almost two years, if we are talking about making true friends. but i slowly but surely stated to respect african american culture in norther virginia. i slowly but surely cam down from the clouds of my culturally racist conceit. but i could not rise above my behaviorally racist insecurity
ch 8 – behavior
how do we think about my young self, the c or d student in antiracist terms? the truth is that i should be critiqued as a student – i was under motivated and distracted and undisciplined.. in other words a bad student.. but i shouldn’t be critiqued as a bad black student..i did not rep my race anymore than my irresponsible white classmates rep’d their race
every time someone racializes behavior – describes something as ‘black behavior’ they are expressing a racist idea..
could say too.. every time someone describes something as ‘student behavior’.. like we were made to be ie: whales in sea world
to be an antiracist is to recognize there is no such thing as racial behavior
how about.. to be human is to recognize there is no such thing as student behavior.. et al
as struggling black teenager in 90s… i internalized my academic struggles as indicative of something wrong not just w my behavior but w black behavior as a while.. the so called nation’s report card told americans the same story.. by 2017 scoring gaps in 4th grade math had slightly narrowed.. et al
not until my sr year in college did i realize i was a fool for thinking i was a fool.. prepping for my last major standardized test – the gre.. paid $1000 to prep.. for test.. not to get smarter
the use of standardized tests to measure aptitude and intelligence is one of the most effective racist policies ever devised to degrade black minds and legally exclude black bodies
rather.. to degrade human beings..
there is an even more sinister implication in achievement gap talk – that disparities in academic achievement accurately reflect disparities in intelligence among racial groups.. intellect is the linchpin of behavior, and the racist idea of the achievement gap is the linchpin of behavior racism.. remember, to believe in a racial hierarchy is to believe in a racist idea
go deeper man – we have to let go of any hier archy ness
from the beginning, the tests, not the people, have always been the racial problem. i know this is a hard idea to accept – so many well meaning people have tried to ‘solve’ this problem of the racial achievement gap – but once we understand the history and policies behind it, it becomes clear
clear as mud.. if you don’t get deep enough .. to ie: whales in sea world.. clean/clear mud
but what if all along, these well meaning efforts at closing the achievement gap have been opining the door to racist ideas..?
to depression.. to not us ness.. to whales in sea world..
ch 9 – color
colorism: a powerful collection of racist policies that lead to inequities between light people and dark people..
on wearing honey colored contacts.. straining to look white.. i wanted to be black but did not want to look black.. i had no ida my light eyes embodied the latest form of ‘colorism’
ch 10 – white
racist ideas love believers, not thinkers..
in the end, hating black people becomes hating white people.. white supremacist is code for anti human.. a nuclear ideology that poses an existential threat to human existence
ch 11 – black
ch 12 – class
it’s impossible to know racism w/o understanding its intersection w capitalism..
to love capitalism is to end up loving racism. to love racism is to end up loving capitalism. . two sides of the same destructive body.. the idea that capitalism is merely free markets, competition, free trade, supplying/demanding, and private ownership of the means of production operating for a profit is as *whimsical and ahistorical the white supremacist idea that calling something racist is the primary form of racism.. popular definition of capitalism, like popular racist ideas, do not live in historical or material reality.. birthed together from the same unnatural causes..
not *whimsical.. ‘competition, trade, ownership
ch 13 – space
ch 14 – gender
ch 15 – sexuality
ch 16 – failure
ch 17 – success
i struggle to remain at the antiracist intersections where racism is mixed w other bigotries (eliminating racial distinctions in biology and behavior. equalizing racial distinction in ethnicities, bodies, cultures, colors, classes, spaces, genders, and sexualities)
racist ideas fooled me nearly my whole life. i refused to allow them to continue making a fool out of me, a chum out of me, a slave out of me. i realized there is nothing wrong w any of the racial groups and everything wrong w individuals like me who think there is something wrong w any of the racial groups.. t
ch 18 – survival
i had trouble separating sadiqa’s cancer from the racism i studied..
over time the source of racist ideas became obvious, but i had trouble acknowledging it.. the source did not fit my conception of racism.. i became a college prof to educate away racist ideas, seeing ignorance as the source of racist ideas .. seeing racist ideas as source of racist policies.. seeing mental change as the principal solution, seeing myself, an educator, as the primary solver
watching sadiqa’s courage to break down her body to rebuild her body inspired me to accept the source of racist ideas i found while researching their entire history – even though it upended my previous way of thinking.. my research kept pointing me to the same answer: the source of racist ideas was not ignorance and hate, but self-interest
the history of racist ideas is the history of powerful policy makers erecting racist policies out of self interest, then producing racist ideas to defend and rationalize the inequitable effects of their policies, while everyday people consume those raciest ideas, which in turn sparks ignorance and hate.. treating ignorance and hate and expecting racism to shrink suddenly seemed like treating a cancer patient’s symptoms and expecting the tumors to shrink.. the body politic might feel better momentarily form the treatment – from trying to eradicate hate and ignorance – but as along as the underlying cause remains, the tumors grow, the symptoms return, and inequities spread like cancer cells , threatening the life of the body politic.. education al and moral suasion is not only a failed strategy .. it is a suicidal strategy
why we need to go deeper.. than antiracism.. et al.. ie: deep enough
this message of focusing on policy change over mental change was written in my next book – stamped from the beginning..
our world is suffering from metastatic cancer. stage 4. racism has spread to nearly every part of the body politic.. intersection w bigotry of all kinds, justifying all kinds of inequities by victim blaming.. hate.. et al..
what if we treated racism in the way we treat cancer
before we can treat, we must believe.. racist power is not godly racist policies are not indestructible.. racial inequities are not inevitable.. racist ideas are not natural to the human mind..t
race and racism are power constructs of the modern world.. for roughly 200 000 years, before race and racism were constructed tin the 15th cent, humans saw color but did not group the colors into continental races.. did not commonly attach negative and positive characteristics to those colors and rank the races to justify racial inequity, tor reinforce racist power/policy.. racism is not even 600 yrs old.. it’s a cancer we’ve caught early.. but.. one of fastest spreading and most fatal cancers humanity has ever know.s.
if we ignore the odds and fight to create an antiracist world, then we give humanity a chance to one day survive, a chance to live in communion, a chance to be forever free..
better/faster.. for (blank)’s sake.. if we just focus on ie: cure ios city.. listening for that.. everyday.. your ‘antiracism’ will be just a tiny portion of a natural out flow of that.. of an undisturbed ecosystem