One Word: Anti-Racism

This article was originally published on September 8, 2020.

As the discrimination certain races face in America has been gaining awareness, many are tossing the term “anti-racism” around. Anti-racism is the conscious decision to identify and challenge racism daily. The practice explores the power imbalances between those of color and Caucasians.

Based on, a person who practices anti-racism works to become aware of how racism affects the lived experience of people of color and Indigenous people, how racism is systemic, and has been part of many foundational aspects of society throughout history, and can be manifested in both individual attitudes and behaviors as well as formal (and “unspoken”) policies and practices within institutions, and how Caucasians participate, often unknowingly, in racism.

To actively oppose racism and identify as an anti-racist, it is recommended to first learn to understand your privilege. There are many types of social privileges including white privilege, male privilege, hetero privilege, class privilege, and religious privilege. As an anti-racist, you must advocate for changes in political, economic, and social spheres whether that is by spreading information through social media, peacefully protesting, etc. You should also call out racism when you witness it. After all, anti-racism is based on the motto that silence is complicity. Moreover, you should challenge the colorblind idealogy. The colorblind idealogy is the idea that people don’t “see color”. This idealogy discredits the struggles people of color have been through. These are a few of the steps those who are anti-racist take to continue their fight against racial inequalities.

Many don’t prefer to identify as anti-racists, due to some common misconceptions around the term. Many believe that being anti-racist means that you take part in public protests and violent clashes. While anti-racism does call for and include protests and vocal opposition, they are only a few of the ways to be an anti-racist. An anti-racist doesn’t have to protest or deal with violence to identify as one. Instead, you can also spread awareness through social media and call out racism when you witness it in real life to be identified as an anti-racist.

Anti-racism is important because it fights racial oppression. Those who are silent help racial inequalities persevere. While being “not racist” is good, it doesn’t help anybody else much. Meanwhile, those who are anti-racist are causing a change in the world by raising awareness and fighting for justice. I hope this article helped you understand anti-racism and the importance of it. Thank you for reading and please help raise awareness of the issues in our world!