I'm glad I fit into your 6 points, tho I'd like to add a seventh.

White people one might consider "not racist" under your description will still harbor semi-conscious racist ideas because there is no way for any white person who has grown up in a society in which racism is the very foundation of socio/political relationships to be completely free of racist ideas and attitudes.

But there are those of us who are "on the right track" because we are able to identify those limitations and work to consciously overcome them.

I think it's important to recognize a continuum of deeply embedded racist ideas and beliefs, and especially for white people to recognize that there may come moments when we may unconsciously enact racism--and be prepared to accept criticism rather than getting into defensive modes arguing that we aren't racist yada yada yada. And "how dare you accuse ME...yada yada."

Racism needs to be acknowledged as a verb, as a form of action that helps maintain institutional racism even tho that may not be our intent. Racist actions need to be called out as such without the defining noun form of "racist" being applied to a person.

I am not "A Racist" but I know that sometimes I may unreflexively engage in actions that legitimately can be seen as racist. Whether I intended the racist implications is irrelevant to the person(s) on the receiving end. After all, what gives me the right to expect them to know what is in my heart?

Getting defensive in such situations will not help resolve the issues. Listening to how people say they feel when they hear such words or experience such actions matters more than whatever defenses we may believe we have.

We need to keep our hearts open to hearing the pain of our accusers.

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Georgia NeSmith

Georgia NeSmith

Retired professor, feminist, writer, photographer, activist, grandmother of 5, overall Wise Woman. Phd UIA School of Journalism & Mass Communication, 1994.