Friday, July 10, 2009

antidisestablishmentarianism



Sooo...what's up with the term "anti-racist?" As far as I know, this is the most "with it" term to use when discussing yourself in relationship to racism and race relations. Not only are you not a racist yourself, you are so outraged by racism and it's practitioners that you must come out as soundly against it and all that it stands for.

Don't get me wrong: I get the sentiment, and I'm down with not being a fan of all things racism. But there are some things that I take issue with when it comes to the term "anti-racist," and I want to share them with you, my faithful readers.

In a nutshell, I think it's too negative. I am a big believer in the idea that "the things you focus your attention on grow." I think it's the counselor in me (:

To use my google image as an example: people in your life who spend a lot of time talking about stress--do they seem to be stressed or calm?

And the people who seem to be calm--what do they spend most of their time talking about-- stress? Or something else?

So by coming out and saying you are an "anti-racist" you're just giving your energy and attention to racists and racism, things you don't want. When instead you could be focusing your energy and attention on things you do want. So to all my anti-racists out there: What are you "Pro?" Love? Equality? Opportunity? Acceptance? Justice? Enquiring minds want to know...

5 comments:

  1. I don't consider myself "anti-racist." Striving for "not racist" is good enough for me.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I feel what you mean on the whole "focus" aspect. We should seek to foster understanding and acceptance, not to "destroy racism". The creation of the positive will lead to the disappearance of the negative, which is really what we're seeking to do here : ) Anywho, just wanted to say that I'm glad that you're back!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Jennifer Sandberg10:13 AM

    Clearly expressed...reminds of me the Abraham-Hicks teaching on negative resistance as well as studies and studies about how positive reinforcement is by far the most efficacious way to beget positive change.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Aunt Sabria5:21 PM

    I concur with you, my dearest favorite niece. I prefer to focus on modeling the more positive character examples such as performing random acts of kindness for strangers. I've never heard of the term 'anti-racist,' but I hope it blows over soon.
    BTW, What do you think about the Gates arrest?

    ReplyDelete
  5. I found you while reading stuff white people do and I thought I'd reply to one of the easy ones (easy for me that is).

    I consider myself anti-racist and I don't at all see it as negative. It is similar in my mind to cutting out a cancer. Just working to be as non-racist in my own self is not enough for me - I also must take the positive and strong *action* of helping to remove it as I/we can.

    In other words - I don't just refrain from saying/thinking/doing racist things whenever possible - I also embrace the responsibility to speak out and act out when I encounter racism in the world.

    I see that as proactive - not negative.

    Does that make sense?

    P.S. I struggle with mental illness that can stop me from interacting with folks on line for long periods. So if I don't reply right away please don't take it personally. ;-)

    ReplyDelete