Why Anti-Racism is important
There is a world of difference between not being racist and being anti-racist.
Anti-racism is a decision to adopt practices and behaviors that contribute to reducing inequality in the world around you. Not being Racist is a passive act. It absolves one of guilt, but doesn’t solve the problem of racism and does not help anyone who experiences racism
Being anti-racist is recognizing that racism exists beyond individual surface-level interactions. And it is not up to people of color to explain how racism works.
Racism is so much more than offensive comments. It exists in the very fabric and institutions of our society- in the workplace, in the educational, health care and judicial systems and in the ways neighborhoods are designed. It is important that everyone challenges the structure of racism in our society, and works to make our world an equitable place to live and grow. To do so means learning more about historical contexts of racism and about our own internal biases towards those who are not like us.
Think about and be prepared to act the next time casual racism pops up in at work, in a friends group or a family gathering. Believe the experiences of those who experience racism and accept it as the truth and not a condemnation of who you are. Confront and challenge prejudice and racial discrimination. Support groups and organizations engaged in antiracist work.
Engage in the 28 Day Antiracism Challenge sponsored by the Institute for Perinatal Quality Improvement at https://www.perinatalqi.org/.
We have all, unconsciously and consciously, learned racism and continue to discriminate and hold racist views about people for various reasons. To be antiracist means to accept that unless we start to acknowledge and take individual and collective responsibility to actively identify racism when we see it in operation and stop dismissing it as a thing of the past, nothing will change.