Why I’m No Longer Silent About Race
Updated: Nov 21, 2020
I am white man. As a child, I went to school full of other white kids, with white teachers, in white neighbourhoods. There I learned about history through a white lens, and had my education and politics dictated to me by white people of power. Divisions, prejudices, and fears intensified when I was at the susceptible age of 14 and The Twin Towers were struck on 9th September 2001 by Islamic terrorists. Soon after, in 2003, white people decided to start a war with Iraq to overthrow the government of Suddam Hussein. I continued to watch white TV, read books with white characters, and listened to white music. Now, crucially, I have white children and, if I'm not careful, my children will be as naiive about black issues, black history and black struggles as I was. They will unaware of injustices and prejudices experienced by swathes of POC and they could easily fall into the trap of thinking that their lack of action is good enough.
How can I claim to not be racist?
I never considered myself to be racist. I was taught that racism is wrong. But when impressionable children grow up in a white world, created for them by white people, and they have advantages at every juncture in their lives compared to their black counterparts, being taught that racism is wrong and that we should treat people equally only now seems ludicrously hypocritical. The structures I have benifited from are inherently unfair. My health, my education and my employment, have all benifited from my whiteness. How can I claim to not be a racist whilst simultaneously allowing these unfair systems to perpetuate?
It is simply not good enough to not be a racist. To just "not be a racist" is to be complicit. To just read anti-racist books or watch historically accurate documentaries about slavery is a start but it's still complacent. I hope that by starting this website I can break white silence and expose some home truths, share helpful resources that will help others unlearn their preconceptions about race and privilege, and, ultimately, be accountable for my antiracism.
From complicity, to complacency, to combat. I hope to face racism head on, and bring you along for the fight.