I recently bought Ibrahim X. Kendi’s book How to Be an Antiracist.
I haven’t read very far. And yet, only a few pages in, I’m so grateful to have–thanks to Kendi–added the word “antiracist” to my vocabulary.
For years, I fumbled for words to explain to some white friends that their being quietly “color-blind” wasn’t really a kindness to people of color. The closest I could come, over and over again, was saying variations of, “You can’t be neutral on a moving train. Being quietly ‘color-blind’ doesn’t stop that hurtful train from rolling right over people.”
So many conversations. So many hours. So many words.
Finding the word “antiracist” brought me a sigh of relief: Silence is a vote for racism, while speaking up, with a passion for justice for all, is its opposite, antiracism.
Having the word “antiracist” helped me troubleshoot a related flaw in my own thinking elsewhere recently.
I got to thinking about how it’s obviously obvious to anyone who meets me for even three seconds that I wholeheartedly support equal rights for LGBTQI people–doesn’t almost everyone by now?!–when I caught myself mid-thought, flashed to Kendi, and went, Continue reading “with passion for liberation”