“The opposite of racist isn’t ‘not racist.’ It is ‘anti-racist.’ What’s the difference? One endorses either the idea of a racial hierarchy as a racist, or racial equality as an anti-racist. One either believes problems are rooted in groups of people, as a racist, or locates the roots of problems in power and policies, as an anti-racist. One either allows racial inequities to persevere, as a racist, or confronts racial inequities, as an anti-racist. There is no in-between safe space of ‘not racist.” ― Ibram X. Kendi
In her book, I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness, Austin Channing Brown writes about the countless black folks that I know, about what it is like to exist in a Black body in an organization that doesn’t understand it is Christian, and that it is white. She tells how instead of offering empathy and action; whiteness finds new names for us and offers ominous advice. Like, you are too sensitive, too angry, too inflexible.
Austin Channing Brown tells a story of so many of the black people that I know from my dad and mom to my kids some thirty years later. In the church, on the job or at the little league game, Channing writes, white people are exhausting.
I didn’t need these last few weeks to tell me what I have experienced most of my life. I also agree with Austin; it is not a bad or negative thing. It is what it is. The other thing she speaks truth to power on this subject is some white people, like Brene Brown or my good friends, Tucker, Roberta, Tom, Diane and countless others, get the point. Others will be butt hurt after reading this, and it is those who don’t get it that is part of the problem.