“Not being racist is not some default starting position. You don’t simply get to say you’re not a racist; not being racist — or a sexist or a homophobe — is a constant, arduous process of unlearning, of being uncomfortable, of eating crow and being humbled and re-evaluating. It’s probably hard to start that process if you’ve been told that every thought you have is golden and should be given voice, and that people who are offended by what you say are hypersensitive simpletons.”
As this is the first post, the first subject I’m going to tackle is folks doing ANTI work, and in so, hope I can also address tendencies that I want to avoid. ESPECIALLY with all the privilege I carry.
I think the biggest failing that I’ve seen among those who claim to do Anti-whatever is refusal to consider their own privilege or their own personal prejudices in a specific instance. They may know all about male privilege but vehemently deny their own white privilege. Or they know about cisgender privilege but won’t consider for a second that they are being ableist. The problem is, they fought through their own prejudices to understand the problems on one side, and they are so accustomed to being right they won’t consider for a second that they may still harbor some prejudice.
For a lot of people, anti-racism work, anti sexism work, anti heterosexism work, anti whatever work is a pedestal. They climb to the top and then get to talk down to people. They’ve reached the pinnacle of social knowledge, you can’t question them, and you better not disagree or call them out. They can’t say anything racist, look how much anti-racist work they’ve done! Other people just don’t get it.
Which obviously and quite simply not the case. You don’t learn about this stuff so you can go around pitying and scorning people who don’t yet know better. And you have to be prepared to keep learning, which is humbling. So as much as you have read bell hooks, Frantz Fanon, Tim Wise, whoever, there will always be more to learn.
So I’m starting this blog with all of this in mind, and I’m going to try working keeping that first quote in mind. I don’t have the answers, I’m privileged and I’ll often be wrong, but I want to do my part and do the best I can.
I’ll be blogging about race, gender, religion, science & more.
I’ll be going by JB and this my first post, because I am ANTI. (I need to trademark that right? Haha)