This comment is from Zek J Evets on the post Can Hipsters Be Racist, Too? Lisa Hickey had asked the question “what else to you find actually works to create change Zek?” This was Zek’s reply.
I think constructive dialogue is helpful, where People of Color are given a platform and privilege to speak at length about their experiences. I think teaching people about the systemic inequalities in various institutions — such as the courts, policing, education, etc. — are also important. I think grounding people in what words like prejudice, discrimination, racism, and privilege actually mean is important.
I think Nick’s article was a great step. I’d like to see more of it.
I’d also like to see more discussion about less hyped cased too, like the two White Kansas residents that went shooting up a Black neighborhood, killing at will. And it’d be great if we could connect that kind of behavior to the larger cultural context, like the Tea Party slogans and conspiracy theories of Obama as a Kenyan Marxist etc.
Also, there’s a TON of research on statistical inequities which debunk so many racist myths about things like welfare, criminality, the educational achievement gap, and more. And these issues are affecting Men of Color at alarming rates! There are more Black men in prison than in college — shoot there are more Black men in prison than there were slaves pre-Civil War. These facts are sad testaments. Even though segregation is illegal, America is actually MORE segregated than ever. I believe there was a news story somewhat recently about a homeless African-America mother who decided to put her kid in a richer school district by using a family member’s mailing address. And now she’s being charged with extremely zealous prejudice.
I think a balance of anecdotal evidence as well as greater context is necessary to combat colorblindess, hipster racism, and racism racism. However, in my experience, these changes rarely happen. Just look back to the Republican debates. So much racial/racist rhetoric, and yet nobody in those rooms challenged it, nobody named it, nobody spoke out against it.
Anyways, I feel extremely knowledgeable on the subject, but even I realize I’m no expert. There are so many more people out there who’re literally on the front lines of these issues, talking about them, educating people, that I feel rather humbled when asked what I’d do to make change. Shoot, I’d follow the people I learned all of this from in the first place! They’re my neighbors, my girlfriend, my professors, my peers, my coworkers, my family members, my friends.
photo: “At the bus station,” Durham, North Carolina, May 1940. Photo by Jack Delano. Public domain.