Can Someone Unlearn Being Racist
To The People,
During my 7-year journey to better understand the inner and outer workings of this system called racism millions of other people with the same skin color as me and I were unwillingly born into, I’ve seen this question come up regularly in many discussions about race in many forums. And typically, the overall consensus of those engaging in those types of conversations gravitates towards “Yes, of course, anyone can unlearn racism!”
And then when it comes to actually spelling out what criteria a racist should adhere to achieve redemption, the agreed-upon solution typically falls in line with the intellectually lazy conclusions the average person arrives at as to how a person could become racist in the first place: Racism is caused by someone just being ignorant. Racism is just the politicians pitting white and black people against each other to drive party loyalty. Racism is just something created by the media to boost ratings, by demonizing black people. Or, those who are racists just haven’t had the chance to see the humanity of black people and just how badly they’re being hurt by racism.
So naturally, wherever medium of the conversation is being held, the parties involved believe the required method by which a racist can “find religion” is, “They just need to learn more about how black people are just as good and as human as white people are,” “They just need to understand that the politicians, like mean ol’ Donald Trump, just want us all divided for political reasons,” “They just need to stop watching the news so much,” or “They just need to just learn that love conquers all and the value of having unity in our society.”
And after hearing these drawn-out, rhetorical, milk toast, conscience-soothing, lacklusterly controversial conversations countless times over these past several years at various diversity and inclusion panels and webinars and on various liberal and conservative media platforms, I’ve come to the logical conclusion that, no, someone CANNOT unlearn racism. After seeing the overall condition of black people still not improve in this country, in terms of our lack of power, wealth, and influence (aka the ability to get what we need to when we need to and to solely determine our own quality of life), the system of racism would have not endured this long if that were possible.
Before I go any further though, I must clarify a few things. Firstly, the only form of racism is white supremacy. The system of race–the one that determines that we MUST walk around identifying each other by skin color in the first place–was created to designate those who it classifies as “black” as the permanent bottom caste of the society by those who’ve classified themselves as white.
That ideology was passed down through the white generations of this country, and the majority of those who benefit from that system, which gives unearned goodies, giveaways, and benefits to those classified as white, never enacted any kind of thoroughly effective social policy to fully remediate the damage the system of race has inflicted on all the generations of black people living in America.
The whole intended goal of why white supremacy was created, as we’ve seen by the rampant murders of innocent black men, women, and children at the hands of U.S. law enforcement recently, for example, is specifically the degradation and domination of those classified as black. There is no such thing as black racism because black people have nothing to gain socially by mistreating people based on race.
Furthermore, black people don’t have the social power, wealth, and influence to decide where groups of white people will live nor do they have the power to decide what the quality of their lives are going to look like. White people CAN do that to black people with policies like The Highway Act and Imminent Domain.
Furthermore, black people can’t invade the countries of white people nor of other non-white people and impose themselves on any nation economically, for the purposes of increasing their sphere of influence. For example, there’s no black equivalent of how the U.S. promotes and funds Israel’s genocide against the Palestinians. To qualify as a racist, you must not only have the desire to mistreat people based on a racial classification method, you must also possess the power to inflict your will on other groups of people and a protection mechanism in place to protect you from punishment for doing so.
There are no black people who possess these things, not even black celebrities or politicians.
At this point in time of history. we live in the digital age where anything we ever wanted to know is literally at our fingertips. The plight of the American black population has been put in plain view for the entire world to see–to the point where even the Chinese government (who engages in heinous acts against its own citizens) has called out the hypocrisy of the U.S., for its global finger-wagging and at other world governments for the mistreatment of their people.
Countless black scholars and great thinkers, like Dr. Frances Cress Welsing, Fred Hampton, Dr. Ben Yosef-Jochannan, and Ida B. Wells, have painstakingly and masterfully chronicled black people’s struggle, both audibly and literarily. There’re in-depth and detailed accounts that are widely available to the masses portraying the pain and torment black people have been dealt by this country so many enjoy the benefits of. And, the vile stench of human suffering black people are still experiencing is literally impossible for anyone living in America to ignore.
It’s impossible for them to ignore unless, that is, they make a conscious effort to avoid the information out there that clearly defines what must be done to end white supremacy/white privilege. That said, there’s no way the system could have endured as long as it has had a MAJORITY sect of the white population seen the plight of black people (there’s no way anyone could have not) and decided they were going to either continue to promote and maintain the system of white privilege, that they were going to turn a blind eye to it and live out there lives as though their fellow black American citizens were being literally wiped from the face of the Earth.
Racists understand perfectly why black people are being persecuted, and they understand that their degradation is a necessary evil that must exist, even though they might express how wrong and bad they think it is, to keep their white privilege intact.
We live in a world where every white person, no matter how wholesome or even “God-fearing” they claim to be, is taught anti-black sentiments, if not by the parents than by the rest of society, from the time they leave the womb. As Neely Fuller said, the average white kid understands white supremacy by the time they’re around 15-years-old. Eventually, a racist is going to be introduced to information that exposes the white privilege they benefit from in society and how it was achieved through evil and demonic means.
At the moment, they now have the information to make an educated choice. Out of their own free will, they now will choose whether or not they want to do nothing about permanently eradicating this great injustice against black people (which supports racism), if they want to deliberately contribute to maintaining a system that unfairly gives them unearned privileges and benefits, or if they want to actually want to put in the life-long and concerted commitment of work it will take to banish this normalized form of sheer and utter barbarity from what is supposed to be a civilized society.
Once they’ve been exposed to certain information–and everyone is during their lifetime has, whether or not they want to be racist and whether or not they’re committed to putting in a lifetime of work necessary to make black people whole (the only solution to racism) becomes a conscious choice. And, no one can be taught nor can they unlearn what they’ve made a deliberate and purposeful choice to commit to.
One Love & One Justice,
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