This sentence, right here, is the sentence that gives you away as someone who has never examined racism, oppression, or privilege in the United States. White people who have studied racism never say, “I am not racist.” They know that is a foolish thing to say. They know that by virtue of being white, they are part of a group that systemically and institutionally oppresses black people. They know they are racist by virtue of being part of a racist group. They may not be racist on an interpersonal level (or they think so anyway — then they may take the Implicit Association Test from Harvard on subsconscious racism and find out differently). In fact, the IAT lets us know that even among the people who say they are the least racist, up springs bias in unconscious tests. White people who know the most about racism know all about our privileges. For example, they know white people benefit from being able to cross the country without fear for the safety, not so with black people. That’s just one example. If you want to try to be “the least racist white person” people ever meet, you have a lot of things left to learn. First, google, “what does it mean to be an ally to be black people?”
Then, you can google “what are whites’ attitudes toward racism?” You’ll find they rarely think it’s their job to confront it, instead putting all of the onus on black people to do it.
From the Huffington Post:
“Only 22 percent of white people said they had confronted someone in person in the last year over a racist or prejudiced comment; 14 percent said they had confronted someone online. Just 8 percent said they’d contacted a politician or signed a petition about an issue related to racism, while 4 percent said they’d volunteered or donated to an organization that works to oppose racism. The overwhelming majority — 65 percent — said they hadn’t done any of those things.”
Multiple studies have shown that white people think racism is over (here, here, and here). This is a ludicrous belief with mountains of evidence to contradict it. Yet, white people persist in believing racism is over in huge numbers. Interestingly, as they point to Obama as evidence that racism is over, only 40% of white people voted for Obama. In addition, 51% of white people openly subscribe to racist sentiments. The most precious finding of all is how many white people actually think racism against them is now the problem.
I could actually go on and on with things ranging from how many white people know who Madam C.J. Walker is to how many white people know what the results of the EEOC testing for employment, mortgage lending, and housing are. But, I don’t really need to prove a case made daily by white people in their statements like, “But I don’t see race.”