Friday, December 8, 2017

These Are All the Racist Things You Must Believe to Think Racism is No Longer a Serious Problem

When they think no one's watching, white people like to indulge in what I've begun calling white bonding. White bonding is when white people remove their veneer of civility, quit pretending to be "colorblind" and anti-racist, and say what they really think.

It's when your racist uncle makes fun of your cousin for dating a black guy, or your racist boss implies that a client's blackness reveals something about them. It's the moment when your co-worker tells a racist joke, or your great-aunt starts referring to people of color as "they" and "them." Every white person has seen this. Which means that, deep down, every white person knows that racism is still very real.

Maybe that's why white people get so defensive about racism. We see it all the time. We know it happens. Some of us are complicit in it. Yet white people continue to deny that racism is a real problem. We accuse our black friends of "playing the race card." We act as if differences of opinion about the full humanity of people of color are trivial.