shit I’ve learned doing anti racism work on myself

  1. Referring to the rape victims of previous American presidents as ‘black slave mistresses’ makes the rape sound less rapey and more consensual. Please the fuck do not sit still for it.
  2. Yes I’m a racist. I have biases toward people of colour which I can only clearly understand and can frame when I take something like the Harvard Implicit Bias test. That said, I also hated certain European accents back when and assumed the worst of people who spoke with it when I was living in TO and it wasn’t until I had a Polish coworker (thank you Wieslaw) that I finally stopped being an ass about Polish people. The point is that I have some nuance about my own racism and bias. I try not to find it funny, because racism is a kind of social death, but I do make allowances and I don’t wander through the world failing to interrogate my bias. Your senses will deceive you, and your feelings even more. Gotta challenge those bastards
  3. Despite the protestations of some of my friends to the contrary, the language you choose around racism is important. It’s irresponsible to think my words can’t hurt people who are already disadvantaged. If your only disadvantage is that you don’t want to challenge your bias, I’m not going to be tender with your feelings.
  4. I’m still mad at AJR for saying that the personal isn’t political. How a secular Jew could say that blew my fucking mind. <—– bias. On my part. People from disadvantaged groups have more experience of the pointy end of racism and discrimination, but not necessarily the desire, capacity or time to speak eloquently about it. My ire with Alan’s political views had more to do with his refusal to see any sexism in his behaviour than any of his other problematic behaviours, which I could go on about at great length. I learned a great deal from him, but I must acknowledge that the desire to judge badmouth people for not being perfect exemplars of whatever political stripe they own is an ongoing sore trial in my heart and a facet of human behaviour that appears impossible to root out.
  5. There are a lot of statues that need to come down. Ten years ago I thought the statue of Lord Stanley was the best thing ever (because of the words written on the base.) Without understanding the implications of What and Where it was. Now that mofo needs to quit standing on Musqueam land.
  6. I’m a coward. I do not want to tell other white people what to think and I do not want to quote the ‘my black friend says’ and the last three times a white person used openly racist speech I sat like a goddamned idjit and said nothing.
  7. I no longer use Turtle Island black slang to the maximum extent possible. I try to ensure all of my humour codes white. “Ermagerd.”
  8. I no longer tone police angry BIPOC. I used to. Even like two years ago. Now I understand it for the social violence it is. I really, really really had to have my nose rubbed in this.
  9. I never ask BIPOC for an explanation of what they say any more. If there’s something I don’t understand I look it up, get context, and stay out of their mentions. (this means not replying to the BIPOC when I have questions because Black, Indian and Persons of Colour are not my magical mentors, they are human beings living in the world and they don’t owe me anything let alone a gold star for participation in what for me is an intellectual debate and for them is an existential threat)
  10. If I need to go slap a person upside the head for racism and sexism on social media – for the lulz, or for the grandmotherly kindness it represents, who the fuck cares – I talk to them and them alone. I do not drag the person of colour back into the debate looking for cookies about what a great ally I am. In the first place I’m NOT THE GREAT WHITE ALLY AND in the second place it’s harassing the wrong person.
  11. Nothing in the world looks the same and I fucking hate it. I’m crying as I type this. When I watch TV and it’s the stock magical negro warrior, or sassy black friend, or stone faced FN warrior in greasepaint, do-ragged felon, high-cheeked shaman in feathers and leathers, I see the blood in the gears of a finely meshed racist capitalism. I see the hushing of uppity women and the crushing of tender-hearted men. I see the eradication of humans in the desire to simplify life for lazy people. I see how any exploration of gender and class and race is compressed to soundbites and aphorisms; MLK quotes hang around the necks of confederate generals and there’s neither irony or history involved.
  12. speaking of history, white Canadians got a really ghastly, edited, racist, Christianized and genocidal version and finding something better isn’t easy


oldfud version: Who the hell knows what Allegra is angry about now. Hope she feels better, lancing that boil.

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Born when atmospheric carbon was 316 PPM. Settled on MST country since 1997. Parent, grandparent.

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