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Recently at work, we had a town hall discussion about racism and BLM. Of course, all opinions were welcome as along as the opinion toed the party line. Anything outside that narrow window was shouted down. But that’s a discussion for a different day (or maybe not… I’m tired of it all). During the discussion one person posited:
“People are getting defensive about being called a racist. While it is certainly true that there is systemic, institutional racism [Editors note: this of course goes without saying, and goes unquestioned], that doesn’t mean everyone is a racist. There are things we need to improve.”
This was not good enough for another co-worker:
“NO!! EVERYONE is a racist! We are all racists!”
This was met with applause and commendation.
This got me thinking: If we are all racists, then what value does it mean to call someone out as a racist? Why should someone be punished specially for making racist remarks. Look, he’s no better or worse than the rest of us – we are all racist, we are all tainted. Why should anyone be fired or called for making racist remarks? We all harbor that kind of hate inside of us.
By proclaiming that everyone is a racist, we have cheapened truly offensive remarks, and normalized truly hateful people. When everyone is a racist, then no one is….Published in