What is Anti-Racist?
"Race does not biologically exist, yet how we identify with race is so powerful, it influences our experiences and shapes our lives. In a society that privileges white people and whiteness, racist ideas are considered normal throughout our media, culture, social systems, and institutions. Historically, racist views justified the unfair treatment and oppression of people of color (including enslavement, segregation, internment, etc.). We can be led to believe that racism is only about individual mindsets and actions, yet racist policies also contribute to our polarization. While individual choices are damaging, racist ideas in policy have a wide-spread impact by threatening the equity of our systems and the fairness of our institutions. To create an equal society, we must commit to making unbiased choices and being antiracist in all aspects of our lives." - Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture
America’s dominant cultural lens and narrative center on white people and portray the country’s past primarily as a story of social innovation and progress.
Within this narrative, modern problems like poverty and crime are individual and communal failings, and, by extension, racial disparities are indicative of poor choices or behavioral patterns, not historical and continued discrimination. This narrative minimizes or erases the impact of the human trafficking and bondage of people of African descent and the subsequent terrorizing and humiliation of Black people through violence, the Black Codes, and Jim Crow. Additionally, it implicitly perpetuates the belief that white people are doing better because they are inherently better or are working harder, laying the bedrock for white supremacy. - The Urban Institute - How We Should Talk about Racial Disparities
How to be Anti-Racist
"Being anti-racist means more than ridding yourself of racist attitudes, beliefs and behaviors. It means you're also actively fighting that reprehensible trinity as it manifests in your life on a daily basis." - CNN - How to be anti-racist: Speak out in your own circles
Additional resources on how to be Anti-Racist
The novel coronavirus and the knee that Derek Chauvin casually placed on George Floyd’s neck for close to nine minutes have shown the exact same thing: there is a racial hierarchy in the U.S., and people of color–particularly black people–are at the bottom of it.
At this point, several months into the pandemic, most people are aware that COVID-19 has disproportionately killed black people in the U.S. In Louisiana, black people account for more than 53% of those who have died from COVID-19, although they make up only 33% of the population in the state. In Cook County, Illinois, they have made up 35% of the county’s COVID-19 deaths while constituting 23% of the population. In New York City, which was until recently the epicenter of the coronavirus out-break in the U.S., preliminary statistics show that the COVID-19 mortality rate for black people was 92.3 per 100,000 people. For white people, however, it was less than half of that: 45.2 per 100,000 people. These numbers make clear that the novel coronavirus is not a great equalizer–posing the same risk to everyone regardless of race. On the contrary, COVID-19 has revealed stark, but wholly familiar, racial inequities in health. - Time - The Many Ways Institutional Racism Kills Black People
Additional Resources of Institutionalized Racism