When it comes to the topic of racism in modern day America, there are many controversial takes on what classifies as racist behavior and rhetoric, compared to dark humor and cultural insensitivity that some groups of people may be hyper aware of. The truth of the matter however is that it all depends on perspective.
Racism is defined as ‘prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against a person or people on the basis of their membership in a particular racial or ethnic group, typically one that is a minority or marginalized.’ While this definition is generally concise in its observation of what racism is, it’s the term ‘antagonism’ that finds the root of my argument.
For a lot of whites people in the modern day, not saying the n-word or being a certified white nationalist is enough to classify themselves as non-racist. To the black majority however, microaggressions and general antagonism against anti-racism plights is enough to solidify your spot as the opposition.
It comes down to the age of adage that speaks to all evil needing to succeed is for good men and women to do nothing. It’s fine if you claim that you aren’t racist yourself, but the scars of racism are still alive and well in the institutions that the white forefathers established centuries ago.
The antagonism and disregard for the impacts that racism has on black America is rooted in a lack of accountability on behalf of white Americans, and I understand. By and large, most white people were born into their own set of unfavorable circumstances, but ultimately, at least they have a puncher's chance at living out the American dream, regardless of talent.
For black people, racism is an aspect of our existence that is a constant factor in much of our decision making. From how we apply to jobs, how we raise our kids, and how we view ourselves in the world is all reflective of the historical mistreatment and disenfranchisement of black interests in the United States.
No, not every white person is responsible for that treatment, and anyone born after the 1990s likely doesn’t even understand the world of racism as an integral part of our political system within the United States. So the golden question ultimately becomes, is it racist to not care about racism in a generation of white Americans that has no personal stock in it?
The easy answer would be yes, in a world of instant information and shared perspectives through social media, it should be your responsibility as a white person to right the situations that your ancestors made wrong.