Stop Being So Polite

Though these problems have been insidious in America far before the incidents in Charlottesville, if this is the wake up call you need to remind yourself that you need to be part of the voice that counters the racial violence, use it. The recent tragic events have forced our hand as a country to work harder to abandon the politics of politeness. Though never acceptable, now more than ever it is crucial that you not dismiss your family members subtle racist remarks or a slur you hear in passing. I read a quote that says we need to make it “haaaard as fuck to be racist in America,” and I think that’s something that as whole we have not required yet. Often people are quick to condemn radical racists, such as those rioting in Charlottesville or at a Donald Trump rally, but are far more subdued when confronted with a classmate or coworker who you thought always seemed “so nice” until they said that one thing. It is not, and never will be, enough to become quietly uncomfortable with their remarks. Call them out openly, to their face, in public. Do not treat them as you would with a person you disagree with anything else on, their opinion is not to be respected. There is no agree to disagree in this case. It is okay, encouraged actually, to embarrass people who have no regard for someone solely for the color of their skin. White supremacists do not get room to breathe in a world that they think only they are entitled to. Do not fear hurting their feelings or destroying relationships, because they are not worth preserving.

Be quick to point out microaggressions too. Though these are more subtle, and sometimes those committing these acts may be unaware of the weight of their actions or words, teach them. Just because they may be ignorant to the situation does not give them a pass; they still need to be held accountable for their actions and hopefully learn to think more critically about it in the future.

These sentiments have always been here in our own backyard, but now groups are unafraid to act bolder than they have in decades, pushing progress in the opposite direction than it should be. In response, we, being literally anyone who does not align themselves with white supremacy, no matter how “moderate” you think you are, need to get even bolder. Set an example, speak up, be rude as hell if you need to.

 

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