Is Not Being Racist Enough?

Sunday, June 14

By Lujain Maksoud

I recently read the novel All American Boys, from the perspectives of two teenage boys, Rashad and Quinn, during a time where their whole neighborhood is divided by racial tension. Rashad is unfairly attacked by a cop, and Quinn happens to witness this attack. To make matters worse, the cop is someone Quinn considers to be family, so it makes for a memorable plot.

It's a very gripping story, speaking on important topics and doing it in an excellent manner. Books like this must be read, so do consider putting it on your TBR. Anyways, believe it or not, I'm not actually here to give you book suggestions...okay maybe I am, but I'm also here to speak on racism.

Whilst reading this novel, a specific passage forced me to stop and think, and while I do often take breaks to digest what I've just read, it's never as long as I had to stop for this specific passage. Without giving much away, Quinn was claiming to not be a racist, "I'm not racist!" he exclaimed, to which the person he was talking to replied with "Not like KKK racist. I don't think most people think they're racist. But every time something like this happens, you could, say, 'Not my problem' You could also say, 'it's a one-time thing' every time it happened" 

At this, I was finally able to understand why so many people choose to remain silent on pressing issues, specifically racism. They think that staying neutral doesn't make them bad, because they're not the ones causing the problems, so they can't possibly be racist themselves...right? 

In reality, and as many of us already know, staying silent and remaining on the sidelines is just as bad as participating in the discriminatory acts themselves, especially if you're a white person who could be using your privilege to help out those that need it. If you think that doing nothing makes you not a racist, then you should be reminded that you're in fact a part of this problem, you're letting this happen instead of helping put an end to it. I realised a while back that this is something we need to discuss more often, because so long as people continue to believe its not their problem, and that they don't have to get involved, we will never see an end to the discrimination.  

So as was stated in the novel, you're probably not KKK racist...but really, is that enough?

 

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