“She’s such a racist.” How many times have we heard that among friends, whether it describes a community leader, politician, or relative? That label lets the speaker off the hook, implying that racism is something foreign to her, and a flaw on the part of the other.
Many of us involved in justice work recognize the way in which racism is not just a description of an individual’s prejudice against difference. Rather, it is systemic. Communities of color are disproportionately affected by injustices of all kinds – environmental, economic, and criminal, to name a few in particular that PCG works to address. Thus, we recognize that all of us – no matter where we live, what we look like, or even what we think – are implicated in these systems.
Yet even this more nuanced acknowledgment allows for a kind of shrugging off of blame. “It’s systemic!” obscures the ways in which each of us carry our prejudices with us.
We invite you to Urban Faith’s website, where John Sholar addresses the subject of responsibility in acknowledging racism.
As you react to his piece, you may find your voice resonates with his or that you strongly separate your experience from the author’s. Either way, you will have a chance to build on that moment for reflection if you are able to join us at Defamation: the play.