The opposite of racism is admitting when we’re being racist

“Historically, the heartbeat of racism has been denial — to deny that one’s ideas are racist, one’s policies are racist, and certainly that oneself, and one’s nation, is racist. By contrast, the heartbeat of anti-racism is confession, admission, acknowledgement, the willingness to be vulnerable, the willingness to identify the times in which we are being racist, being willing to diagnose ourselves and our country and our ideas and our policies. …

“To grow up in America is to grow up with racist ideas constantly raining down on your head — and you have no umbrella, and you don’t even know that you’re wet with those racist ideas, because those racist ideas themselves cause you to imagine that you’re dry. And then someone comes along and says, you’re wet, and these ideas are still raining on your head — here’s an umbrella. You can be like, thank you! I didn’t even realize I was drenched!

“[So] essentially, to be anti-racist is to admit when we’re being racist. [In my book] I had to basically admit and chronicle some of the most shameful moments of my life. … It took me almost a year to write the first few chapters.”

-Ibram X. Kendi, via Unlocking Us (Brené Brown)

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