White people must hold each other accountable for racism

White people must hold each other accountable for racism

I’m getting tired. Tired of seeing people rationalize, normalize and sympathize with Nazis and white supremacists. Tired of seeing people going to great lengths to somehow draw a jagged, unclear parallel between white supremacists and the Black Lives Matter movement.

To put it simply, I am tired of people being racist, then being afraid of being called “racist.” I am tired of the nuance, the code words, the defending of racism, the lack of condemnation of neo-Nazis, those that are silent when they hear something racist, those that somehow think they were granted the right to say the “n” word. As a white person, I am tired of other white people that think racial issues are “made up” to help keep minorities oppressed. I am tired of seeing white people turn a white supremacist rally into “two sides of horrible people [that] are at fault for the violence that engulfed Charlottesville this past weekend,” as my fellow opinions columnist Nicolas Briscoe stated. I am tired of white people thinking that the term “horrible people” can equally describe white supremacists and activists. Is it so horrible to think that the life of a black person should matter just as much as the life of a white person? 

I am tired of white people that will use their social media to complain about how our race relations in the current day were perpetuated by Barack Obama or to try to delegitimize black people and their opinions. I am tired of seeing white people write the equivalent of a ten page paper with annotations, a bibliography, and a table of contents trying to justify how they themselves are not racist but will not even attempt to actually condemn racist people and institutions. Or even worse, complaining about our current race relations, asking what our world has come to, and then proceeding to parallel racism that white people perpetuate and “racism” that black people perpetuate, when the two are simply not comparable. 

If you do not condemn something, or are passive in its happening, or in its presence, you are inherently condoning that action. As white people, we have the opportunity to call out racist statements or actions by other white people. If we stand in the face of racists and continue to do nothing, we are perpetuating that ideology. No matter if they are neo-Nazis or classmates less overt with their prejudices, letting a fellow white person know what they are doing is wrong and unacceptable is holding a fellow citizen accountable for the well-being and security of minorities all over America. Being a white person and remaining silent is inexcusable; remaining silent leads to violence. 

And if I, as a white person, am tired of this ideology of passivity, the endless excuses for white supremacists, the out-of-sight-out-of-mind mentality, and the inaccurate parallel between neo-Nazis and Black Lives Matter activists, then imagine what actually being black in America might feel like. Imagine how tired our Black brothers and sisters are. 

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