A Facebook Update For Anyone Who's Ever Said, 'I Am Not Racist'
I saw this status update on one of those painful news days when my feed was swept by righteous anger and wheel-spinning debate. The poster, Conor Foley, was kind enough to let me share it with you. Hopefully you'll pass it on too.
"Too often I allow myself to be silent in the face of polarizing arguments had on social media, especially when those arguments involve privilege. I legitimize my withdrawal with the claim that 'I don't use Facebook that way' when in fact I do regularly consume the words and experiences of others in this space.
Fear of being called out or uncertainty of my own motivations for posting (often to receive accolades) are two common motivators for my inaction.
However, the most significant cause is my own entrenched investment in my privilege. This process of withdrawal and self-assurance is exactly the type of behavior that stokes the fires of racism. The same fire fueled Darren Wilson's actions and the actions and words of many others in the physical and online racial attacks that have ensued.
I speak now because I am motivated by a different fear. The fear that if I do not speak I will lose the fight for my humanity. By speaking up we are engaging in healing, both communal and personal. There are lots of stories and accounts to be read today. I suggest a close reading of your own story of action and inaction in the face of racism."
Foley's recommended reading: