Screenshot via Puzzle Warehouse

I see so many people complain about how "everything is racist these days" and "people just blame white supremacy for everything."

Yeah. You know why? Because racism and white supremacy actually are infused and embedded into almost everything in our country. We're just finally starting to acknowledge it.

And by "we," I mean white folks.

(To be clear, when I talk about white supremacy, I'm not just talking about the extremist/Neo-Nazi/KKK hate groups. I'm referring to the notion, conscious or unconscious, that white people are preferable, better, more deserving, or otherwise superior to non-white people—a notion that was widely accepted among white people throughout American history.)

The vast majority of people of color in America already know this to be true and have always known it to be true. White Americans, by and large, have been ignorant, oblivious, or in denial about how America's legacy of white supremacy impacts us.

There's a reason for this:

Keep Reading Show less
Culture

I grew up black in a very white neighborhood in a very white city in a very white state.

As such, I am a lot of people's only black friend.

Being the only black friend is a gift and a curse. I am black and I love having friends. But I am also, at any given moment, expected to be a translator, an ambassador, a history teacher, and/or a walking, talking invitation into "I am not racist" territory. It's a lot to handle. See what I mean about that curse?

Keep Reading Show less
Culture

Nebraska state senator John McCollister took to Twitter over the weekend, calling out the Republican party's enabling of white supremacy and tolerance of racism. The kicker? He himself is a lifelong Republican.

Senater McCollister wrote in a series of tweets:

"The Republican Party is enabling white supremacy in our country. As a lifelong Republican, it pains me to say this, but it's the truth."

Daaaaang. He just went and dropped the bomb right out of the gate. Even with the "not all Republicans" caveat, he still spoke his truth.

Keep Reading Show less
Democracy

Whenever someone's words or behavior are called out as racist, a few predictable responses always follow. One is to see the word "racist" as a vicious personal attack. Two is to vehemently deny that whatever was said or done was racist. And three is to pull out the dictionary definition of racism to prove that the words or behavior weren't racist.

Honestly, as soon as someone refers to the dictionary when discussing racism, it's clear that person has never delved deeply into trying to understand racism. It's a big old red flag, every time.

I'm not an expert on race relations, but I've spent many years learning from people who are. And I've learned that the reality of racism is nuanced and complex, and resorting to a short dictionary definition completely ignores that fact. The dictionary can't include all of the ways racism manifests in individuals and society, and the limitations of dictionary definitions make it a poor tool for discussing the topic.

Since "racism" is such a loaded term for many people, let's look at such limitations through a different complex word. Let's take "anxiety." According to Merriam-Webster, "anxiety" is defined as "apprehensive uneasiness or nervousness, usually over an impending or anticipated ill."

Keep Reading Show less
Democracy