The Two Things about Racism Most Americans Don’t Understand

1. “Racism” is not identical to “prejudice.”

2. It is possible to be racist without being prejudiced.

  • #ACAB: “All Cops Are Bastards.” On the surface, this seems, well, prejudicial; and, on the surface, it is. I may be going out on a limb somewhat when I say this, but I do believe it and I stand by this belief: There are good apples in our law-enforcement agencies. “Not all cops,” to co-opt the slogan. This being said, the distinction I made above — being racist without being prejudiced; refusing to engage in a corrupt power structure but also refusing to dismantle it — applies here too. If you are a cop and you see a fellow cop abuse their power, and you don’t say anything, are you guilty of a crime? Yes. Are you as guilty as that other cop? No, absolutely not; but you are still a non-zero quantity of guilty. You are still a non-zero quantity of bastard. All cops must be bastards because that’s the only way corruption could have penetrated America’s police departments as thoroughly as it has. Even if you aren’t prejudicial, even if you aren’t a bad cop, you are still a bastard. And that’s something every law-enforcement officer in the nation will have to face in the mirror some day.
  • #NotAllMen. Well… Similarly to the above: yes, all men. Unless you are speaking out about; unless you are fighting the systemic corruption introduced by rape culture. Some do. Not enough do. And until the work is done, I — as a man — will continue to say, with a mixture of both defiance and sadness, “Yes, All Men.”
  • And finally, a truly insidious thought: Are all Americans racist? Every single one of us? Regardless of their personal actions, regardless of their personal prejudices? You can guess what my answer is.

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We don’t have the right to live in a world that satisfies our moral sensibilities. We DO, however, get to CREATE one. Here’s how we do it.

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Perspectives in C

Perspectives in C

We don’t have the right to live in a world that satisfies our moral sensibilities. We DO, however, get to CREATE one. Here’s how we do it.

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