To the extent that we assume that people of color, who have been oppressed by people of our race for generations, have the same perspective and view of the world that we do, we are racist.
To the extent that we expect people of color to respond in the same way to similar situations as we do, we are racist.
To the extent that we fail to acknowledge that we continue to benefit at the expense of people of color, we are racist.
To the extent that we believe that we are “color blind” and aren’t affected by the exclusion, exploitation, and even extermination of people of color, we are racist.
To the extent that we believe that there is a “level playing field” where everyone has the same opportunity to realize their dreams and fulfill their potential, we are racist.
When we deny our racism, we deny the effects of the sins of our race against those who are the same as us except for the color of our skin.
When we deny our racism, we justify the privilege that has been gained on the backs of people held in slavery and diminished by discrimination.
When we condemn racist acts of others but deny our own racism, we put the evil of racism in a box composed of few bad people. This allows us to forget what our ancestors have done and what it’s like to live as the wrong race in a culture and economy built on racism.
We can only benefit at the expense of others to the extent that we close our hearts. Acknowledging our racism allows us to open our hearts and be open to the lessons we need to learn in order to discover how to live in harmony.
We acknowledge our racism to remind us of all that is and has been lost by our culture’s disregard for the gifts and potential of many people of color.
When we acknowledge our racism, we can begin to understand the effects of our attitudes and actions on people of color whether or not that matches our intentions.
We acknowledge our racism to remind us that the nature of love is all-inclusive and that boundaries on love turn a flowing river into a shallow puddle.
Acknowledging our racism can restore our humility and our humanity.
Racism is not only a political problem to be solved by laws and politicians. It is a personal problem that needs to be solved by each one of us.
Racism is not always conscious or intentional.
Everyone is diminished by racism, those who carry out racist acts as well as those who suffer the consequences, those who ignore it as well as those who tolerate it.
This is not about guilt. It is about responsibility. Acknowledging racism is a statement of fact, not an accusation of evil.
We need to acknowledge all forms, levels, and degrees of racism before we can put an end to it. The best place to start is within our own hearts.