One thought on “More on being racist

  1. I’m still open to being convinced otherwis, but none of the arguments in the related posts really make the case for me, either personally (convincing me to say I’m a racist) or pedagogically (teaching others via the same method). I’ve definitely learned from reading them, though. I’m not particularly inner-oriented and prefer to think of the problem as something you need to address through your actions, no matter how you feel. In other words, for me being a racist IS bad, NOT being a racist is a duty and a responsibility, and so is calling out other people when they fail this duty.
    If someone harbors prejudice because of a wide variety of reasons – maybe all their encounters with another race were negative, maybe their parents taught them to be racist, or the media, or they just come from a homogenous rural place and are actually scared of people that don’t look like them – it seems more consistent to figure out some way to teach them, “you have a duty as a citizen and human being not to be racist, and other people have that same duty as well, here are some guidelines on how to live by that principle.”
    There is no way I am going to use the straight-up “everybody’s racist” approach in my ESL class when we do culture modules… but these posts do suggest that we should pay more attention to the word and that I should ask questions like “how have you heard this word used? Who do you think is a racist? Is it always bad to be a racist? Why? Who do you know that is a racist? Do you think it can be said that everybody is a racist, in some way?” and see what comes out.

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