Anti-racism is a term that many people hear, but they might not know what it means. However, in order to fully understand the term anti-racist, we must first learn the definitions for two other words, racism and a “not racist.”
The first definition we need to know is the meaning of the word racism. According to the National League of Cities, “Racism is a system of oppression that is based in and upholds the superiority of White people and the inferiority of Black, Indigenous and People of Color. Racism was created by and upheld through policies, practices and procedures to create inequities between racial groups.”
Now we need to know the definition of a “not racist.” The National League of Cities wrote that a “not racist” refers to “a passive response to the generational trauma and pain inflicted on Black, Indigenous and People of Color in the United States.” They also noted that it does not require action, which is an important part of the definition.
Finally, we can now learn the definition of anti-racism. According to the Alberta Civil Liberties Research Centre, Anti-racism is “the active process of identifying and eliminating racism by changing systems, organizational structures, policies and practices and attitudes, so that it is redistributed and shared equitably.” Anti-racism is more than just being a “not racist” person, it’s about proactively defeating racism. It’s a call to action.
Many people call themselves anti-racists, but only do things like post pictures of Black Lives Matter marches on social media and say things like “I don’t see color.” Although they have a good mindset towards racism, the actions that they are taking are unacceptable. We as a society need to take steps to put an end to racism instead of simply posting a photo and saying a few simple words that make little to no impact on defeating racism.
For example, when we hear someone being racist we should step in and do something about it. Whether it’s calling the racist person out or educating them on what’s right and wrong. And it shouldn’t be a one time thing, we need to constantly put an end to racism once and for all. This one extra step that we can take throughout our day will separate us from being people who are “not racist” to being anti-racists.
Not only should we all be anti-racists, we should all embrace being anti-racists. Embracing anti-racism changes the attitudes that we have towards any diverse individual. It helps us remember that we are all equal and it’s something that we should take pride in.