Opinion Racism

Is being not racist enough?

“I’m not racist.”

Have you heard people say this? Have you said it?

What does this mean exactly? What does it mean to be not racist?

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Does being not racist mean you don’t call people names based on their skin colour? Does it mean that you treat everyone the same regardless of skin colour? Does it mean your best friend is black? Does it mean your child’s girlfriend is indigenous? Does it mean that you took a Native Studies class? Does it mean that you feel bad for the injustices of the past directed at people of colour?

Here’s another question.

Is being not racist the same as being anti-racist?

Do you respond when you see racist comments on social media? Do you intervene when you see a security guard following a person of colour in a store? Do you speak up when a family member goes on an anti-immigrant tirade at Thanksgiving? Do you counter racist comments made in class or in the workplace?

Okay. So you’re not racist. Is that enough?

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By Kim Siever

Kim Siever is an independent queer journalist based in Lethbridge, Alberta. He writes daily news articles, focusing on politics and labour.

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