If you claim that you are not a racist person (or, at least, that you’re committed to working your ass off not to be one—which is really the best that any of us can promise), then you must believe that people are fundamentally born equal. So if that’s true, then in a vacuum, factors like skin color should have no effect on anyone’s success. Right? And therefore, if you really believe that all people are created equal, then when you see that drastic racial inequalities exist in the real world, the only thing that you could possibly conclude is that some external force is holding certain people back. Like…racism. Right? So congratulations! You believe in racism! Unless you don’t actually think that people are born equal. And if you don’t believe that people are born equal, then you’re a fucking racist.
Lindy West on racism
I don’t know why it took me a whole day to read this, but yeah it was predictably brilliant and fabulously Lindy. This is such a great summary of the problem with “not believing” in structural inequality.
I had the good fortune to read this on the train home, surrounded by a young multicultural hoard heading out for a Friday evening. It was fascinating to listen in on conversations for the rest of the commute.