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We have been going through Jona Olsson's essay about race in America and why we cannot seem to dismantle the issues we have between white people and many minority groups in this country. Giving it the title Detour-Spotting, she is spotting every detour we take when on the road to resolving our racist behavior.

I think the topic for today is one of the smallest fractions of the pie when it comes to issues that need to be addressed, but it certainly belongs on the list, so let's give it a look.

22) Smoke and Mirrors

We use the current politically correct language; we listen to the right music; we state the liberal line; we’re seen at the right meetings with the right people. We even interrupt racist remarks when the right people are watching and when there is no risk to us. We look like anti-racists.

Reality Check and Consequence

This is the “Avon Ally,” the cosmetic approach. People of color and other white anti-racists see through this pretense quickly. This pseudo-anti-racist posturing only serves to collude with racism and weakens the credibility of sincere white anti-racists.

The people Ms. Olsson is describing in today's topic fall into a very specific category. These are people who don't understand the stakes of what minority citizens face when it comes to racism, who don't have the empathy needed to view and fully comprehend the circumstances their fellow Americans are protesting. In short, we are talking about those who find the discussion of racism as something that can get them likes on social media or accolades from friends, family and neighbors, but think it's just a game to play.

That sort of thinking is still rooted in the concept of minorities not quite being human. It's a level of thoughtlessness that people protesting the death of an animal at the hands of an abuser would not allow. Yet, that same respect and dignity is not offered here.

Though, I have to say, I would prefer someone at least pretending to be an anti-racist to someone who isn't even putting any effort into it. There's always the chance that some of those actions could sink in and make an impact!

Previous thinkposts in this series:

1. Day One - I'm Colorblind
2. Day Two - Bootstrap Theory
3. Day Three - Reverse Racism
4. Day Four - Blame The Victim
5. Day Five - The White Knight
6. Day Six - Lighten Up
7. Day Seven - Don't Blame Me
8. Day Eight - BWAME
9. Day Nine - We Have Overcome
10. Day Ten - The End Run
11. Day Eleven - Due Process
12. Day Twelve - By Association
13. Day Thirteen - The Penitent
14. Day Fourteen - White Wash
15. Day Fifteen - Not Here

XX. Intermission

16. Day Sixteen - Former Life
17. Day 17 - Straightening Up
18. Day 18 - The Isolationist
19. Day 19 - Blackwards
20. Day 20 - Teach Me
21. Day 21 - White on White

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November 2017


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