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This is the Closing Ceremony for our look at Jona Olsson's Detour Spotting. The conclusion is, in fact, the beginning. Here is Ms. Olsson's final statement:


Once identified, behaviors like those above are possible to change. The patterns are repeated less often. We re-educate and re-tool ourselves to take more potent anti-racist action. Each anti-racist action we take brings new challenges and learning, propels us forward smarter, more confident, better prepared and most importantly, more effective. Every experience takes us deeper into new territory and the complexities of racism, expanding our vision of the possibilities of a future without racism. Each turn brings us face to face with another set of potential detours and reversals. Like traveling unmarked roads, staying on the right track demands constant attention and intention.

Racism oppresses and exploits people of color. While it grants white people undeniable advantages and benefits, racism also robs each of us of our full humanity. We didn’t construct racism; we inherited it. But the unchallenged perpetuation of racism is our responsibility. Racism continues in the name of all white people.

People of color will continue to demand their rights, opportunities and full personhood. But racism in North America won’t end because people of color demand it. Racism will only end when a significant number of white people of conscience, the

people who can wield systemic privilege and power with integrity, find the will and take the action to dismantle it. That won’t happen until white people find racism in our daily consciousness as often as people of color do. For now we have to drag racism into our consciousness intentionally, for unlike our sisters and brothers of color, the most present daily manifestation of our white privilege is the possibility of forgetting about racism.

We cannot.

While there is nothing about racism to celebrate, there is much to celebrate in a life lived in the pursuit of justice. It is the work of a lifetime.

Here is what we need to remember always: we are all human beings. We deserve a certain level of respect when we talk with each other. We need to listen to each other, to really hear what is being said, not what we think we heard. And we need to back off of ego, to not react to the statements out of our personal desire to be right or to claim harm, but to comprehend the truth of what is said.

Racism is more than just hating someone because of how they look. We have seen how the socioeconomic elements have what could be a devastating impact on the choices people make when it comes to race in America. We always have to keep in mind that this is a lot more complex than it is usually characterized. We are all trying to live good lives. Racism clearly is having an impact on a segment of the population and has created a lot of the issues we are seeing. Justice is severely lacking.

Helping to support all of our citizens rather than criticizing them for what they do, based on the limited choices they have, is just one aspect of this. And it's through helping that we can improve things. It is reliant on those with power to step up and help those without. So, just as we shouldn't kick someone when they are down, we also shouldn't ridicule someone for not succeeding. We need to help them succeed because that benefits ourselves, our country and our world.

As we have stated, a big stumbling block are those white people who aren't economically well off. They are more likely to be the perpetrators of (or the victims of) the thoughts that People of Color are the reason why they aren't successful. As long as those beliefs are held, we will continue on the path of no progress. Breaking that mindset and helping people reach an understanding is crucial as we move forward.

But this demonstrates just how complicated this situation is. It's psychological. It's sociologicial. It's moral. It's personal. It involves the things we were taught as children to the myths we were given by the media. It incorporates all of the elements we think of as facts. We are not always so quick to release what our parents and grandparents told us was true. We aren't always willing to deny a story when it's from a news source we trust.

We need to stay focused. But we can't be too patient, not anymore. 2019 will mark the four-hundredth anniversary of slaves arriving in North America. The fact that we are still dealing with racism in America, almost four centuries after this hideous and heinous crime was perpetrated against humanity on this soil proves that patience has nearly run out. We need to resolve this before we get very far into the fifth century, for our collective sake.

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
22. Day 22 - Smoke and Mirrors
23. Day 23 - Personal Work
24. Day 24 - Whites Only
25. Day 25 - The Accountant
26. Day 26 - Innocence
27. Day 27 - Silence
28. Day 28 - Exhaustion

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