The #BlackLivesMatter movement has really exposed what everyone’s politics are, and racists are being outed left, right and centre.
I’ve compiled a bunch of common arguments on how to approach these racists, but bear in mind this disclaimer: some people don’t care about facts, self improvement, or if what they’re saying is wrong because they don’t find shame in being racist.
These people can’t really be argued with, because they don’t have a desire to change, and don’t see racism to be as heinous as it is. For these people, I recommend you save your mental health and just block them, TBH.
Fellow white people,
If during this last week or so, you’ve gotten tired of explaining Racism 101 to your less informed white friends, think of how our Black and brown friends feel!
— Allie Goertz (@AllieGoertz) June 8, 2020
“I’m Not Racist, But…”
Ah, classic. Many people don’t seem to realise that racism isn’t limited to physical attacks, slurs, and outwardly saying that someone hates a certain race. There are far more subtle but just as insidious ways of being racist – and their subtlety is often used to deem them acceptable.
Upholding a system that enables racism is still being complicit in racism (conservative voters, I’m looking at you), and silence is complicit too. There’s no neutrality when it comes to racism – either you are an anti-racist, or you are complicit in racism and therefore part of the problem and one with the racists.
This Instagram post by @ogorchukwuu gives examples of “racial gaslighting”, which is a form of really subtle racist behaviour that is used to discredit the experiences, voices, arguments and feelings of BIPOC. I highly recommend checking it out (and their other posts), and calling this behaviour out when you see it.
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“You’re Importing American Politics, We Don’t Have A Racism Problem Here.”
UGH, this one annoys me. A certain Aussie PM recently said something like this in a presser, and the absolute cacausity to make this kind of statement on STOLEN LAND, where Aboriginal people are literally still getting erased via institutional murder and the removal of children is astoundingly ignorant and yes, racist.
I’m a Kiwi and was working in the US, to make a point about racism in Australia I called an Aussie co-worker over and asked her what Aboriginals are like in Aus. She said they were drunken homeless layabouts. Everyone else’s jaws dropped, I was like annnnd there’s my point.
— He waka eke noa // We’re all in this together #BLM (@cheekyhobbit) June 6, 2020
The stolen generations never ended. Aboriginal children are still being removed from their parents, with child-removal rates actually increasing after Kevin Rudd’s apology. The Australian state is still actively committing genocide against Aboriginal people (yes, removal of children from their families and culture is listed by definition as a form of genocide), and it only takes a few quick googles to find the necessary history and stats to prove this.
Just recently, Peter Dutton tried to legalise deporting Aboriginal people. Imagine trying to deport people from their own land after erasing their population and history. The Guardian also just released a pretty fucking sad report on Australian’s attitudes toward Indigenous people.
Same with other minorities saying “cops kill us too” OKAY SO FIGHT AGAINST POLICE BRUTALITY!!!
— echevarria 🍃 (@drawntosenia) June 3, 2020
“But They Put Everyone At Risk Of Coronavirus By Protesting. They’re Selfish.”
Has everyone forgotten the Ruby Princess debacle?! The state allowed 2,700 passengers to disembark the ship when it docked in Sydney on March 19, during peak coronavirus time. The ship is now linked to 22 deaths and almost 700 cases of the coronavirus. There’s an inquiry being held right now as to why on earth this was allowed.
On the same day as nation-wide protests, North Sydney markets were back on and packed to the brim with people – same goes for shopping centres, public parks and playgrounds, etc.
Community transfer in Australia is incredibly low – most cases of the virus have been from people returning from international trips.
The point is that politicians and pundits with an axe to grind are exploiting health concerns to dog whistle about BLM protests. Where was this outrage for 5G conspiracy rallies or the Ruby Princess?
— Joshua Badge (@joshuabadge) June 8, 2020
People who are weaponising concerns of coronavirus to derail #blacklivesmatter rallies are actually practicing a form of racial gaslighting. This outrage was nowhere to be seen when 5G rallies and other public events held during lockdown, and it’s just BS to undermine a very real political movement. In the 4 days since we’ve protested, another 3 Indigenous people have died in custody, bringing the total to 437. How many have been killed by coronavirus? For Aboriginal people, cops are deadly.
“Black People/Other Minorities Are More Likely To Be Criminals, Look At These Stats”
The statistics in question are probably not reliable indicators of all the crime that occurs (yes, even state or government ones). Why? Systematic racism.
“Why can’t they just peacefully protest?”
1. They get shot at, tear gassed, and arrested
2. Kaepernick got fired
3. MLK was assasinated
— sujoy (@sujoy_shah) June 3, 2020
Systematic over-policing of areas with high migrant or BIPOC populations results in these people being arrested more, and therefore crimes in these areas actually being documented. If you have heaps of cops patrolling lower socio-economic areas with high POC populations, but minimal cops patrolling rich white neighbourhoods, then obviously the data you get will be skewed towards POC.
Plus, most theft is actually by big corporations. Plenty of rich white people are doing illegal drugs like coke, yet these don’t seem to invoke the response that POC crime does. Ask why rich white men doing coke is almost comedic (hello Wolf of Wall Street), but poor Black men doing weed means an over-the-top prison sentence and a “thug” label.
Most theft is wage theft. Meaning, the dollar value of stolen wages is greater than the value, each year, of all burglaries+robberies, shoplifting, auto theft, combined. Yet, wage theft is NOT A CRIME 2/ pic.twitter.com/BOj2yXXmtP
— Dave McKenna (@djmckenna00) June 6, 2020
“What Happened Is Sad But Rioting and Looting Is Excessive and Harmful And I Won’t Support It.”
Here’s an entire article I wrote about how protesting works, in regards to George Floyd. It touches on how historically, most minority rights were won through rioting, not peaceful protest.
Crazy how white people can sit through Star Wars and totally understand the point of the rebellion and why the empire is bad but let that shit happen right in front of them and suddenly they act like violent resistance is a foreign concept.
— joshy (@liluziflirt) May 29, 2020
Some key points:
Looting is a legitimate form of political rebellion. In a world that cares more for profits than human life, it’s a direct rejection of capitalism’s commodifying of Black bodies as slaves, labourers, etc.
Most of the luxury goods you own are created through exploiting vulnerable people. Just recently, companies like Cotton On and Target were exposed by Four Corners for using concentration camp labour from China.
This post sums up my feelings pretty well:
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Image Sources: Twitter, Instagram @ogorchukwuu