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Course & Subject Guides

Anti-Black Racism: History, Ideology, and Resistance - Oakland Campus

Not Racist vs Anti-Racist

It is not enough to say you are not a racist or that you are against racism. To actively fight against social inequality you must act as an anti-racist.

The National Museum of African American History and Culture says that to help create an equal and just society, anti-racists must work to make unbiased choices and to be anti-racist in everything we do. Acting as an anti-racist does not necessarily come naturally to White people living in a White supremacist society. Being an anti-racist means having to make deliberate, consistent, and frequent choices that promote equity and justice.

Steps to Become an Anti-Racist

The four steps of becoming an anti-racist, originally found in Where Change Started, the Anti-Racism Starter Kit

1. Awareness

  • Step one requires you to understand that racial inequality exists in society. Rather than just acknowledge the existence or racial inequality, the anti-racist understand the personal role they have played in perpetuating White supremacy. This act of awakening is not a one time deal. The anti-racist will come to understand the different ways in which they have benefited from White supremacy as different issues arise.

2. Education

  • Step two asks the anti-racist to become more educated about the different issues of racial injustice and how White supremacy has helped create these injustices. Instead of learning about these issues to do better in a debate or "say the right things," this education should help the anti-racist look at society with a critical eye and see just how deep White supremacy runs. This education requires that you listen to the voices of Black, Brown, and Indigenous peoples.

3. Self-Interrogation

  • Step three is often difficult and uncomfortable. During a self-interrogation, you look inward to see how the various ways in which you have participated or are currently participating in the perpetuation of White supremacy. After acknowledging your own role in White supremacy you are able to let go of the defensiveness of working in a White supremacist society and begin focusing on ways to hold yourself and others accountable.

4. Community Action

  • Step four is the conclusion of becoming aware of racial injustice, education yourself about the role of White supremacy in society, and acknowledging your own role in perpetuating White supremacy. It is only after understanding the first three steps that you can safely begin community action, otherwise you risk harming Black, Brown, and Indigenous people by continuing to perpetuate the very White supremacy that you are attempting to fight against.