You Are A Racist

There’s a cure for that, though.


So people please stop freaking out over being called a racist, or called out on racist behaviors etc. and so forth.


Being called a racist is absolutely nothing compared to racism itself, and to live within a racist society as a Person Of Color.

If I was white and someone called me a racist, I’d stop and try to figure out why that happened. What did I say or do that prompted that response? I would self-examine. I would listen. I would start learning.

What are some simple things you can do to begin your cure? Here’s one:

Recognizing your white privilege goes a long way towards being a part of the solution, and not part of the problem. White privilege stems from the system of racism that is part and parcel of American society, and the United States of America in a historical context, and in the present day profile of our nation.

Perhaps that nice bubbly check out girl didn’t even consciously know what she was doing. What’s worse? Meting out harm, shame, embarrassment and oppression unconsciously or on purpose? Neither. Both are horrific. The focus should be on the roots of the racist behavior that makes “store policy” the automatic distrust and criminalization of one person and not the other.


I used to have a whole lot more hope that our country would come to terms with its past, reconcile and begin to fix it’s present, and be thus able to look towards a future and begin to embody the ideals of founders. Ideals based on reality, not on some mythic notion that looks good on paper. Because right now all that Shining Beacon Of America and Liberty and Justice etc. is one great big lie.

An example of why I tend not to have as much hope as I used to. There is an incredible woman named Jane Elliot. For as long as I have been alive, that is just about 45 years, this woman has been doing racism workshops, and racism experiments all over the country. In schools, colleges and universities, at places of employment, on television with Oprah, in other countries – you name it, she’s done it and been there.

FORTY-FIVE YEARS. She did her first racism experiment in 1968 in response to the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.. FORTY-FIVE YEARS this woman has been trying to get the ball rolling on white people recognizing their privilege. Trying to get white people to understand what it is like for People Of Color in this country. Pushing back against racism. Trying to get make changes happen.

And guess what?


Because guess what?

Racism persists. Those old racists that people say are supposed to die off and then everything will be peachy – well guess what – they died off decades ago and this ish is still happening.


Jane Elliot has sacrificed so much for you. And yes, if you didn’t know or didn’t click on those various links I put on her name, she is a nice white lady who has endured death threats, lost her family and so much more and yet she STILL CONTINUES.

When are you going to let Jane Elliot and those like her, Black, white, Of Color who are doing and have been doing THE SAME THING, over and over catch a break?

When is she and others in this fight going to be able to lay their burdens down and just rest?

Probably round about the time most white people get fed up with how things are and start with the little things like that woman in the supermarket, and then move on the bigger things, like workshops, experiments, talks and maybe start taking a page from Black civil rights activists and start marching – whatever it takes.


You need to make your people come correct. I believe that is what it will take for the scales to start being tipped in the direction of justice, equality and fairness. Sure, Black people and People Of Color are going to continue on in the good fight.

Perhaps we’ll continue to make more progress.

What if you joined the fight – not so much joining extant groups – but forming your own groups, directed at educating your own people. Imagine white people agitating other white people, getting them educated, pushing them to look at themselves, getting them to acknowledge their privilege, racism and push them to start making those changes.

How much faster would the progress go if white people started doing that?

Mirrors of Privilege: Making Whiteness Visible. (youtube link, part 1/5). 

Use your platform to call people out on their racism. To alert other white people to their privilege, what it means, and what they can do with it to illicit change.

You have a platform if you are: A mom, a writer/blogger, a teacher, a student, a daughter, a dad, an artist, a — ANYTHING. If you are white, especially if are white and male: Whatever it is you do, you have a platform.

The platform isn’t your job, or your hobby or what you do on the weekends. It isn’t your webpage, blog or social media accounts. It is who and what you are. You can leverage those other things to be a part of the solution.


Right now, at this moment in time

White people are the dominant culture in America. You run everything. You have all the power. Don’t talk to me about my Black President – talk to me after the third or fourth president of color, and after we’ve had a couple two three female presidents – white people have and exercise the power in this country.

So when I say: OMG racism is bad! Check your white privilege! Stop doing that racist thing you’re doing!

It has less power and impact and honestly lets face it less people listening and even less people interested in doing anything about it.

But when a white persons says: OMG racism is bad! We all need to check our privilege! We gotta stop doing those racist things we’re doing!

More impact. More power. More listeners. More interest in doing something about it.

That is the reality of the world.

So go out there.

Do those little “grocery store” things that need to be done. Heighten your awareness. Exercise your privilege and power in the direction of change, education and equality. Get as many other white people as you can to do the same.

Cuz you know what?

We sure could use your help.


Make your own coalitions and then join up with the POC ones already engaging in change. Talk to your family. Your friends. Your co-workers. 
Those nice white people who swear on a stack of bibles they aren’t racist, and yet are doing absolutely nothing to rock the boat of privilege they have been sailing through life on.
Thanks bunches.
See you on the front lines.

About Awake BW

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13 Responses to You Are A Racist

  1. lesreveriesderowena says:

    Loved it! Well said!

    • Awake BW says:

      Thanks Rowena! Writing posts like these helps me bolster up my fading hope in seeing a significantly changed America in my lifetime. I’m not sure it’s working, but I Never Give Up.

  2. I love the comic strips, very true. I finished watching the mirrors of privilege and it was interesting how the whites that were saying they wanted to help, they felt rejected when blacks told them to go help their people recognize their racism and privileges. That is very interesting to me that even they felt like omg I don’t know how to get other whites to not be ignorant and to listen to the truth. They didn’t want to deal with their own but wanted to unite with blacks. Then when that woman was like I showed up and was one of the few whites there I thought I deserved some credit. I was thinking it’s strange how someone with so much privilege and is deemed superior wants so called inferior people’s approval. The best thing they can do is talk to other whites and call them out on their racism when they hear them make comments about someone. Like that woman on big brother, she gets away with her racism because nobody called her out. That is what whites need to do, call people like her out on their racist comments because if a person of color or the person that the racist remarks were directed to, says something, then the racist will just say oh u are being too sensitive. That is what they need to do, they don’t need to join us to do that, we work on bettering our communities, and they work on educating theirs about the history, racism, white privilege, white supremacy, and that everything that works for u does not work for everyone else.
    I remember being followed in the store when I was 12 but my white friend wasn’t. My mom was there and she told me to come out of the store, it was Claire boutique I still hate that place. My white friend didn’t notice, situations like that if a white person notices something then they should step up and say u know what that isn’t right and I know what u are doing then the world would be a better place. But if they either choose to ignore something or don’t say anything they are just as guilty.

    • Awake BW says:

      I’m glad you watched that vid. Most people don’t click on links in my blog posts lol. I always fix them so you remain on my blog site so… But yeah I found that Mirrors Of Privilege documentary to be very interesting. You hardly ever get to see white people talking about racism, their own racism etc. Many POC have issues with Tim Wise – I have issues too – but I link to his site on my blog roll and flogged his funding drive for his documentary White Like Me – for those reasons.

      It is clear that the people who need to hear about racism won’t be able to listen/hear about it from POC, so let their own people school them. Whatever it effing takes, is what I’m saying.

      That store thing is really one of the most prevalent microaggressions, and it really, really stings and is so oppressive.

      I hate that you can be with a white person/friend, they can be standing right next to you, and they simply don’t see what is happening. You’d think store owners would clue themselves in after a certain point. They follow POC around and yet they still have stuff ripped off from them. Imagine profiling everyone the same way?

      Take that same principle towards Stop & Frisk and DWB. Imagine how the crime stats would tumble if profiling was done based on actual “furtive movements” and actual “suspicious behavior”? But those things aren’t about stopping crime or ending the drug trade or getting guns off the streets. Because based on the results of profiling, none of those things are happening, and yet the policies continue.

      It is simply about oppression, policing and incarcerating Black and Brown bodies.
      Thank you for your thoughtful comments!

  3. revmatthews says:

    Where did the first comic (ironic choice of terms) strip originate?

    Good stuff!

  4. bernasvibe says:

    Coming back when time permits to read this post..But when time permits on your end, hope you can pop in to read Best Moments Awards …I nominated YOU

  5. revmatthews says:

    BTW, just added you to African-American 101 Blogroll ( )! I’m now re-working my novel about life in 50-60’s Louisiana. I’d place the link, but it’s rude just to bogard your stuff on somebody else’s page, aint it?

    • Awake BW says:

      Hey thanks for the blogroll add!
      Go ahead and place a link – I’m all for cross promotion here and at anyrate that sounds like something folks who read this blog would be interested in :)

  6. Reblogged this on Black Love and Unity and commented:
    Great Post!!
    Peace Family
    Please come and Like my page

  7. Jessica says:

    Exactly! Racism isn’t a “black problem.” It’s a white problem, and we’re the ones who should be working to educate other white people. Thank you so much for this article. Sometimes other white people can make me feel like I’m in the Twilight Zone or something talking about how racism is “already over” when it is so obviously still such a huge problem in this country! As an educator I’ve stepped “out of my place” a number of times to address practices that were clearly racist, but I know there is still so much more that I could do. In silence I am complicit in this system of theft and abuse, and it’s a system that I don’t want my children and students to have to be a part of. Thank you again. I will definitely be sharing these resources!

    • Awake BW says:

      Thanks so much for your wonderful comment Jessica! If you’re on twitter, check out hashtag #WhiteFolkWork and/or account @WhiteFolkWork. Sounds like you’ve been doing the work, and it’s so much appreciated, I can’t even express.

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