Racism is a prejudice deeper than hue but one nonetheless. Ridding from it requires intentionality. Here is how I did it. Your journey requires one more step though.
I rid myself of this shameful prejudice early in my life
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A few days ago Ali Velshi did a short piece on racism where he admonished white people to lean in. It was a great piece. I am not only a political activist but an engineer & software developer. Inasmuch as I have done neither for pay in a long time, full-time activism pays orders of magnitude less but is more rewarding as one sees results as we are seeing now. I always think as if I am in a design methodology class seeking the procedures for the desired outcome.
When breaking down the walls to allow our humanity, vulnerabilities, prejudices, and the like to flow, we can communicate better because no one believes they need to front or build a ladder to get to you. After listening to Velshi I decided to emphasize my own former prejudice, homophobia, and how I overcame it.
I think my process to overcome it works with any prejudice. That said, racism has another component that is persistent. A twenty-two-year-old college graduate will ultimately make the dictionary our new ally in the battle to help our friends who use the dictionary to absolve themselves of any degree of racism.
You see systemic and structural racism no matter how one feels as an individual is more powerful because it attempts to abstract the individual from taking ownership. So what is that last step? One must be on the front line to break down barriers of systemic racism. One must actively and vociferously support policies that right the wrong.
If a lead ball is tied to my feet, and then you get to start a sprint way before I did. Assuming I have the same physical capabilities that you have, it is impossible for me to catch up. In fact, I will fall behind. The drag of the lead ball even as I expel the same amount of energy you do, ensures that.
That lead ball is systemic racism. The gap is racism. The intent of affirmative action was to fix the gap, a small turbo-charge to allow one to catch up. But it was never enough to overcome the corrosiveness of systemic racism.
Redlining, name discrimination, overpriced loans are all instantiations of systemic racism. I could name dozens more. They are the lead ball. Interestingly the numbers prove it all.
We all have a lot of work to do. But I feel a change coming.
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