For those of us who want to end injustice, the fact that we are all socialized to be complicit in systemic oppression is a totally uncontroversial point. We understand that it’s simply not possible for any system of oppression to persist solely due to the actions of committed, self-avowed bigots; there just aren’t enough of them to keep all this shit going without help. Rather, we’ve all been raised in this messed up system, which means we’ve all been programmed to cooperate with its perverse logic at the expense of our own individual and collective best interests.
How we cooperate looks different for each of us depending on our particular combination of identities, and the mix of advantages and disadvantages we face as a result. Likewise, we all have different things to unlearn and relearn, whether it’s how to accept and even love parts of ourselves that we’ve been taught to hate, or what it actually looks like to be fair and respectful to people we’ve been taught are inferior because of some facet of who they are.
So what I’m about to say next may come as a surprise, especially to those of you who are reading this because you appreciated that I challenged casual racism at the Blacksonian, but here it is: I don’t believe in trying to debate other people into changing their views and behavior. I no longer try to persuade people to think the way I do about anything. Instead, I speak up about my own observations and experiences, and in doing so, invite people to reconsider their thoughts and actions in light of that information.