Why Aren't More Doing Anything About Racism?

Why Aren't More Doing Anything About Racism?

I would guesstimate about 10% of White people are full out, active racists. They see anyone who isn’t White as inferior and actively works to oppress them at every opportunity.

I would guesstimate another 10% are appalled by the racism of the world and actively fighting against it. They speak out against discrimination and microaggression whenever and wherever they see it. They seek diversity and inclusiveness in every aspect of their lives. They recognize their privilege and use it to help others achieve equality.

And I would guesstimate the other 80% are generally oblivious to racism altogether. They aren’t full out racist and they aren’t fighting against racism, either. They know racism exists but they don’t see it in their circle of friends and family; and they definitely don’t see it in themselves. They agree it should be stopped but they aren’t doing anything about it.

If they wanted to, the 80% could go their whole lives never befriending a Black person or any other Person of Color. They would see nothing wrong with it if they did. They don’t notice when diversity is lacking in their environments or, if they see it, they assume there’s a logical, non-racist reason for it; they don’t do anything active to change it. They don’t see racism as a systemic issue; they believe all people have an equal opportunity to advance if they just work hard for it.

If they have Black or People of Color as friends, they rarely talk to them about racial issues. And when the topics come up, they keep their commentary as neutral as possible to avoid offending their friend or expressing any views which could be seen as controversial. However, they do ask about cultural and physical differences without consideration for how uncomfortable that might make their friend and without fully recognizing their friend doesn’t speak for their entire group.

When they say they don’t see color, they mean it. Black people are just darker White people, with all the same rights and opportunities. Our Blackness is irrelevant and invisible. They will not notice or celebrate our difference because they don’t see it.

80% of White people are so steeped in their Privilege that they don’t even see us.

Let that sink in.

So why do we care so much about what they think? Why do Black people waste so much of our time seeking their acceptance and approval? Why do we shy away from speaking our truth for fear of upsetting people who don’t even notice our existence or our struggle?

The simplest answer is Supremacy. We’re conditioned to believe White is better and that we haven’t truly accomplished anything until and unless they approve of it.

The next simplest answer is survival. Whites once controlled our access to everything so we had to have their approval to accomplish our goals and live our lives.

Contrary to what we see on the news, the times have changed and are still changing. It may look like we’ve regressed to the 1960s, but we really haven’t. White approval and acceptance and understanding and participation is no longer needed for us to advance as a people.

Black people can vote now. We have economic independence and power now. We drive what goes viral and what trends across the major social media platforms.

We are not our ancestors.

We are their wildest dreams. We don’t need anyone’s approval to show up and be as we are in this world. The only permission we need is our own.

Related: 5 Awesome Low-Cost Trends in Work Perks and Benefits

That’s not to say we just ignore the systems put in place to hinder us. That would be foolish and dangerous. We should actively be working to dismantle systems of oppression and remove from authority and influence the people who support these systems. We should continue to work to succeed within the current oppressive systems to the best of our abilities in the meanwhile — and we should reach back and help others like us each time we level-up.

But we can do all these things without the 80%. We don’t need to convince them that our views are valid or that our experiences are real or that our concerns are legitimate in order to push our agenda forward.

We don’t need their support. We don’t need their approval. We don’t need them to like us. We don’t need them to speak on our behalf. We don’t need their apathy or enervation masking as advocacy or enthusiasm. We don’t need their fragility masking as friendliness. We don’t need their curiosity masking as commitment.

If they don’t see the issue, so what? If they don’t agree that it’s a problem, so what? If they don’t join in the fight, so what?

If they don’t want to listen, stop talking.

If they don’t want to understand, stop explaining.

If they don’t want try, stop striving.

Focus on working together and with the 10% who are committed to being allies and accomplices in the struggle. Leave the rest behind.

For our health. For our culture. For our future … Stop.

Sarah Morgan
Twitter Email

Sarah Morgan, SPHR, is a practicing HR Professional with over 15 years experience in the light industrial and retail industries. She currently works as the Director of Human R ... Click for full bio

Most Read IRIS Articles of the Week: Feb 19-23

Most Read IRIS Articles of the Week: Feb 19-23

Here’s a look at the Top 11 Most Viewed Articles of the Week on IRIS.xyz, Feb 19-23, 2018

Click the headline to read the full article.  Enjoy!

1. Don’t Get Pinged by the Social Security Earnings Limit

I’d like to introduce you to Peggy. Born in 1956, Peggy will be 62 in 2018. She has worked in retail her whole life, the past twenty-five years spent in management. Peggy divorced from her husband 14 years ago, is still single and has no children. — Dana Anspach

2. We're Back to “Bad News is Good News” and “Good News is Great News”

This week the markets shrugged off last week’s fears and went back to the slow and steady melt up, despite economic news that looked likely to once again rock the boat. — Lenore Elle Hawkins

3. Q1 2018 Factor Views

Themes established in 2017 across a wide range of markets and factors continued to resonate through the fourth quarter. Economic growth was strong and supportive of equity markets across the globe, a range of volatility measures reached all-time lows, and business and consumer sentiment remained elevated. — Yazann Romahi and Garrett Norman

4. A Beneficial Basket of Commodities

Advisors and investors that feel they are hearing more and more about commodities and the corresponding exchange traded products in recent months are right. That is a natural result of dollar weakness and yes, the greenback is floundering again in 2018. — Tom Lydon

5. 3 Trends Shaping the Future of Asset Management

As the industry works to cope with new regulation, wades through an outpouring of new products, learns to satisfy investors’ shifting priorities and manages the active-passive debate, the viability of business units will be questioned, and at times radical measures will be taken. Peter Hopkins

6. 5 Ways Advisors Leave Money on the Table, and What to Do About It

My hope is that this article points out some opportunities for you to make more money and serve your clients at a higher level and that you decide to do something about it. — Bill Bachrach

7. The Market Has Gone Wild! Is It Time to Change Your Investment Strategy?

Whether the market is flying high or taunting your emotions with new lows and some bumpy volatility, here are four things every investor should keep in mind ... — Lauren Klein

8. How to Deepen Client Relations and Capture New Business Using Engaging Content

Why financial advisors NEED to understand much more clearly the power of good digital market. With tools like AdvisorStream, it’s easier than ever to get the content you need to drive leads and referrals today! — Kirk Lowe and Matt Halloran

9. Three Ways The Most Successful Gain Big Attention

How do some firms and ideas go from nowhere to everywhere in a few short months? All of a sudden a restaurant becomes popular, a gas station gains a cult following, or a Broadway show becomes too popular to get a ticket for years. — Maribeth Kuzmeski

10. Who Are the Hottest FinTech Firms and Influencers Around the World?

"Worldwide, $27.4 billion poured into fintech startups in 2017, Accenture reports, up 18% from 2016. With so much in play, it’s not surprising that 22 companies are new on this, the third edition of our list."  — Chris Skinner

11. The New Stock Market Normal Is Not What You Think!

Many sensational headlines have been written the past few weeks about market declines, but two things have increased for sure: the viewership and the ad revenues of financial media organizations — Preston McSwain​​​​​​​

Douglas Heikkinen
Twitter Email

IRIS Co-Founder and Producer of Perspective—a personal look at the industry, and notables who share what they’ve learned, regretted, won, lost and what continues ... Click for full bio