Unintentional racist trying to be anti-racist

ES-baker-beachEric Peterson,
San Francisco, CA.

If I tell people I’m white and I’m racist, they might picture someone dressed in white sheets and a pointed hat or donning swastika tattoos. Most white people wouldn’t assume I’m racist based on my behavior and my interactions with people of color, but I know it’s in there. I know I’m contributing to perpetuating racist social, political, and economic systems and institutions when I step out and acknowledge the privileges I have, my access to power and resources, simply because of how I look and how that relates to history. It doesn’t matter if I don’t commit overtly racist acts or consciously entertain racist thoughts (or even if my ancestors weren’t the ones committing genocide to appropriate this land and it’s resources), I still benefit and contribute to racism unless I consciously make efforts to fight against that racism. I’m doing my best, but I’m still struggling with the contradictions.

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