Stand Together Against Racism and Discrimination


There is a lot of divisiveness growing in the anti-racism movement. We need each other to fight the increasing tide of racism in this country, particularly the thinly veiled white supremacism that, re-branded as “alt-right”, have been mainstreamed among Trump’s advisors and supporters.

Yet, white liberals do not actively support minority groups enough, and minority activists often reject the support of white people.

Minorities need the support of white people to make cultural and legislative change about racism. Martin Luther King knew this over fifty years ago, and it is still true now. A day will come that it is no longer be true, but it is not soon enough to wait.

And white, middle-class liberals need the support of minorities. There are just too many people out there being spoon-fed hate, racism, homophobia, religious discrimination, and ideas that only benefit the rich. Many white liberals passively stand up for minorities, but they do not listen to them or actively engage in minority causes unless a bunch of other white liberals do.

Yes, vast numbers flocked to protest the Muslim ban, and that was fantastic, but how many of those same people have ever gone to a Black Lives Matter protest or protests of racial violence and discrimination against American-born minorities? Of the people I know, the answer is: close to none. Nationally, the answer is not much better.

First, the easier part: white liberals, start reaching out to, listening to, and engaging minority rights groups. Quit patronizing minorities and treating them inferior, even as you “stand up for them”. Quit apologizing for, but justifying, using the N-word in your jokes (I am looking at you, Bill Maher). And before this summer is over, go find and participate in at least one protest for black rights. It is barely the minimum we should do.

Now, the hard part: there are many valid criticisms of white people by minorities, but statements like these are becoming common online and in activist groups:

“All white people are racist”, and “Only white people are racist”

As a rule, any statement in this format is racist (or discriminatory in some other sense):

“All ________ are _______”.

There is some hidden truth in the first statement. A people can have some subtly racist views they are not aware of, and white people are as bad or worse than average. But that discussion will not happen when you lead with such an unfair and discriminatory statement.

The second statement is even worse. It is both racist and false. I could fill pages with examples of non-white racism, from the Japanese treatment of Chinese and Koreans, to American Mexican and blacks, to African Americans and African immigrants.

Not only do such statements alienate potential allies, but in being so blatantly false and unfair, it provides fodder for the conservative media to discredit the whole equality movement. That hurts us all and additionally fuels the flames of the racism we fight against.

We all need to stand together. There are neo-Nazis advising the President of the United States. Minorities, immigrants, women, religious groups, and the LGBTQ community are all being attacked –through legislation, propaganda, and physical violence. The opponents of equality want different groups to fight amongst each other rather than standing for equality. We need to be better than that and fight for equality for all people.