A New Way to Talk About Racist Acts

I think this is a very useful reframe of the language around calling out (or calling in) racism. Whenever I say something "is racist" the conversation almost inevitably shifts to being about whether or not the person who did it has racism in their heart, which is, of course, besides the point. The point is that the action had an effect that supports racism.

I don't know if saying, "X supports racism" is actually going to result in a better conversation, but it's sure as heck worth a shot!

Tap the arrow through the whole thread, and read the full Instagram caption quoted below!


"The way in which the word “racist” is used can often derail productive conversations (most often when we allow our emotions—defensiveness, shame, guilt—to get in the way). It reminds me (@thewildsister) of how as a parent, when my kids did something problematic, I would say they DID something bad, not that they WERE bad. This put the focus on the behavior, not the person. Thank you to Rutgers professor Dr. Chenjerai Kumanyika, who helps us consider how we can use language about racism that focuses on actions and impact. Note: You may know Dr. Kumanyika from Scene on Radio’s Seeing White podcast..."
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