Anti-Racism: Does it Really Need to Happen in Relationship?

A lot of people are wondering about whether we can be antiracist and still only interact with just white people. This is a worthwhile question. I think the answer is yes, insofar as you can work against racism within your sphere of influence and that, if you live in a rural white community, you can still make an effort to support people of color who enter into the community and try to take a stand for rights of people of color when policy issues come up. Don’t just move to the city to have diverse friends/co-workers because you feel like it’s immoral to be white and in a rural community. It is not immoral to be white and in a white rural community.

I have an acquaintance who has a Trump sticker on his car who just went out of his way to give his mail box (in a set of mail boxes for the neighborhood) to one of the few Black people in the neighborhood. The liberals in the neighborhood were shocked by this gesture. They hadn’t given up their own boxes, for example. But because he’s not liberal, they still see him as racist. Even though he made a contribution to the Black neighbor’s sense of belonging.

I think that the push for people to be anti-racist, and to have relationships with people of color as an anti-racist, is important for liberals who otherwise just talk about and don’t embody and practice justice. But it’s also important not to judge rural folks who don’t have the opportunity to befriend across the racial divide.

Published by Seahurst Wellness and Education Center

I’m a skill-building, proficiency-obsessed tutor and consultant who puts relationships first. I am also a certificated teacher with over a decade of classroom experience. Everything I do is geared to facilitate students’ familial and scholarly wellness and their sense of meaningful contribution to society..

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