Once someone says “I’m not racist”
That typically means they are a racist. Racism isn’t something someone can define themselves with, racism is declared by those who are victims of racism. For some reason, people think racism is simply calling people racial slurs or wearing white cone-headed suits. It’s a much more complex concept that dictates our behavior, both consciously and unconsciously in the world.
I figure it’s the same when I/people claim I-am/they are ‘good,’ ‘honest,’ ‘modest,’ etc. Sometimes, I feel that living in an environment in which we must sell ourselves to get jobs, we seem to have learned how to label ourselves incorrectly. I believe I first read it in a Jiddu Krishnamurti book where it said that once you define yourself with a quality, you no longer have that quality. Not recognizing a quality means that you may have it. Recognition of a quality also means that the person will feel there is no need to improve upon that quality. Being ‘good’ is a lifelong process, you don’t just reach the top of a mountain and sit there having accomplished ‘goodness’.
I feel the same idea can be applied to the concept of racism, something that we are taught at a very young age. Some of what we are taught may be more obvious as in believing that a certain race is inferior, but other teachings are something that are deeply embedded in our minds that will require our entire lives to attempt to disengage.