A Better Way to be ‘Anti-Racist'
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With the protests happening all over the world in response to the police killing of George Floyd, a term is becoming increasingly center-stage which, I think, divides more than it helps.
The idea that a person should oppose racism wherever they see it. I’m not against the idea itself — racism is irrational, destructive and ultimately a sign of stupidity — I don’t agree with the term ‘anti-racist’.
Words are hugely important in defining your personal reality.
The words you say, hear and think have a direct effect on how you feel, and ultimately, how you behave. If I said ‘you look amazing’ I might incite a feeling of happiness within you. If I said ‘you look disgusting’ I would provoke a very different feeling and you might be ready to run, shout or even hit me.
By my mere choice of a single word I can make you feel either a highly positive or highly negative emotion, and you don’t have a choice whether you feel it or not. Once the word is said, especially in conjunction to yourself as an individual, you will feel its corresponding emotion.
The same applies for the words you think.
House and Home are two such examples; two words which have very similar logical meanings but with completely different emotional meanings. Home has an emotional connotation, house doesn’t. If you think to yourself ‘I’m going home’ as opposed to ‘I’m going to my house’, ‘going home’ has much more potential to spark an emotion in your brain, whereas ‘going to my house’ really doesn’t.
The same applies to both the words ‘anti’ and ‘racist’. They both possess negative connotations, both are negative by definition, but the word racist has an emotionally negative essence.
Anti means to oppose. Racist has a hateful implication. Both words imply division; when you put them together they mean ‘opposing division’ but with a highly negative association. Opposing division in a negative way is more likely to divide further, not unite.
Racism divides. The…