“I can’t be racist!” The people who say this often have good intentions – and a huge misunderstanding about how racism works. One of the biggest threats to our social justice work is the way oppression goes unnoticed in our day-to-day lives. So here’s a comic that names ten of the top lies about racism for what they really are, so we can finally move past them.
Race & Ethnicity
What’s the problem with yoga in the US? Maybe you’ve bristled at the allegation that it’s cultural appropriation. And why shouldn’t all people have access to this wonderful practice? Here’s a clear breakdown of what parts of this billion-dollar industry misrepresent and colonize yoga, with steps to make sure your yoga practice comes from a place of love and respect.
You know the ironic racist joke? The one that’s supposed to be edgy, acknowledging oppressive systems and stereotypes and going on to insult those harmed by them anyway? Here’s a much-needed response – a comic that dares to tell the truth about this type of joke, and obliterates the myth that those of us who don’t laugh at racist jokes don’t have a sense of humor.
The body positivity movement has made great strides in helping bodies of all shapes feel loved, cherished, and acceptable. But what does it mean when major media outlets create lists of body image heroines and virtually every woman listed is white? In this article, Sonya Renee Taylor details the racist undertones that have caused the movement to overlook and neglect her and other black women’s body-loving activism for far too long.
It seems like for every action empowering a marginalized group, there’s an opposite reaction bringing the focus back to the dominant culture. And we’ve got to get rid of this echo! Refocusing on the dominant narrative instead of making room for the celebration of oppressed people hurts our efforts to create a just world. Read this article to learn how and why.
What’s the “white man’s burden?” In short, it’s a lie. This song shows why, and reveals what you might not know about how an idea once used to excuse things like colonization and slavery still shows up when some people dismiss concerns about cultural appropriation. Take in this video and tell us – what do you think we can do to finally shake the white man’s burden?
What does it mean when someone says you’re “not the average Black girl?” Some people mean it as a compliment, but here’s one Black woman who’s not taking it that way. Catch Ernestine Johnson’s powerful words about why. She’s got the real deal on who the average Black girl really is, and why she’s so much more than the tired stereotype some people try to use to dismiss her.
Self-determination – making your own choices – is so important. But let’s be careful about the difference between self-determination from a colonial perspective and how it’s defined in Indigenous struggles. If we don’t, it can be used to actively perpetuate marginalization and hurt disabled people. Here’s how you can take up self-determination in a justice framework.
We all need to pause and read this comic before using the dictionary definition of racism in an argument. While dictionaries are supposedly authorities on how we speak, they reflect the opinions of some people while excluding many more. Check out this comic to find out about the biased history of the dictionary, and learn a more useful approach to language.