I'm guilty. You're guilty.
I am white. I didn't ask to be white, but I am.
I have privilege. Yes, I'm not rich and daily life is a struggle. I have pain and heartache and sometimes immense depression.
But I have privilege, too. I have racist ideas.
Listen, every single white person has some racist ideas. We're all guilty of this. Period. If you're not a full-on white supremacist, you have low-key racism that you have to daily work to rid yourself of.
I'm guilty. You're guilty. It is a problem we all deal with. Or don't deal with. It's up to you.
Does that make me a wretched human being? No. If I am looking out for where low-key racism slips into my life and I work to get rid of it, then that's good news. However, when does it become a real life problem? Here are some ways to spot low-key racism:
1. You refuse to agree with me that we all have some racist ideology.
2. Colin Kaepernick's protest offends you.
Listen, it's true. If you get up in arms about a black man protesting, then you have seeds of racism growing in your heart. If you keep saying, "There is a better way to protest," then you have low-key racist ideas.
3. You want to talk about black-on-black crime more than you want to listen about police brutality against African American men and women.
4. You quickly use #AllLivesMatter in response to someone's pro-#BlackLivesMatter tweet.
5. Hearing about the rioting and protesting in the streets gets more of a reaction from you than the actual deaths of innocent black men and women.
6. You talk about "reverse racism" like it's a real thing, or even remotely comparable to actual racism against people of color.
8. You truly believe that racism is a thing of the past and tell people not to pull the "race card."
9. You resent the black community for their scholarships that you can't apply for, causing you to believe they have it easier or don't have to work as hard as you because of the color of their skin.
10. And here's the biggest key to the idea you suffer from low-key racism (like me, because we ALL do!!): You are very angry at me for writing this post.
Friends, don't let low-key racism control you. There are ways to work on it and rid yourself of this quickly spreading disease that, if left untreated, can become full-blown racism.
Listen to people of color. Hear them. Let them be angry. Consider what they are saying without offering a rebuttal. Stop trying to justify injustice. Stop telling people to simply follow the rules and obey the laws. Put yourself in their shoes and consider the scope and breadth of their pain and grief.
If you can't do that because the circle of real life humans around you are white, then get out into the world. Find people of color: meet them, know them, hear them, follow them, support them.
But don't shrug this off. Low-key racism is as destructive as full-blown racism, and we're all suffering from it. We can do better. We must do better. Unless you want to keep passing on our brokenness from one generation to the next.
This article was originally published at Gia Cooper. Reprinted with permission from the author.