whatsarobot Your ideology here makes sense, but you’re also setting up an objectively questionable dichotomy by forcing any interlocutor into either the “racist” or “antiracist” category.
Yes, I should clarify, there is a bit of a dichotomy here, but it’s more about trajectory than category. If racism/antiracism is how one understands the world it’s something that is always responding to new information. So in a sense the way one develops and adds to a worldview is constantly growing and changing. Kind of also speaks to how big of a bombshell it really takes to reverse one’s trajectory. You’re more or less going at the speed of your own life experiences and how much new information you can meaningfully encounter.
Also, I think some form of dichotomy here is kind of unavoidable in the sense that there is no real neutral ground when it comes to racism. To give a dumb example it’s not like you can like pizza, or you can dislike pizza, or you can opt out of the dichotomy altogether because you simply don’t eat pizza and don’t feel the need to have an opinion on it. Race and racism due to the global impact of colonialism has permeated and corrupted almost every aspect of our society at every level. The question of how one feels about racism being fundamental with how one acts and views the world is a consequence of that societal level obsession with it.
whatsarobot That makes it difficult for anyone to potentially engage, even if they are interested, for example, in learning how to rid themselves of racist terminology or ways of thinking and presenting.
Approaching people with an abundance of good faith on the onset tends to helps to draw in good actors ready for discussion pretty reliably.
whatsarobot Suppose, for example, someone agrees with your views, but simply does not have the mental bandwidth or inclination to engage with you on these terms?
I really honestly question the honesty and intentions of someone’s commitment to antiracism if a bad mood or a long day at work can make them willing to put it aside. The people who are victimized by racism never get a day off from racism so the idea that antiracism is something that one should only expect from people when they’re at their best just doesn’t seem fair. It’s like, oh, you’re in a bad mood, okay, it’s okay to be racist?? Like, nah. I don’t get racist when I’m in a bad mood.
whatsarobot Why force someone into a position of admitting to racist behaviour, regardless of the intention behind their original statement?
’Cause I truly believe that social attitudes towards racism are shifting and that more people are capable of engaging in the forms of social control that are needed to undo systemic racism. With how racism is often perpetuated by majorities upon minorities, the perpetuators of racism need the complicity of the group to perpetuate racism. One person taking issue with being targeted with a form of violence approved by the status quo rarely has any protection. Taboo does not work on an individual level, it requires a broader social agreement on what that taboo is.
In other words, it’s not so me as an individual can prove to an individual person that I’m right and they’re wrong. It’s so that in exposing the backwards tendencies of individuals the public can engages in the process of the most meaningful form of consequence for being racist, the shaming of a taboo action. That’s what I mean when I say I expect this forum to be a hostile environment for racism. I think everyone willing needs to co-operate to further this aim.