The format of a My Take is 150 words – no more, no less – to express an opinion on a different topic each week. This week’s topic was systemic racism.
As easy as it can be to call others out, it’s often more difficult to face those same issues in ourselves.
There’s a common reaction when any kind of discrimination is discussed: the “not all” defence. That not all men are sexist, or not all white people discriminate against people of colour.
It’s a coded way of saying, ‘maybe this is a problem, but it doesn’t apply to me.’
Choosing not to examine your own role in oppressive systems only feeds that oppression. Ignoring the fact that you are benefiting from structures or programs that disadvantage or actively harm people from other racial groups might save you some discomfort, but it actively contributes to the harm that is being done.
There isn’t an easy way out of the mess, but a good first step is recognizing that we are all a part of this problem.