Why do so many white people stay silent in the face of racism?
Racial acculturation keeps white people from acting to dismantle white supremacy by denying our perpetuating culpability. Silence is one weapon we have been acculturated to use. Although thought to be benign, or even polite, silence serves as the very foundation in sustaining white supremacy and impeding any meaningful discussion about racism.
The oppressed can, and do discuss racism with ease, while the oppressors deny the very vocabulary of their own discomfort.
What causes the discomfort then? Racism discussions are not difficult in themselves, however the exposure of unexamined guilt may trigger discomfort. This guilt may reveal the question, ‘How can I be a good person if I’m part of a white supremacy power structure?’.
‘The good white person’ white people were acculturated to believe we are, serves a purpose that supports racism and white supremacy – and is protected by silence. It’s way past time to accept our flawed acculturated complicity, break our silence, and evolve.