International Blog Against Racism Week

This week is International Blog Against Racism Week, and, as the week slips away, I'm reminded of my post on the final day of 2007's 16 Days of Action Against Gender Violence leading up to International Human Rights Day, in which I first mentioned my proverbial teaspoon: "Today is the final day of the 16 Days of Action Against Gender Violence, during which I suppose I have blogged exactly as often as always about violence against women, in America and abroad. Sometimes it feels like it's all I ever write about; sometimes it feels like I can't possibly write about it enough to do the issue justice; often, those feelings exist within me simultaneously. All I ever do is try to empty the sea with this teaspoon; all I can do is keep trying to empty the sea with this teaspoon."

We write about racism every week; this week was like any other, in that there were a bunch of posts, in part or whole, about racism, and in that there weren't enough, in the way that there can never be enough—no minimum, no maximum, no perfectly adequate average—because you cannot put a number on such a thing. You can't just pay your dues as an activist or ally; you can't quantify your work in measures of sufficiency. You must always, always, expect more, especially of yourself.

And, to that end, I don't find my anti-racism blogging to be the hardest (and probably not the most important) thing that I do as an ally. Frankly, it's easy to be a privileged white person who calls out other privileged white people for being racists on a blog*; what's harder is: 1. Examining my own privilege and trying to unweave the lifetime of internalized racism that accompanies it; 2. Challenging racism in my everyday life.

What I don't want to provide, ever, is a harbor for racism. I don't want to let a single racist remark, joke, stereotype, slur, or any other expression of racism go unchallenged in my presence. Nor do I want to evade or rebuff a challenge to any racism I may intentionally or unintentionally express. I want to be vigilant.

Every week.

Because not being vigilant, giving myself the permission to not care about racism, to let my attention drift or my energy wane, is the ultimate expression of my undeserved privilege. If I don't want to be part of the problem, it's got to be my problem all the time. All in.


UPDATE: Please visit the International Blog Against Racism Week community here. Also find more here. [H/T to Anna in comments.]


* Which isn't to say it has no value; I've learned more than I can say from the threads here and elsewhere started by privileged white bloggers, which is to say nothing of what I've learned from bloggers of color over the last five years, like Elle (and her co-bloggers), Shark-fu, Renee, Pam, Kevin, Matt, Resistance, Tami, The Angry Black Woman (and her co-bloggers), Chello, Veronica, Mar, Pizza Diavola, Latoya and Carmen (and guest bloggers), Reza, Ta-Nehisi, and Jay Smooth, among many more.

Please feel encouraged to leave links to other bloggers of color you like reading—and bloggers of color should, of course, feel invited to toot their own horns!

Shakesville is run as a safe space. First-time commenters: Please read Shakesville's Commenting Policy and Feminism 101 Section before commenting. We also do lots of in-thread moderation, so we ask that everyone read the entirety of any thread before commenting, to ensure compliance with any in-thread moderation. Thank you.

blog comments powered by Disqus