Ron Lowe: Becoming aware of ‘passive racism’ |

Ron Lowe: Becoming aware of ‘passive racism’

There are two types of racists. First there are the overt racists: the neo-Nazis, Klansmen and white supremacists. Then there are the ones we might consider “passive” racists.

In a society like ours, where racism is so prevalent, the vast majority of us — maybe all of us — silently collaborate with systemic racism. We don’t consciously believe in racial superiority or inferiority, but we’ve become so used to existing policies, practices, and procedures that we don’t question them. To the extent that we don’t challenge this system of racism, we are collaborating with it.

The second type of racist is actually more dangerous. The first type we can easily recognize, and it doesn’t take much courage to condemn them. The second type is like an invisible gas: you don’t know it’s there until you’ve been lulled unconscious by it.

Ron Lowe

Nevada City

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