It’s hard to believe that anyone in our nation, with its history, could be genuinely confused about whether or not something is racist.  There’s been so much attention in the media recently on attempts to justify racist images or remarks.  The unfortunate truth is that the structure of our very social fabric in this country includes racism, and despite great effort, it may take many more lifetimes to sift out its effects.

While many of us are doing everything we can to purge it from our society, and every effort is priceless, racism still exists.  Perhaps the first step is owning and denouncing it.  It’s fair to say that if people cry racist when they see or hear something, it’s probably racist.  One’s intention, while important, never negates racism’s presence.

This is a process in which some are further along than others.  If you produce a racist image or statement, it’s out there.  If you didn’t intend for your message to be racist, that’s great…  next time choose to forgo it altogether so that your actions match your intentions.  If racism was your intention, admit it—at least people will know what to do with your opinion.

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