One of my greatest weaknesses in the race conversation is my struggle to believe this shit happens.

Not because people of color are lying.

They aren’t.

But because I assume other people think like me.

→ That they actually want equality for everyone.

→ That they aren’t sorting people by the color of their skin and making assumptions based on that color.

(Though, let’s be honest, my work in ON THE MATTER OF RACE, is showing me just how much my unconscious bias is still at play sorting and categorizing people.)

So when I heard that Black people are being denied exit from Ukraine even as the rest of Europe welcomes white Ukraine refugees by the millions, my mind was blown yet again.

I don’t get it.

Why the fuck would we allow white people to flee from Ukraine but not those of color?

Why can a white British person exit on a train bound for anywhere-but-here and yet a black Congo student is told to stay and pick up a gun to fight for a country that isn’t their own?

It doesn’t make sense.

Yet it’s happening. Right now. In 2022.

And that ignorance…

…the assumption that the rest of the world would never deny entry to a student or a family fleeing a war zone…

…the assumption that the majority of people treat others with humanity…

…is what allows the racism to continue.

Because it doesn’t challenge it.

Ignorance doesn’t deny the existence of racism. It ignores it.

It pretends to be shocked every time racism occurs, claiming this to be the exception to the rule instead of seeing it as the rule.

And if all we see are exceptions, then we never actually see the rules and the need for change.

Refugees are everywhere. Of all genders, creeds, and colors.

Will we see them as the humans in need of our humanity?

Or will we allow our unconscious bias, steeped in centuries of racism, to place them in a hierarchy where white refugees are given our trust while the rest are met with restraint and suspicion?

Reflections of Racism is my uncomfortable look in the mirror to identify the roots of racism and white supremacy still active in my life. I don’t have all the answers. I’m not standing as a voice for anyone but me. I’m simply sharing my inner monologue in hopes that my failures, faults, missteps, and mistakes can help someone else see, challenge, and change the white supremacist ideologies influencing their world too.

White supremacy isn’t a system I chose; it was one I was born into. But you better believe I’m gonna do everything in my power to choose out, burn it down, and build something better in the ashes.

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