Racist Language and Origins I Didn’t Always Know

By Gina F. Rubel, Esq., Founder and CEO Furia Rubel

Overt racism is easy to detect and has been brought to the surface for decades. It includes racial slurs like the “n” word, hate crimes, burning crosses, painting swastikas, violence against immigrants, dressing up in blackface or brownface, blatant use of stereotypes, and more. However, there are things I never knew about racist language which have come to the surface while I am learning to be an antiracist.

Ibram X. Kendi, in his book, How to Be An Antiracist, defines antiracist as “one who is supporting an antiracist policy through their actions or expressing an antiracist idea.” He says, “A racist idea is any idea that suggests one racial group is inferior or superior to another racial group in any way. Racist ideas argue that the inferiorities and superiorities of racial groups explain racial inequities in society.”

In the alternative, “An antiracist idea is any idea that suggests the racial groups are equals in all their apparent differences—that there is nothing right or wrong with any racial group. Antiracist ideas argue that racist policies are the cause of racial inequities.”

To be an antiracist, thus means that we all have an obligation to understand how language shapes racist beliefs. While I already knew that some of the terms listed herein are inherently racist, such as “the pot calling the kettle black” and “cotton picking,” there are others whose origins are new to me such as “low hanging fruit” and “urban.”

Read More of this Article on FuriaRubel's Blog

Share this post:

Comments on "Racist Language and Origins I Didn’t Always Know"

Comments 0-5 of 0

Please login to comment