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September 19, 2017

Racism is Racism: Let’s Call it What it Is.

Racism is racism.

It’s a thought. It’s a word. It’s a joke. It’s a prank. It’s a crime.

It’s exclusion. It’s fear. It’s denial. It’s a weapon. It’s a ban.

It’s a whisper.

It’s as subtle as a snub. It’s as blatant as a riot. It’s a white sheet. It’s a torch. It’s a daylight march. It’s a burning cross at midnight.

Yes, it’s a flag. Because, yes, it was a water fountain. And, yes, it’s a statue. Because, yes, it was a seat on a bus.

It’s a secret. It’s the wind. It’s under our very own breath.

It’s a slap on the wrist. It’s guilt by association.

Yes, it’s a bystander.

It is someone who does nothing to stop it. 

It is not news. And, yet, it is very much the news. It’s caught on camera. It’s a traffic stop. It’s a beating. It’s a rope. It’s a shot in the back.

It’s tears through squinted eyes. It’s an unwritten rule. It’s a written rule. It’s a Jim Crow law. It’s thinly disguised.

It’s the stop, before the start. It’s members only. It’s a family torn apart.

It’s taught; it’s learned. It’s tolerated. It’s consumed, digested, regurgitated, and expelled.

It hides under rocks, and it’s right there in plain sight. It is a propagating weed. It’s something we feed.

It’s loud, and it’s quiet. It’s as much a ringing bell as it is a muffled murmur.

It is a villain, a disease, a festering boil, a malignant tumor.

Denounce it. Deflate it. Dilute it. Destroy it.

Rip it from the roots. Slash its damn power.

Shout your conviction from every platform, every rooftop you can find.

Racism is racism until it’s a thing that no one remembers.

A thing stuck in the pages of a history book. A thing we scraped off our skin. A thing we cut from the fabric of humanity with sharp scissors—the ones we held in our very own hands.

~

relephant:

The Legacy of Racism I Need to Own.

~

Author: Kimberly Valzania
Image: Flickr/Chrisena Allen
Editor: Leah Sugerman
Copy Editor: Emily Bartran
Social Editor: Sara Kärpänen

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