Essay about Justice is More than the Absence of Brutality

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Racism: Justice is More than the Absence of Brutality

"Does race still matter?" The question by itself is a strong indication of America's disillusioned attitude towards race. It has been barely forty years since segregation— arbitrary laws that separated white children from everyone else because of the assumed superiority of whites—was abolished, and already Americans, especially white Americans, have begun to complain that we are too focused on race. Why, they plead, can't we be a color-blind society? How could that possibly happen unless we first embrace color-consciousness: the fact that people are still treated differently based on the color of their skin. Racism today is not always the same as racism in the past. Horrific
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I learned "history" throughout the year, and I learned "black history" during February. I learned "literature" all throughout high school, and I learned about "African-American literature" when I took a separate class. Recognizing the reality of white privilege—that growing up believing that whites were the norm and people of color were the "other"—was a slap in the face for me. For the first time, I had to accept that although I never used racial slurs or deliberately shunned a person of color, I was not actively resisting my white privilege. Instead, I was accepting the unearned advantages that being white brought me. I would never have called myself racist, but by not being an active antiracist I was allowing the systematic institutional racism that ultimately benefits me to go on.

I have since learned to differentiate between racial prejudice and racism. It often causes anger and discomfort among other whites when I assert my belief that while people of races can be racially prejudiced, only whites can be racist. Because only whites benefit from the systems of advantages in America, this anger appears to stem from whites realizing their own guilt. This anger and discomfort,

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