“Racism is like a Cadillac; they bring out a new model every year.” — Malcolm X

(Disclaimer: This article focuses on the white appropriation of Black culture because of the problematic history that whiteness has imposed on Blackness. But yes, non-Black people also appropriate AAVE. If you’re a non-Black person who can see themselves in what I’ve written, I encourage you not to look away and reflect on this critical issue).

“Hey, sis!”

I know this will be a tough pill to swallow, so resist the urge to “cancel” me, white people. We need to talk about one of the ways anti-Blackness casually manifests itself, and that’s through our use of African American Vernacular English (AAVE)…

Ssh! Shut up! Don’t say that!

(Disclaimer: Yes, every child is socialized into the system of white supremacy and is influenced by racism and anti-Blackness. However, this article will only focus on white children’s socialization and inherent privilege).

Since white supremacy is the default of our U.S. American society and racism a by-product, it is no surprise that white children grow up into adulthood with (often) unchallenged racial biases. One way the racial prejudice of white children manifests is by perniciously whispering “Black people” in conversation. …

I’ve stumbled and face-planted more times than I can count

If there was a book titled “How Not to Do Antiracism,” I swear my face would be on the cover page. Still, part of the reason my antiracist journey has been transformative and continually deepening is that I’ve made several mistakes. I’ve stumbled and face-planted along the way; heck, I’ve even created an antiracist alias! Through it all, though, I recognize that being in this work for the long haul means striving for sustained antiracist commitment and not perfection.

It doesn’t matter what brought you in and when you decided to do this work, so long as you are committed…

Perfectionism is so engrained in my body that I feel it living in my bones

I have a confession to make: I am a perfectionist.

I often find myself being critical of everything I do: my creativity, writing, and antiracist practice. I am very critical of my writing right now! I’ve written two sentences and deleted three — I’m not sure how that happened. My mind is constantly telling me that I can do better; that’s the tiring position from which I begin everything.

My perfectionism is often debilitating, mainly when I’m not mindful. I’ve realized that my subconscious mantra has been “you are not good enough.” This mantra is my automatic starting point from…

Dear Latinx people who use the term “White-Passing” to describe themselves: White-Passing is not a race.

We “Latinx” people need to get clear about our personal racial identity. We also need to understand the difference between our individual racial identities and the political utility of our collective identity: Latinx. Otherwise, we’re going to perpetuate lateral oppression in addition to the harmful fragility of not having a solid understanding of our race.

I understand refusing to be identified as part of the oppressive racial group, but as the brilliant Black feminist Lutze Segu says, “How can you be my ally when…

Leave the devil out of this argument

We’ve all been in a room with that person who seemingly derives joy from draining the energy from people standing against racism. With a smug look so insincere it could make Mount Vesuvius erupt in rage, they revel in their mediocre challenge of racism with great pride.

The white devil’s advocate often announces they are playing ‘devil’s advocate.’ For instance, I’ve heard many of them begin their half-baked retorts with a big ‘ole “BUT,” then followed with “don’t you think…” As a white-Mexican who’s unpacking his internalized anti-Blackness and imperfectly standing against racism, it can be annoying to come across…

We must be critical about the things we watch

Hollywood has a well-known addiction problem that continues to perpetuate itself in media. What’s the addiction of choice? Whiteness, of course. Year after year, Hollywood continues to bombard the public with a disproportionate vast sea of whiteness. A sea so perniciously unrelenting it continues to crash against the weathered shores of our minds.

Now, I admit, I am an avid fan of media in general, and I love film and television in particular. I am also a super geek when it comes to Marvel and D.C. movies. My favorite comic book character is Superman. He’s my superhero of choice, and…

Being labeled a “racist” should not be the end of the world, nor should it feel like a death sentence.

I was one of over 17 million people who watched Oprah’s interview with the royal couple, Harry and Meghan. Like Oprah, I too had a visceral reaction when Markle revealed that one of the questions asked about her unborn baby (at the time) concerned his potential skin color. I’m not surprised in the least that someone from the monarchy posed that question. I’m not surprised because the royal court is literally rooted in catastrophic colonialization that exported brutal domination to over 80% percent of the world and continues to reap benefits and resources. …

Look Inward and Not Outward

How is it that racism yields anti-Black outcomes in the form of racial disparities, but white people still do not see their part in perpetuating racism? We still see racism as something outside of ourselves. We see it as a system perpetuated by bad people over there but not by us because we’re “one of the good ones,” as Layla Saad describes.

White people (of all ethnicities), it’s time to be honest; it’s been time. It’s time to stop playing games; It’s time to address our internalized anti-Black sentiment, and it’s time to start implicating ourselves in racism.

I don’t…

The Messy Deepening of my Racial Reckoning and Anti-Racism Practice

I’ve never thought of myself as white: I thought of myself as only Mexican. A Mexican with a cinnamon complexion that could make Mexican singer, Thalia, belt out, “Eres piel morena. Canto de pasión y arena!” Translation: “You are brown skin. A song of passion and sand.” Ironically, it turns out I don’t have piel morena either. Why have I been so out of touch with my racial reality? How do I navigate this awareness, and where do I go from here? …

Joey Pierre

Race & Class researcher, scholar, writer, and amateur astronomer. Unearthing myself from white supremacy and planting myself in Black Liberation.

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