I just received an email from a newsletter I’ve been reading for years, announcing a change in their domain name and asking to be “whitelisted.”
Now, I don’t know where you come from, but that sounds like some straight up KKK/white supremacist ish to me. As does “blacklisting/blackballing/blackmail/blackguard” and all the other terms employed to situate whiteness as good and blackness as bad.
And no, this isn’t a new thought. I’ve interrogated racism in language since at least the 1970s, which is exactly my point: how are people still using these words without a thought? Even with the limitations of English, there are alternatives. However, rooting out the inherent racism behind the words requires a fundamental reckoning with the culture and the societies on which they stand. And there’s the rub: people talk a good game, but true decolonization calls into question every structure and belief that we have, starting with the fabrication that folks really want equality and justice for all. Think about it and what that really means.
It’s the reality of revolution, not merely transient reform.
Good day, and thank you for coming to my Ted Talk.