• Understanding the important distinction between non-racist and anti-racist
• Indigenous Concerns and the Red Nation Principles of Unity
• Poem by Ross Gay: A Small Needful Fact
Understanding the important distinction between non-racist and anti-racist
Ibram X. Kendi, the director of the Center for Antiracist Research at Boston University, draws a distinction between racist, non-racist, and anti racist. His work is transforming the public conversation around racism and antiracism in vitally important ways.
As Kendi writes: “What’s the problem with being “not racist”? It is a claim that signifies neutrality: “I am not a racist, but neither am I aggressively against racism.” But there is no neutrality in the racism struggle. The opposite of “racist” isn’t “not racist.” It is “antiracist.” What’s the difference? One endorses either the idea of a racial hierarchy as a racist, or racial equality as an antiracist. One either believes problems are rooted in groups of people, as a racist, or locates the roots of problems in power and policies, as an antiracist. One either allows racial inequities to persevere, as a racist, or confronts racial inequities, as an antiracist. There is no in-between safe space of “not racist.” The claim of “not racist” neutrality is a mask for racism. This may seem harsh, but it’s important at the outset that we apply one of the core principles of antiracism, which is to return the word “racist” itself back to its proper usage. “Racist” is not—as Richard Spencer argues—a pejorative. It is not the worst word in the English language; it is not the equivalent of a slur. It is descriptive, and the only way to undo racism is to consistently identify and describe it—and then dismantle it. The attempt to turn this usefully descriptive term into an almost unusable slur is, of course, designed to do the opposite: to freeze us into inaction.”
Kendi, Ibram X., How to Be an Antiracist. Random House Publishing Group, 2019.
Indigenous Concerns and the Red Nation Principles of Unity
We in ORMA are inspired in our revolutionary and anti-racism actions by the mighty vision contained in the Preamble to the Red Nation’s Principles of Unity. We cannot win any revolution ORMA is involved in without joining directly in the struggles of the oppressed. In support of the Massachusetts Indigenous Agenda, we urge you to read the eloquent and moving “Preamble,” ratified by the first General Assembly of Freedom Councils in Albuquerque, New Mexico, August 10, 2018 (Pueblo Revolt Day).
We are Indigenous revolutionaries.
We are comrades and relatives first and foremost.
We practice radical democracy and compassion for all relatives.
Thank you for supporting this movement.
Your help with this ORMA priority will help make it achievable!
Please submit your ORMA priority events, suggestions, achievements, questions, and proposals to info@
Poem by Ross Gay:
A Small Needful Fact
Is that Eric Garner worked
for some time for the Parks and Rec.
Horticultural Department, which means,
perhaps, that with his very large hands,
perhaps, in all likelihood,
he put gently into the earth
some plants which, most likely,
some of them, in all likelihood,
continue to grow, continue
to do what such plants do, like house
and feed small and necessary creatures,
like being pleasant to touch and smell,
like converting sunlight
into food, like making it easier
for us to breathe.
More Ross Gay poems may be found at Poets.org.