The Morgan Freeman quote about the best way to end racism is an oft trotted out weapon of racists but never do we hear this more than during Black History Month. In fact, I’d say it may be second only to “If there was a white history month it would be called racist.” (This was supposed to be posted last month, sorry)
Usually, when people dissect this quote to show it’s ignorance, they make comparisons. I’m sure most of us have heard someone talk about this and facetiously say something like, “The best way to end cancer is to stop talking about it.” This is usually followed by three or four more comments just like it.
Well, it’s a good point. Great point even. The idea that not talking about something will magically make it disappear is non-sense at it’s finest.
While I both enjoy and agree with that tact, I’d like to give a different perspective here. First off, the quote in question, was taken out of context. Don’t get me wrong, Morgan Freeman stands proud on the side of white supremacy but this quote, at least the way it’s used, is taken completely out of it’s contextual point.
The point here is not and was not to “Stop talking about it” but instead to stop making it a “Special” conversation. If the discussion about racism was part of our every day lives, really a part of it, a part of the national conversation- in school, at work, everywhere. It wouldn’t be “Special.” When we saw racism, we would call it out, the person would make the decision to apologize and change or choose to continue to be racist but the “Call out” or the “Talking about” wouldn’t be dirty, wrong or “Political.” It would simply be Wednesday.
When racism comes up, it’s “Special.” Sure you hear about it a lot on sites like Tumblr but this site is really it’s own environment. It’s not reflective of the world at large.
If racism, in all it’s forms was a regular, every day discussion, something that could be discussed as freely as today’s school lunch, there would never, ever be a requirement for the “Special” conversation and we would no longer have to “Talk about it” in specially marked rooms with “Race theory” written on the door.
Finally, just to state the obvious, the people who’ve read this far and are looking for something more concise to say the next time they hear someone spout off the “Stop talking about it” stuff, simply say this:
In order to talk about racism, racism would have to first exist. I can’t “Point it out” if there’s nothing to point to. Stop asking me to change the effect when you have no interest in first changing the cause.
Follow RacismSchool on Twitter and Facebook. DONATE NOW!