I came to the US at the beginning of 2020, and I appreciate seeing not only the US response to the global pandemic but also its reaction to the BLM movement.
Looking at the people who protested in so many American cities in 2020, I changed my mind on many things connected to racism. I believe that the BLM movement and the fight for equal rights will shape US politics and the future and change the mindsets of millions inside the country and abroad.
The way we think about race creates institutional patterns that can influence many generations. I hope that universities and scientists worldwide will pay more attention to research about race and racism.
These types of research can be crucially important for many industries. For example, I am working in an organization that fights against human trafficking in the US. Analyzing different sources, we can’t find updated and reliable data around human trafficking and race. We know that traffickers exploit vulnerabilities such as home and income insecurities, and we see that people of color are very often become the victims of traffickers. But it is only assumptions, and we can’t base on it or conclude how race correlates with human trafficking. And if we have this data, we could include it in our trainings for law-enforcement officers and pay service providers attention to this issue.
The book “How to Be Antiracist” by the historian Ibram X. Kendi is one of The New York Times bestsellers this year. Kendi is an American historian of race and discriminatory policy in America. After the publication of “How to be antiracist” he assumed the position of director of the Center for Antiracist Research at Boston University.
The main message of the book is there’s no such thing as being ‘not racist.’ The author explains that even the fact of inaction (simply being ‘not racist’) in the face of racism is a form of racism. Ibram claims that all people no matter their professions should actively fight racism doing their everyday work because racism is in every level of our societies and institutions.
The Harvard scholar also explains how we feel racism and form patterns that are based on racism ideas. He pays attention that we need to analyse individual behaviour rather than focus on collective prejudices and racial group behaviour.
“Racial group behaviour fictional and individual behaviour real. I could have studied harder. But some of my white friends could study harder, too, and their failure and irresponsibility didn’t somehow tarnish their race. To be an antiracist is to recognize there is no such thing as racial behaviour. Just as race doesn’t exist biologically, it doesn’t exist behaviorally. Antiracism means separating the idea of a culture from the idea of behavior. Culture defines a group tradition that a particular racial group can share but that is not shared by all individuals in that racial group or among all racial groups”.