Racism is a concept. It has no direct agents. White supremacy has movements, behaviors, and means that are well understood by those who opposite it—and it can be opposed because there exists agency. A white person who commits violent acts against people of color does not identify themselves a subordinate to racism; they are doing what they feel they must for the prosperity of the white race.
Sometimes this violence is carried out by people who don’t identify with that ideology, committed seemingly ignorant of its advancement of whiteness. We in a white-dominated society are made passive agents. Not every victory for white supremacy requires the fire department. In fact, we “well meaning” whites who go about our days not questioning why we say certain things and why we have certain reactions towards certain power are their most reliable source of labor.
To disrupt this agenda we must, as those who strive to be allies, call out anti-blackness wherever we see it.
–On “racism by inaction”.
This is part of a longer article on racism within pop cultural spaces, in this case professional wrestling. It’s also, for the record, why I find it really uncomfortable to buy Zeb Colter and Jack Swagger as faces, because I remember them too much as “The Real Americans”, who profited off the spectacle of xenophobia and racism (they were essentially the “Tea Party tag team”).
It probably doesn’t help much that Colter and Swagger turned face still because of xenophobia, just… a kind of xenophobia that was more “comfortable” to the audience.