Sometimes (like, most of the time) people seem to not understand what racial structures are, and that they themselves can somehow be involved without being well-meaning. Yes, you can be well-meaning and still be a part of racial structures. You can be anti-racist, and still not see your own prejudices and privileges. You can say and do hurtful things to others and not realize it.
Facts – what happened – is one thing.
Intent – why it happened – is another.
It doesn’t matter if you didn’t mean to hurt anyone with your words or actions. If your words or actions hurt someone, they were hurtful. Period. Ignorance is not an excuse -it is an explanation. When you know better, you do better – otherwise you are just a piece of dirt, to paraphrase two wise women (Maya Angelou & Astrid Lindgren).
And what is the antidote to ignorance? To talk about it. To make change by acknowledging things the way they are. If we don’t acknowledge how things are, we will never be able to change them.
Which is why it makes me so happy to see all the kids marching against violence of any kind all around the globe! Only through awareness can we accomplish change.