The Art and Craft of Not Being a Racist

Thanks to my friend Amy Hemphill for sharing this video, in which Jay Smooth turns a critical (side) eye to the Academy Awards. While this year’s presentation was the most “explicitly political” Oscars ceremony in years, the academy selections and nominees also managed to represent “the most exclusionary, white-ish, dudebro-ish” aspect of Hollywood.

Even if you care nothing for the Oscars, you owe it to yourself to watch this short 5 minute video. Especially if you’ve ever said to yourself, “I can’t be [racist/sexist/homophobic], I’m a good person.”

To that Jay says: There is nothing that does more to perpetuate injustice than good people who assume that injustice is caused by bad people.

The message is an especially potent one for those of us in the church, given the ways we both perpetuate the status quo without intending to, AND give ourselves a pass because we consider ourselves to be nice people who mean well.

Watch, think, and learn. And tend to your craft.

3 thoughts on “The Art and Craft of Not Being a Racist

  1. Rachel S. Heslin

    I remember submitting a short story I’d written many years ago and being told ever so kindly by the editor that, although she liked the writing itself, it was not being accepted because [paraphrased] it was Privileged White Chick Saves Ethnic Culture. She said it much more eloquently, pointing out specific areas where one of the supposed main characters was lacking in depth/perspective/inner life. I was startled, because I hadn’t realized how I’d presented the story. It made me very much aware of my biases going forward.

  2. Mamala

    This is great! I know that I hold prejudices which I’m not proud of, even though they are not your garden-variety ones so popular in today’s society. I will continue to commit to the practice of learning the craft of being good.


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