Not-racist v anti-racist: what’s the difference?

This article was last updated on 25 June 2020.

John Amaechi is a psychologist, a New York Times best-selling author and a former NBA basketball player. In the wake of the George Floyd killing and the Black Lives Matter protests, and at a time when many people want to learn how they can be better allies for black people, we asked John what it means to be anti-racist.

There's a big difference between being not-racist and being anti-racist. I know it doesn't seem like it. I know that both of these things seem equally good, but they're not.

Sometimes, we sit and we look around us and we think, ‘how can I possibly change all this?’ And sometimes you can’t. But what you can do is make sure wherever you go, people know where you stand. They know that you’re an anti-racist. You become a beacon of light that way. You become someone who makes other people want to be anti-racist too. You’ve got tools at your disposal. Learn. Read. And make everybody clear where you stand.

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