Then one day he told me it was a Dare To Be Yourself shirt. I was taken aback, I bore no ill will, I just thought it was fun. But then he told me that it’s a whole thing, lots of people touch his hair without permission, and it’s just very common with black hair in general. He was not calling me a racist, he was telling me that this specific action was racist and that I shouldn’t do it anymore. So I stopped. I could have gotten angry at the label but what does that accomplish?
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He’s my friend and I was making him uncomfortable so I should stop doing the Dare To Be Yourself shirt. It’s a very innocent example, but it is just an example of a small change I could make in my behavior to stop contributing to a behavior that makes many black people uncomfortable. So me doing the racist thing, doesn’t make me a racist, it means I was doing a racist thing and I needed to cut it out. In the same fashion a policy can be racist regardless of its’ intent.