The Anti-Racist Social Club is here to help you become an anti-racist and ally! We've got some great original content for your viewing pleasure as well as answers to your most burning questions. If you don't see what you need, give us a shout via email or the chat box at the bottom of the page and we'll get you sorted.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is White privilege and White supremacy?
Let's be clear – if you are White, you have White privilege. It doesn’t mean you haven’t struggled in your life, though. It means you haven’t struggled because of the colour of your skin.
What are microaggressions?
Microaggressions are any statement, action, or incident regarded as an instance of indirect, subtle, or unintentional discrimination against members of a marginalized group such as a racial or ethnic minority. Think of them like subtle acts of exclusion. We've got a great video that talks about them in more depth, but suffice it to say that microaggressions are everywhere and it's important to focus on their impact, not your intention.
What is White fragility?
What does anti-racism actually mean?
Why is person of colour a problematic term?
A person of colour is defined as a person who is not White or of European parentage. So, in essence, most of the world is a "person of colour". The term is more problematic than it is offensive. Grouping dissimilar people together simply by the fact they are not White reinforces a eurocentric worldview and invalidates the unique identities of individual racial and ethnic groups.
What do "systemic" and "institutionalised" mean in the context of racism?
On their own, systemic and institutionalised describe the impact of something on the whole – be it a system like the human body or like a government. So when we talk about systemic racism and institutionalised racism, we're talking about White supremacy. It means that racism is embedded as normal within society and the institutions that govern it. It disproportionately impacts people of colour in negative ways in the criminal justice system, employment and wealth distribution, housing, healthcare, education – pretty much everything. It means that racism is woven into societal norms and official policies designed to oppress people of colour, and often in ways we don't even realise.
What is eurocentrism and whitewashing?
Eurocentrism describes a worldview which implicitly and explicitly favours Western history, values, and culture as normal and superior to non-Western civilisations. This includes Europe as well as countries like the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and others where White people form the majority. This world-view manifests itself in the development of school curriculum, in how beauty standards are formed, and in more obvious ways such as the designation of non-English films as "foreign" or discrimination. These manifestations are often described as the whitewashing of something (e.g. history).
What is code switching?
Do I say Black people, African-American, people of color, BAME, or something else?
All of these terms are problematic. And yet in some form or fashion they're all "okay" in the right context. First, let's discuss why they're problematic. For one, they're fairly reductive and generalised. Not every Black person is the same beautiful shade of melanin, just like not every African-American actually identifies with their stolen African ancestry. Grouping all people who aren't White into a certain group based on their skin colour and giving it an acronym is just as troubling.
What is The Anti-Racist Social Club (ARSC)?
We work to create spaces and resources for open dialogue with White people and non-Black POC about becoming anti-racist. This is a safe space to ask questions and engage with difficult topics, in fun and engaging ways.
I want to be an ally, but where do I even start!?
I don't have discretionary income, but still want to support the movement. How can I?
Although donating monthly to an organisation fighting for racial equality is one of the best ways to support the movement, there are plenty of other ways to be an ally. Education is the only way to fight ignorance, so make sure you're equipped with the right information to have the necessary conversations with those in your life. You can also protest, sign petitions, and share resources on your social media platforms. Another way to contribute is through volunteering. Our organisation is always looking for support, so reach out if you're interested in sharing your skills with our community.
How can I make my organisation more anti-racist?
Promoting anti-racism in your workplace or organisations can be tricky, but we offer workshops to engage your professional networks in fun ways. Check out our Workshops page for more information.
Are you affiliated with the Black Lives Matter organisation?
Here at ARSC, we firmly believe that Black lives matter. That means all of our work focuses on promoting anti-racism and allyship with Black communities. When we use #BlackLivesMatter, we are usually referring to the broader movement, and not the specific organisation that exists. Though we agree with many of the tenets of the Black Lives Matter organisation, we are our own entity and are not officially affiliated with any other organisations.
Is it too early to start educating my children about racism?
Not. At. All. Early childhood development research shows that even babies notice differences in skin colour. So it's important that from a young age we aren't avoiding conversations about the realities of the world in order to "protect" our children. It does a disservice to them when we hide from these difficult topics and makes us complicit in the continuation of the legacy of racism in our world.
Is this club only for White people?
While the content we curate and produce is targeted towards White people and non-Black people of colour, this club is open to everyone. There is something here for everyone, regardless of your race, ethnicity, nationality, gender, sexuality, marital status, faith, level of income, political affiliation, or disability status.
We all have a role to play in promoting racial equality and this club will hopefully provide information that not only benefits you, but also your personal and professional networks.
Why can't I say the "N-word"?
Well you can. But you probably shouldn't. And by probably, we mean definitely. Nigger is an ethnic slur directed towards Black people. Regardless of its history and regardless of who in your life is Black, if you are not Black you shouldn't use the term. Nigga, a variant of the term, is just as problematic. The spelling and pronunciation of this abbreviation reflects the pronunciation of nigger in certain non-rhotic dialects of English, like that of UK English.
When this issue arises, we challenge you to think why you want to say the word. If it's because you feel you have a right to, it's highly possible you have a eurocentric worldview. So when in doubt, just don't say it. It's pretty simple when you think about.
Why are we focusing on only Black people when other groups experience racism as well?
Is posting on social media performative?
Depends who you ask! But in reality, it shouldn't matter. Sharing resources with your personal and professional networks via social media is a great way to educate others and fight ignorance. But just make sure it's not the only thing you do. Contact your politicians, sign petitions, donate monthly, protest, learn, LISTEN, and amplify the voices of Black people. And if you see something on social that isn't accurate or is problematic, speak up about it! For tips on having difficult conversations, check out our original content at the top of this page.
Why are protests violent?
The truth is, most aren't. But that doesn't get news ratings, does it? Take this quote from President John F. Kennedy: "Those who make peaceful revolution impossible, will make violent revolution inevitable". We like this quote because the focus is on the problem, not the symptom. Violent protests, although not ideal, are just a symptom of an oppressed people trying to fight for their lives. But if you're more concerned about a burning building, and not the reason behind the protest, that could be a sign of your privilege. It's okay to be opposed to violence, but that should be coupled with an opposition to all forms of oppression that cause harm – and that includes racism. We shouldn't focus on the right or wrong ways to protest – what's important to focus on is why we protest and what problems we are trying to fix.
Why are so many Black people anti-police?
Why do we have policies like affirmative action, isn't that just reverse racism?
Racism requires power and authority. So although it may feel that diversity initiatives like affirmative action are discriminating against Whte people, they're not. There is no scientific evidence to suggest that White people suffer from diversity initiatives and claims of reverse racism ignore the fact that Black people and other minorities lack the power structures to actually oppress White people.