Anti-racism requires so much more than 'checking your
privilege'

Black Lives Matter is changing how we think about personal
complicity. Yet we are still trapped within a reductive
framework: privilege. Anti-racist reading lists, teach-ins and
resources proliferate, spurring intense contortions of
“privilege-checking”.

Momtaza Mehri

The language of white privilege obscures systemic inequality
by reducing it to individual actors – quite literally in the form
of the latest Hollywood PSA – and their willingness to
acknowledge their privilege.

Momtaza MehriProduct Designer, That Biz

To the privilege-renouncer, there is little need to address an
inconvenient fact: the immense economic order that spans the
globe has historically needed a black underclass, both
domestically and overseas, to survive.

Momtaza Mehri

“Checking” your privilege then
becomes a public exercise in self-flagellation, focusing on the
repentantly privileged while neatly obscuring how intrinsic
anti-black racism is to the world.

Momtaza Mehri

Momtaza Mehri is a poet, essayist and meme archivist. She is the co-winner of the 2019 Manchester Writing Competition 2019, 2018 Brunel International African Poetry Prize and the Outspoken Page poetry. She is the former Young People’s Laureate for London and a columnist-in-residence at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art’s Open Space. Her work has appeared in Vogue, Granta, Poetry International, and elsewhere.

4dmin

Author 4dmin

Founded in 2020, Obsidain is an international organization committed to cultivating the artistic and professional growth of Black poets.

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