At our February monthly business meeting Friends paused to consider the wording on the new signage for our Little Free Library. Several Friends have expressed concern that the term “Antiracist” implies that we are against people who are racist, and that some people just bristle at the word. The word “Antiracism” was suggested as a softer alternative that could not be mistaken for animosity toward people.
At the risk of muddying the waters instead of clearing them, I’d like to offer the rationale for the very intentional wording on the sign: “Little Free Antiracist Library”. When the Peace and Social Concerns Committee brought the idea of a “little free antiracist library” to monthly meeting for approval, the verbiage “antiracist” was used. A good number of us at New Garden had joined other Friends online for a book study hosted by North Carolina Friends Fellowship’s Antiracist Committee. The book we studied over a period of several months was Ibram X. Kendi’s “How to Be an Antiracist”.
In Kendi’s book he defines: Antiracist – “one who is supporting an antiracist policy through their actions or expressing an antiracist idea”.
Antiracism – “a powerful collection of antiracist policies that lead to racial equity and are substantiated by antiracist ideas”.
The word “Antiracist” on our sign is an adjective for library, and the action of installing the library supports antiracism.
Clear as mud? Let’s keep digging together!
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