Racism is a justification for exploitation, which means at its core are structural disadvantages and severe Power imbalances. Therefore antiracism needs active mitigation of exploitation to be effective.
[F]reedom is not enough. You do not wipe away the scars of centuries by saying: Now you are free to go where you want, and do as you desire, and choose the leaders you please.
You do not take a person who, for years, has been hobbled by chains and liberate him, bring him up to the starting line of a race and then say, “you are free to compete with all the others,” and still justly believe that you have been completely fair.
Thus it is not enough just to open the gates of opportunity. All our citizens must have the ability to walk through those gates.
This is the next and the more profound stage of the battle for civil rights. We seek not just freedom but opportunity. We seek not just legal equity but human ability, not just equality as a right and a theory but equality as a fact and equality as a result.Johnson (1965)
A lot of the opposition to actively antiracist policies comes from within Bubbles of Affluence, which make the structural disadvantages of marginalised groups invisible.
– Johnson (1965): “Howard University Commencement Address”