Thank you so much for these insights, in particular the emphasis on ‘intent.’ As you point out, victims are more focused on results because the result of racism is toxic to that victim regardless of intent. An inordinate focus on intent is a manner of shirking responsibility, with the resulting support of the status quo which white liberals claim they work against; their attachment to intent proves a desire for the opposite: to maintain the (their) status quo.
As you point out, this is a cognitive distortion which continues to baffle black, brown, and indigenous peoples. I’ve noticed a tendency for some of the books on ‘white identity politics’ to separate intent from result in fairly significant ways which may be worrisome. For example, I am not convinced that a true separation between supporting one’s own in-group (whiteness) and being prejudiced towards an out-group (POC) exists, as argued by Jardina in her book White Identity Politics. Her argument essentially separates lack of intent (supporting one’s in-group without specific conscious racism — whiteness) from intent (overt white supremacy).
This is a matter of conscious v. unconscious intent which, for the black/brown/indigenous person, often leads to the same result. In other words, it seems white identity politics, whether intentional racism or not, discriminates against POC, thereby creating a distinction on the basis of intent which only exists as a cognitive distortion. This continued emphasis on “I didn’t mean it” continues to fuel a lack of accountability in actual results, in actual positive changes for the large number of people experiencing that discrimination.
What are your thoughts?