It is not enough for Mr. Shull to claim that he is not a racist. As we have discussed, the opposite of racism isn’t “not racism,” it’s antiracism. And Mr. Shull has shown no evidence that he is becoming antiracist or anti-hate. Instead, he has viewed himself as the primary aggrieved party, and his response to the deserved anger, grief and frustration of the community has been to say that leftists are trying to “hammer people like us” and that he is proud to have not “flinched.”

From a Facebook post on Support Mark Shull, Feb. 13, 2021

A person who truly wished to repent and learn from their racist or hateful behavior would do much more than flinch. They would be appalled and devastated at the harm that they had caused and would then do everything in their power to right not only the wrongs that they had committed, but that society as a whole has perpetrated on those whom we view as “other.”

I will close with the wise words of Leonard Pitts Jr. (Pitts, 2020)

For the love of Heaven, please don’t say, “I am not a racist.”

So what should that person say instead? Glad you asked. Here’s a template for future apologies:

“I am profoundly sorry for what I said or did. I apologize to the people I hurt. There is no excuse.

“I won’t insult your intelligence by saying ‘I am not a racist’ because I know I am. As a white person in a society where every institution is geared to advantage people like me, it is literally impossible for me to be anything else. In that, I am like a man in a male-dominated society. He cannot help being sexist, his good intentions notwithstanding. Saying he’s not sexist is like a fish saying he’s not wet.

“Many of us as white people struggle with that. That’s because we process racism as a loathsome character defect, when really, it’s the water in which we swim.

“No, the question is not whether we are racist, but what kind of racist we will be. Will we be the overt kind, whose behavior marks her from a mile away? In many ways, her very obviousness makes her the least dangerous.

“Will we be the racist in denial, who thinks that because he doesn’t use racial slurs and eats lunch with a black guy at work, he’s all good? He’s ultimately the most dangerous, because his racism is reflected in implicit bias but otherwise hidden, even from himself.

“Or will we be the racist in remission who knows good intentions are not enough, that he must consciously commit not simply to being non-racist, but actively anti-racist?

“That’s what I aspire to and what I hope I achieve more often than not. But when I said or did the offending thing, I fell short. That doesn’t reflect my intentions or my best self. So I ask your forgiveness.

“Like all of us, I’m only human. I will try to do better next time.”

leonard Pitts, Don’t say ‘I am not a racist’. Seattle Times