Cheyenne Bardos | Facing our fear of race
We must unlearn perfection – this idea that we can just not be racist – and understand that anti-racism is an ongoing journey riddled with mistakes.
When was the last time you looked at yourself in the mirror and asked, ‘am I racist?’. We like to think of ourselves as progressive and politically aware, but what if we’re more racist than we think?
No matter our intentions or beliefs, the society we live in presents whiteness as the desirable norm. This means that on many levels, we often do too, and we routinely act in ways that reinforce this. If we don’t look at racism as something that goes beyond our individual beliefs, we make it harder for ourselves to disrupt a racist status quo. As both individuals and as a society, we have an engrained fear of being labelled racist or even starting conversations about race, but perhaps addressing this fear head on is exactly what we need to do to achieve equality.
To access a transcript of this podcast please head here.
This talk was a part of Fresh Blood, an event of short talks in the 2022 Festival of Dangerous Ideas.
Cheyenne Bardos is a Dean’s List Commerce/Media student with the Faculty of Arts, Design & Architecture and UNSW Business School. A Filipino immigrant who moved from Manila to Wagga Wagga in 2006, Cheyenne has always been curious about diversity, race, and privilege. Her academic research thus examines media, sociology, and technology through a cultural and diasporic lens. In 2019, she won the Lusthaus Prize as the top student in Creating Social Change, a course that utilises systems thinking in addressing wicked social problems. Cheyenne’s work spans across creative production, marketing, and social media. She has written published articles about women of colour in Sydney’s creative industry, the intersectional issues of dental inequality, and the future of diversity in fashion. She also volunteers with social enterprise Welcome Merchant and advocacy NFP Women of Colour Australia.