“As for white America, perhaps it can stop crying out against 'black supremacy,' 'black nationalism,' 'racism in reverse,' and begin facing reality. The reality is that this nation, from top to bottom, is racist.”—
From “What We Want” by Stokely Carmichael in 1966.
This was 45 years ago. Why the FUCK is this still so relevant?
A white man is called "Cracker" by a black man.
The word hits him like a saltine underhand-tossed into a lake of whole milk. He feels nothing inside. He does not suddenly call to mind the centuries of injustice and cruelty people like him have suffered, because people like him have not suffered centuries of injustice and cruelty. He does not feel threatened, or like violence will be perpetrated upon him (anymore than he usually does when near a black man). He is not given an instant reminder of how the system in place today works—sometimes tacitly but often openly—against him, because the system works for him. He is so pretend-offended that he uses this instance as an excuse to hold on to his atrocious beliefs for the rest of his life.
“So whereas “nigger” was and is a term used by whites to dehumanize blacks, to imply their inferiority, to “put them in their place” if you will, the same cannot be said of honky: after all, you can’t put white people in their place when they own the place to begin with.”—RaceandHistory.com : A Look at the Myth of Reverse Racism
Uh oh! Someone's just called me Racist!: A White Person's Brief Guide To Coping with Feelings (Tumblr Edition)
So someone just called you racist!
As alarming and hurtful as this may feel, rather than lashing out at this seeming offense, take a moment to sit and think about WHY. What did you say to hurt someone? Is your white supremacy showing today?
A few things to consider:
- If there was nothing wrong with your post, why did you delete it? Why are you so ashamed of what you said if everything was fine with it?
- Posting 30 new pictures of people of color on your tumblr 10 minutes after the call-outs begin is not going to convince anyone that you’re not racist
- Until you acknowledge the fact that experiencing racism is far worse than being called racist, you’re not going to get anywhere.
- Claiming age as a defense - as in “too young to know better” … please understand that if a child is old enough to experience racism, the offending child is old enough to take responsibility for the racism they just inflicted.
- Sending anonymous asks to yourself and saying things like “As a black man” or “As a black woman” and defending yourself …? Well. Not cute. You’ve been seent. Take note and cut that shit out.
- Acknowledge the fact that people of color are INDEED human and shockingly we do not all share the same views. (Example: Just because your friend doesn’t mind if you use X racial slur around them doesn’t mean you should use it around every person within the same racial group as your friend. And why do you feel it necessary to say said racial slur in the first place, shit bag?)
- You fucked up. Acknowledge it. Own it. Learn from it.
- Educate yourself, and NOT by asking people of color how to do so. We are not expendable resources available for your every whim and desire. The internet awaits at your fingertips. Take advantage of that shit.
“Now to "Reverse Racism." It's crucial to maintain the distinction between the above three terms, because otherwise white people tend to redefine "Discrimination" as "Racism". Their main argument is that because both blacks and white can discriminate against each other, that "Reverse Racism" is possible. But the truth of the matter is that black people: 1) have far less opportunity to discriminate against whites than whites have to discriminate against blacks, overall; and 2) black people lack a system of institutionalized support that protect them when they discriminate against whites. It took black and white people working together for one hundred years to get programs like Affirmative Action installed in the U.S., but it took one white man (Alan Bakke) only a single Supreme Court case to get those programs dismantled because he felt he didn't gain entry into medical school based on his white race. "Reverse Racism" would only describe a society in which all the rules and roles were turned upside down. That has not happened in the U.S., however much white right wing ideologues want to complain that they're being victimized by the few points of equality that minorities and women have managed to claim. White people who complain about "Reverse Racism" are actually complaining about being denied their privileges, rather than being denied their rights. They feel entitled to be hired and not to be discriminated against, even though the norm is white people discriminating against blacks. If, in a rare instance, a black employer discriminates against a white job applicant, that's not "reverse" anything -- it's simple discrimination. It's to be condemned on principle, but it's not evidence of some systematic program by which whites are being deprived of their rights. The right wing popularized the term "Reverse Racism" because they were really angry at having their white privileges challenged. Anyone who uses that phrase, whether they are right wing or not, furthers the right wing's cause. This is what I tell Democrats and progressives who I hear using the term -- not only are they being inaccurate, but they're helping out their opponents. The above arguments can be applied to any institutionalized structure of oppression, affecting any race, ethnic or religious group, and can be used to to oppose claims of "Reverse Sexism" too. I hope that clarifies things a bit.”—
Just one answer of many on the subject of why I call BS on “reverse racism.”