I fucking hate it when I’m scrolling through a good blog thinking “hmm might follow this” and then I see that ridiculous post whitesplaining to black Americans that racism is “different” in Europe and that white people can be victims of racism here.
No. We’re not. White people from Poland and Romania and other countries can be victims of xenophobia. People of colour are victims of racism. And racism in the UK looks much like racism in America - we have police brutality against black people, a disproportionate amount of black people in prison, Islamophobic hate crime, lack of POC representation in our media, a disproportionate amount of POCs living in poverty and all the rest of it.
White people are not victims of racism. We can be victims of xenophobic hate crime, xenophobic discrimination and xenophobic legislation but we will never ever be victims of racism.
And you can sit there and shrug and say “meh same difference” but it fucking matters. It matters because white people are responsible for racism whether we like it or not. We all benefit from white privilege and we’re all complicit to varying degrees. When people blur the lines between racism and xenophobia, it leads to the fallacy that anyone can be a victim of racism, which means nobody is really responsible and nobody has any particular obligation to examine their thoughts and actions.
Xenophobia is dangerous and life threatening and oppressive. We don’t have to mislabel it as racism to understand that. Racism and xenophobia have separate histories and separate causes. It’s not difficult to learn the difference.