In my “definition” of racism I agreed with the fact that racism is an irrational bias (positive OR negative) against a certain racial group.
I also agree that there is some form of prejudice or hatred towards white people – The general vibe I get from white people when I try to talk to them about racism, is that there is a fear of being called racist.
Rather than accepting that racism exists, they to try to justify that racism isn’t as bad as it is when white people are being stereotyped negatively as well. Here is what an old work colleague of mine commented on an angry fb status I wrote regarding a racist newspaper article I saw
” to be fair, as a white male, i cannot claim racism, i cannot claim sexism, i cannot claim ageism (atm) i am in the most discriminated against section of society, as no-one will believe me if i claim any “ism” at all… and re. racism how come rappers can say the “N” word (see i am not allowed to type it without inciting racial hatred) all the time and no-one blinks an eye or claims inciting racial hatred by them…”
Jane Elliott’s brown eye blue eye experiment is a great example of white people denying racism. When the topic was raised that black people have to try harder to fit in and conform. One lady pointed out that her husband also has to conform! He has to wake up early and put on a suit and go to work. I was astounded that she was agreeing with the words coming out of her mouth – I’ve included a link a video of the experiment above.
There is a thin line between racism and prejudice, and that line in power. The suffix ‘-ism’ means a distinctive practice, system, or philosophy, typically a political ideology or an artistic movement. If sexism and homophobia have been accepted in society, why is the meaning of racism so misunderstood.
In a beautiful example given by Dr. Joy DeGruy Leary asks her audience how white racism negatively affects black people – there were answers such as: job opportunity; housing; school performance etc.. When she asked the audience what negative affects black racism had … Silence. And that is exactly the point.
Racism becomes intertwined with the power systems, if the majority of lawyers, politicians, police officers etc are mostly white men, then there is a real imbalance with who works in highly influential positions which doesn’t reflect the rest of the population.
Not all white people are racist, but the system of white supremacy/privilege is racist. So.. can black people really be racist? Find out in my next blog post