Lessons On "Reverse Racism"

Image: huffingtonpost.com
Article by: Jayana



“Reverse racism” is the belief that when a dominant race is discriminated against, it is an example of racism. This concept, however, is false— here’s why:

#1: RACISM AND PREJUDICE/DISCRIMINATION ARE NOT INTERCHANGEABLE TERMS
Prejudice is a feeling of dislike towards a certain group that is typically based off of a stereotype. 

Discrimination happens when a person decides to act on the aforementioned prejudice. African-Americans have lost jobs because their bosses decided that their hairstyle could be deemed as “unprofessional.” When a Muslim man in New York decided to grow out his beard, he was called a terrorist and was fired. Racism is an institutionalized belief— it’s when people think that one race is better than the other. An example of this is slavery: people were born into a world where if you were one race, you were someone’s “master,” and if you were another, you were someone’s “slave.” If you experience discrimination and bigotry, that’s one thing; however, claiming that your experiences are an example of “racism” is entirely different. It downplays the actual examples of racism that PoC have to go through on a daily basis.

#2: RACISM = PRIVILEGE + POWER
Since racism is an institutionalized belief, it is literally impossible to be racist towards a white person. PoC do not benefit from the oppression of white people. In order for “reverse racism” to exist, we’d have to live in a society where every race has equal opportunity and power. Because white people have never been segregated, enslaved, experienced police brutality, or job discrimination on the level that African-Americans and other PoC have, you can’t be racist towards white people on any level.

#3: RACIAL SLURS
Calling a white person “cracker” is not the same as calling an African-American person the “n” word. The “n” word dehumanizes African-Americans and is used to imply inferiority. When PoC call white people “crackers,” it does little to make them feel inferior because when a race is labeled as a minority, it has no power over your existence or over you institutionally/systematically. When white people use the “n” word, they fail to realize that it holds years of oppression, prejudice, and brutality.

#4: BEING A PoC DOES NOT TAKE OPPORTUNITIES AWAY FROM A WHITE PERSON
In fact, PoC have fewer opportunities than white people. Within the class system that we have today, people are constantly competing against others with the same socioeconomic status as them. Wealthy people compete against wealthy people, middle-class people compete against other middle-class people, etc. In those competitions, white privilege is alive and well. No matter the status of white people, it is a fact that they are treated better than PoC. It is statistically proven that white people are treated better by caseworkers and are given more assistance when searching for jobs. White people are more likely to own homes and be paid more annually than their PoC counterparts. Not only are white students 40% more likely to earn private scholarships than minorities, but people with “white sounding names” are more likely to get called back for a job.

DON’T confuse giving PoC equal opportunities in life as an example of racism. Living in a society where virtually every opportunity is made to benefit white people, it is only fair that we should have a chance to experience the same privileges that they do. White people only pull the “reverse racism” card when they believe that they’re being denied of said privileges. DON’T confuse being discriminated against as racism. Discrimination isn’t okay but neither is downplaying the actual racism that PoC go through. Reverse racism isn’t real and it’s about time people realized that.

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