Reverse racism is just racism
Why we need to stop calling it “reverse racism”
Racism used to be a straightforward term with a very straightforward definition. However, the tables have turned and not in a good way. There is talk about a minority’s inability to be racist towards white people because minorities cannot possibly be racist to those who directly and/or indirectly contributed and benefited from their systematic oppression. I find this way of thinking to be incredibly absurd and ridiculous. The fact that I had to have an actual debate about this with someone who seriously believed that minorities like themselves cannot be racist towards white people is mind-boggling. Hence, I am writing this to discuss and address the matter.
Defining “reverse racism” & ”racism”
According to those who believe reverse racism is a thing, they argue that racial minorities (i.e. blacks) cannot be racist towards a racial majority (i.e. whites) due to the existence of a power imbalance which is a consequence of historical systematic oppression. Therefore, a minority cannot be racist towards someone who is more powerful than themselves. Well, I can already say there is something fundamentally wrong with this way of thinking. For the sake of argument, I think it is important that we clearly define racism by looking at what it is and what it is not.
Notice that power imbalance is not a requisite for someone to be racist. Racism is simply the belief that one’s own race is superior over other races because it is believed that each race possesses characteristics or abilities which dictate biological superiority and inferiority. Racism can also be put into action (i.e. Not giving a person a job for reasons directly or indirectly related to their race). Now that I got this out of the way, let us take a look at why reverse racism is just racism.
Reverse racism is just racism
Recall the argument that racial minorities cannot be racist towards racial majorities due to the existence of a power imbalance which is a consequence of historical systematic oppression. If you really think about the basis of this argument, you will come to find that this argument is racist in its nature.
For example, black people cannot be racist towards white people because white people historically oppressed black people, directly and/or benefited from and/or contributed to systematic oppression. Ah, yes. I can smell the racism already.
It is undeniably true that white people ruled the world and subjected black people to long-term slavery, but does it make it right to say that black people are absolutely entitled to be racist towards white people? Absolutely not, because it assumes that ALL and ONLY white people approved, contributed, and benefited from systematic oppression. It also enforces this idea that ALL white people today deserve to be discriminated against for the crimes of their ancestors.
Heck, are we going to ignore the fact that there were black slave owners too? History reveals that there were black people who owned black slaves. One well-known example is William “April” Ellison. According to Snopes, the fabulous fact-checking website:
William Ellison was a very wealthy black plantation owner and cotton gin manufacturer who lived in South Carolina (not North Carolina). According to the 1860 census (in which his surname was listed as “Ellerson”), he owned 63 black slaves, making him the largest of the 171 black slaveholders in South Carolina, but far from the largest overall slave holder in the state.
Now that we have established some historical facts, is it now okay to discriminate against black people because they too benefitted from a system of oppression to a certain extent? I anticipate you would say no because it would be stupid to discriminate against the entire black race just because a few black people benefited. The same logic applies to white people. Some may have benefited from systematic oppression but that still does not mean you should blame all white people. That, on your part, would be very discriminatory and hypocritical.
Long story short, the whole idea of racism is to label and characterize people into groups. Based on their skin color, it is assigned what they are perceived to be and what they are able to do. By simply stating that one race cannot be racist towards another labels and characterizes the races into groups. We assign the inability to be racist & victimhood to racial minorities while we assign the inability to experience racism & perpetrator status to whites. In conclusion, if you make such a statement, you are in fact a racist, and no amount of lectures about historical systematic oppression will ever justify your position.