I have had this sitting in my queue for a while, and I haven’t been sure how to utilize it on the blog, or even how to comment on it myself. I’ve decided to just post it, let it stand for itself, and let you readers discuss your opinions on it in the comments.
I know you’re probably sick of all this arguing over racism stuff, but I just want to say… My grandparents adopted two Native Canadian (Ojibwe, I believe) children. They were from a home where their mother was an alcoholic who had like fourteen children. Recently, my uncle passed away from complications due to the AIDS virus. At the funeral, The Bitch showed up (even though NOBODY wanted her there except one of her sons who was I guess kissing her ass because he wanted a relationship with her despite she doesn’t love any of her children and wants nothing to do with them unless they give her money). She then had the nerve, when it was just me, my mom, and my bio-uncle there, to lean over my uncle’s coffin and blather on about how “the evil white people” “stole” him away from her and “abused him” and “lead him into a life of drugs”.
White Racism does exist. Sometimes it exists because people feel oppressed, or have had family or friends that were oppressed, by white people, whether in the past or present. But some people, like Evil Bio-Mom, have heads full of these pre-conceived notions that white = evil, no matter what. She kept saying “this is your REAL family” – I’m sorry, who raised him, fed him, clothed him, made sure he got an education and had a roof over his head until the time he left home? Not you, you drunken hoebag.
My uncle made poor life decisions. He was homeless and a drug addict. And now he’s dead. But he made those decisions as an informed adult. You cannot pin this shit on my family just because of the colour of our skin.
Whites may not experience racism as often as blacks, or hispanics, or east-indians, or asians, or any of those. But it doesn’t mean racism against white people doesn’t exist. I want ALL forms of racism to stop, and that means even people who don’t experience a lot of prejudice or hate should still feel comfortable about who they are.
That’s my two cents.
This piece at the Daily Collegian explains it better than I could. Replace African Americans with any other minority of your choice and the argument still stands. It’s about power to oppress. Prejudice does not equal racism. The article is longer and well worth reading. Basically the claim that “white people can also experience racism” has been usually employed to silence the complains of the oppressed and try to prevent further analysis of the conditions that created the complain in the first place.
Discrimination. What does this word mean? There are two elements that are essential for someone to be discriminatory. The first is prejudice based upon such irrelevant criteria as sex, race, sexual orientation, religion, nationality, age, etc. But the most important component of discrimination is the power. Without power, a person can have prejudice with no effect.
In our society, the people with the power are primarily white, straight, male, Christian, and rich. Let’s not kid ourselves, shall we? A black child in the ghetto of South Chicago has all the reason in the world to hate the white power structure that keeps him/her where he/she is. But that child has no power, no way to change society to her/his advantage. That child is not racist for hating whites when he/she says it in a large forum.
A white in our society has the privilege and power to enforce prejudice upon an African-American. We are the CEOs of every major corporation. We control almost all of the Federal and state governments. We run the administrations of every major university. Racism is an act, not a thought. It is the action upon one’s prejudice that is the injustice, not the attitude itself. We might all be appalled that a person can feel African-Americans are inferior. But when a person takes an action based upon that belief, then to be appalled is not enough. We must act against that racism.
As unwilling as well-meaning whites are to deal with it, African-Americans in American society cannot be racist. They have no power to enforce their prejudice.
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