3. Reverse Racism.
A. “People of color are just as racist as white people.”
B. “Affirmative action had a role years ago, but today
it’s just reverse racism; now it’s discriminating against
C. “The civil rights movement, when it began, was
appropriate, valuable, needed. But it’s gone to the
extreme. The playing field is now level. Now the civil
rights movement is no longer working for equality but
for revenge.” Or
D. “Black pride, black power is dangerous. They just want
power over white people.” (Include here any reference to
pride and empowerment of any people of color.)
REALITY CHECK + CONSEQUENCE:
A. Let’s first define racism with this formula:
Racism =racial prejudice + systemic, institutional power. To say people of color can be racist, denies the power imbalance inherent in racism. Certainly, people of color can be and are prejudiced against white people. That was a part of their societal conditioning. A person of color can act on prejudices to insult or hurt a white person. But there is a difference between being hurt and being oppressed. People of color, as a social group, do not have the societal, institutional power to oppress white people as a group. An individual person of color abusing a white person – while clearly wrong, (no person should be insulted, hurt, etc.) is acting out a personal racial prejudice, not racism.
B. This form of denial is based on the false notion that the playing field is now level. When the people with privilege, historical access and advantage are expected to suddenly (in societal evolution time) share some of that power, it is often perceived as discrimination.
C+D. C is a statement by Rush Limbaugh. Though, clearly he is no anti-racist, both c+d follow closely on the heels of “reverse racism” and are loaded with white people’s fear of people of color and what would happen if they gained “control.” Embedded here is also the assumption that to be “pro-black” (or any other color) is to be anti-white. (A similar illogical accusation is directed at women who work for an end to violence against women and girls. Women who work to better the lives of women are regularly accused of being “anti-male.”)