okay hi tumblr
prepare to be offended i guess but
Racism: Power/privilege + prejudice. To exact racism, one must have social power/privilege based on one’s race, thereby being able to use that social power/privilege to (further) marginalize an individual or a group without that social privilege/power.
- Note 1: Social privilege/power includes but is by no means limited to things such as ubiquitous representation in media, inclusion in the (already broken) “standard(s)” of beauty/attractiveness, holding the majority in any political or economic group/practice/structure, etc.
- Note 2: Currently, especially in the western part of the world, white people hold social privilege/power — poc do not
People who can exact racism, generally, cannot be on the receiving end of it for the simple fact that the fact that they can exact it means that they hold privilege/power that other races do not. Simply put: Reverse racism does not exist. It is not possible to be racist against whites, because there is no form of social power or privilege higher (right now) than the status of being a white person. There can certainly be prejudice, and there is a lot of (mostly justifiable) prejudice and resentment. But for sheer lack of privilege/power (often the root of such prejudice and resentment), white people cannot actually experience racism.
This is the last and only time I’m going to explain that nicely. If you disagree with this, you are wrong, and I’m not going to argue with you. I’m not going to spend spoons trying to reason with you. If you think that white people can experience racism because they are white, hi and bye, I’m not wasting more than this post on you anymore.
Things that also qualify as racism:
- Cultural appropriation
- Racial jokes
- Racial slurs
- Racial stereotypes (and the perpetuation thereof)
But I get it, white people. I get that you want to be able to experience racism. I don’t know why, as it is not at all the LEAST bit fun, but I get that for some reason you do. I get that you want to be able to cry “white is not all one big race!” (while at the same time saying “Latinos” and “Hispanics” because all people who speak Spanish are the same and thereby able to be grouped all together*), I get that you want to be able to say “stop making generalizations about white people!” (while chances are you have at least at some point done this regarding another race). And okay. Fair enough. I’m going to teach you how to make that happen in a legitimate way.
- *Note: I am by no means trying to say that Latino/Hispanic is not a valid identity. If this is how you identify, it is a perfectly good and valid identity — for a variety of reasons, but in actuality there doesn’t even have to be a reason (and even if there is, it’s absolutely nobody’s business, not even mine) other than that is how you choose to identify and it makes you the most comfortable.
White people, you can validly cry about your hurt white feelings when racism as it is today stops. When you stop being the majority, when you stop filling congress wall-to-wall, when Mexicans R So Funny Lol Sombrero memes stop, when entire cultures stop being reduced to jokes, when Get Out If You Don’t Speak English stops being your motto, when geisha and “Mexican” and Native American and kimono halloween “costumes” stop existing, when Oh My God A Head Wrap How Oppressive! stops being your feminist battlecry, when This [Culture]’s Food Is So Gross stops being a valid reason not to go to a restaurant, when racial slurs are eradicated, then you can cry and I guarantee you more POC will listen. Hell, I’ll listen.
Until then? It’s really not your place to tell me or any other POC what is and isn’t racist. Simply put: You can’t really know. You are not equipped with the social standing to inherently understand what it means to be marginalized the way POC are marginalized. Because you have not been and probably never will be marginalized that way. “But the Irish!” you might say, or “but whites in places like Hawaii!”
Yes. There is extreme prejudice against whites. It exists. It can be vile, damaging, violent, absolutely despicable. In certain situations, it is almost like racism against POCs. But the fact of the matter is that if you are in the western part of the world, there is a much smaller chance of you experiencing that — and even if you do, the likelihood that it can really reflect racism against POCs is ridiculously small.
Why? Because racism against POCs is history. It is the entire history, more or less, of the United States. It is ingrained in people of the western world so much that it is passed as normality. We live in a world (here in the western world, mostly the USA) where “sombrero” has lost its original meaning, where “burka” is the only kind of female covering from the middle east, where kimonos are considered ~sexy~ because they’re ~so exotic~. And we think that those things, those thoughts, that frame of mind, are okay. And that is real racism. It’s the normalization of acute and dehumanizing prejudice. It’s living, every day, in a status that literally makes you better than somebody else (at least in a lot of people’s eyes, consciously or not) because you are not a POC.
And when you turn around, while all this is still happening, and cry about how white people are getting such flak, do you know what you are doing?
You’re just reinforcing the idea that white people are the most important. That’s all you are doing. You are saying that that moment of discomfort you are feeling for that split second of your life is more important than centuries of oppression, erasure, outright genocide. So take a step back. Think about it for a second.
That moment of discomfort? Take that, if you can imagine it, and make it bigger. Not just a day or a week or even a month or a year of feeling that. Multiply it by at least a hundred and then stretch it into a lifetime. The more years you add, the worse it gets. Remember that racism has actually improved in some areas — and not by a fucking lot, but by a margin. And that’s the life of a POC. If they’re lucky. If they’re alive. If they aren’t covered in scars or shoving their hands into skin-lightening cream (dangerous to their health, but tell that to anyone desperate enough to use it and I’ll show you someone who would rather be white than healthy — and I can’t even blame them in the least).
So the next time you want to draw attention to your hurt white feelings, or the next time you want to snap at how not racist something is, or the next time you feel like you need to stand up against racism on whites, remember: This is a moment for you. This is an opinion you have based entirely around the fact that you are actually not a POC.
This is a lifetime, a history, an entire culture for someone else.
You don’t know. You can’t know. You probably can’t even really imagine.
So why don’t you actually shut the fuck up.
Yes, to all of my white friends who wish to disagree with me about racism and how ONLY WHITE PEOPLE CAN BE RACIST, please read this. Because again my white friends, just because your feelings may be hurt because someone called you a cracker doesn’t mean you are oppressed. Thanks.