Friday, July 9, 2010

Reverse Racism Apparently Still needs an Explanation

Jessica Valenti shared the following article by
The term "reverse racism" has always bothered me, but until recently I never realized why. I suppose there are some people in academia who still think that "black people can't be racist," because black people don't have the political or social power to implement their prejudice as policy, but these people are obviously a minority.
As I've been thinking about the New Black Panther Party voter-intimidation case, and reading through the conservative complaints, it occurred to me why so many people use the term "reverse racism" rather than "racism" to refer to racial prejudice expressed by blacks toward whites. It's because "reverse racism" offers a clear distinction between racial prejudice against nonwhites, which doesn't matter, and racial prejudice against whites, which does.

I'm sure I'm not the first person to figure this out, but I just thought it was worth mentioning.
So few words and yet so many of them are absolutely wrong. Let's start from the very beginning, racism equal prejudice plus power because a distinction needs to be made between people of colour and Whiteness. People of colour cannot act systemically and I don't care that you have a Black dude living in the house that slaves built. Whiteness has never wanted to accept this definition, because it has never wanted to own the crimes against humanity that it not only has historically engaged in, but continues to participate in with willful malice.
We live in a society that is based in hierarchy and power, and to suddenly deny that this has an affect on who rightly deserves the label be racist, is just another example of how Whiteness exerts its influence. Saying that one group is racist and the other is prejudice, is a very clear distinction of who harbors racial animosity, but in this case, Whiteness is more than willing to create POC as equal -- and we are supposed to believe that there is not an agenda at work here. 
There can be no doubt that there are POC who have prejudice and resentment towards White people; however, it is not as though Whiteness has gone out its way to recognize the basic humanity of others. Prejudice by people of colour is born of experience, whereas; racism by Whiteness or White people has its genesis in a desire to maintain undeserved privilege. Every single New Black Panther has been born and lived in a a White supremacist state -- and if their rage scares White people, it is nothing in comparison to the centuries of terror that have been forced upon our communities.

Whiteness embraces the term reverse racism because it normalizes the idea that racism is something that only they have the right to engage in.  It marks people of colour as "other".   It tells us to be submissive and bear our lot in life as a natural consequence of White superiority, rather than a consistent and sustained effort to ensure that we are not granted the same opportunities. Finally, reverse racism is about the incredulity of Whiteness that we could possibly hate them for what they have done.  How could we possibly not see how magnificent Whiteness is.  It fears our advance because a day of reckoning will come -- and though people will never openly admit it, that is why organizations like the New Black Panther scare them.   The other side of supremacy is not a good place, and perhaps one day Whiteness will come to know it intimately.