The first thing you really need to understand is that the definition of racism that you probably have (which is the colloquial definition: “racism is prejudice against someone based on their skin color or ethnicity”) is NOT the definition that’s commonly used in anti-racist circles.
The definition used in anti-racist circles is the accepted sociological definition (which is commonly used in academic research, and has been used for more than a decade now): “racism is prejudice plus power”. What this means, in easy language:
A. Anyone can hold “racial prejudice” — that is, they can carry positive or negative stereotypes of others based on racial characteristics. For example, a white person thinking all Asians are smart, or all black people are criminals; or a Chinese person thinking Japanese people are untrustworthy; or what-have-you. ANYONE, of any race, can have racial prejudices.
B. People of any race can commit acts of violence, mistreatment, ostracizing, etc., based on their racial prejudices. A black kid can beat up a white kid because he doesn’t like white kids. An Indian person can refuse to associate with Asians. Whatever, you get the idea.
C. However, to be racist (rather than simply prejudiced) requires havinginstitutional power. In North America, white people have the institutional power. In large part we head the corporations; we make up the largest proportion of lawmakers and judges; we have the money; we make the decisions. In short, we control the systems that matter. “White” is presented as normal, the default. Because we have institutional power, when we think differently about people based on their race or act on our racial prejudices, we are being racist. Only white people can be racist, because only white people have institutional power.
D. People of color can be prejudiced, but they cannot be racist, because they don’t have the institutional power. (However, some people refer to intra-PoC prejudice as “lateral racism”. You may also hear the term “colorism”, which refers to lighter-skinned PoC being prejudiced toward darker-skinned PoC.) However, that situation can be different in other countries; for example, a Japanese person in Japan can be racist against others, because the Japanese have the institutional power there. But in North America, Japanese peoplecan’t be racist because they don’t hold the institutional power.
E. If you’re in an area of your city/state/province that is predominantly populated by PoC and, as a white person, you get harassed because of your skin color, it’s still not racism, even though you’re in a PoC-dominated area. The fact is, even though they’re the majority population in that area, they still lack the institutional power. They don’t have their own special PoC-dominated police force for that area. They don’t have their own special PoC-dominated courts in that area. The state/province and national media are still not dominated by PoC. Even though they have a large population in that particular area, they still lack the institutional power overall.
F. So that’s the definition of racism that you’re likely to encounter. If you start talking about “reverse racism” you’re going to either get insulted or laughed at, because it isn’t possible under that definition; PoC don’t have the power in North America, so by definition, they can’t be racist. Crying “reverse racism!” is like waving a Clueless White Person Badge around.
Carey Mulligan as Irene in Drive. The role was originally written for a Latina, but the director felt that Mulligan embodied the character more because she looked like she needed to be “protected”. (The implication here being that Latina women don’t look innocent —…
Wow. It’s a bit heartbreaking to watch
“I hate being black because everyone else feels it’s a curse. Facebook is circulating a video entitled “Dark Skin” which is unapologetic in highlighting the horrific mental complexities centered around the diversity of skin color within the African American community. Overall, young and old women of color were telling their stories of when they realized being dark skinned wasn’t beautiful.
It’s not uncommon to find girls that have had traumatic events take place within their childhood and even adulthood that hinders their ability to develop an appreciation for their skin color because society tells them (us) that they are not beautiful because they are not light. I sure as hell can relate. Up until the 8th grade I thought I was ugly. I literally hit my head up against the mirror every time I saw myself because I was being called “Darkie” by my grandfather who had curly hair, hazel green eyes and was as light as can be.His sister was a “passer” it took a while for people to realize she was really black. Her red hair fooled a lot of people and it pierced my soul whenever she called me “tar baby.”
I hate being black every time I like a boy and he tells me he doesn’t date dark skin women but he’s willing to have sex. I hate being black every time I meet a guy and things are going well and he takes me to meet his friends and they say “you can do better she’s too dark, what will your kids look like (true story!). I hate the idea of my complexion being such a hindrance to the prosperity of my life and it is not something I can change.I hate being black and so that’s why at the age of 30 I say I’m an African. I may not be able to call to Nigeria for Granny or speak the language but I claim Nigeria. My grandmother thinks I’m foolish because I want to know where I come from to better trace my roots. She said “you’re a n____a and that’s all you need to know.” She hates that fact that I mainly date African men because for some odd reason when they see my dark skin, white teeth and black gums they tell me I’m beautiful. I can finally say I believe it and them.I recently started the Jessica LaShawn Foundation in an effort to unite dark skinned women within the urban communities of Chicago. I’ve gotten a lot of negative feedback saying that I am aiding in the division within our own people but documentaries such as this showcase that we need our own tools for empowerment.”
wow..its so sad that they feel like they’re not beautiful. White skin and straight hair is not the definition of beauty. Everyone is beautiful, and people have to stop making other feels like they’re not.
Who taught you to hate yourself? - Malcolm X
this lady told me i should accept that audiences want to watch shows like girls with mostly white people and no poc
STOP DOING THIS, WHITE FEMINISTS.(via fsufeminist)
-You cannot be sexist toward men. Sexism is based on a system of oppression. You CAN be discriminatory, rude, inconsiderate, and/or prejudiced against men but you CANNOT be sexist toward them.
-You cannot be racist towards white people. Racism is based on a system of oppression. You CAN be discriminatory, rude, inconsiderate, and/or prejudiced against white people but you CANNOT be racist toward them.
This is not difficult.
jdniemand submitted: From a privileged perspective
I think a lot of privileged people (and I do acknowledge I’m privileged - I’m a white able-bodied middle-class cis straight male, I’m about as normative as you can get), get defensive when called out on our privilege because we feel like we’re personally being treated as the enemy. We start going “hey, wait, I’m really trying my best here, what more do you want?”.
But I think we have to step back and realise that “check your privilege” is not “you suck because you are white/male/cis/straight/able-bodied/et cetera”, it’s “look, you may not have all the facts here because you’ve never experienced this yourself”.
And let’s face it, privileged groups have been responsible for a lot of bad shit happening to a lot of people who didn’t deserve it. There is, for example, a reason why the overarching oppression and generic faceless pressure to do as one is told is personified as “The Man”. So while somebody may not be personally treating you as the enemy simply because of your privilege (and if they are without you having done anything wrong then it’s perfectly valid to consider them jerks; just because someone’s a member of a minority doesn’t mean they can’t be a complete tosser), there is going to be a lot of pain there, and you have to acknowledge that and respect that.
But yeah, I guess we all have to remember that the kyriarchy is the true enemy here, and it’s not any one group or any one person. It’s the whole bullshitty system that allows privilege to exist in the first place. We all have to recognise that, in one way or another, many of us do have privilege in some or many areas, and if we get called out on it the best reaction is to think “OK, what am I ignorant about here and how can I fix that” rather than “I’m being targeted”.
I dunno, am I making sense here?
RE: From a privileged perspective
You make absolute sense! What I find so disturbing is that [white] people got offended at “check your privilege” and you touched upon that, it’s NOT offensive, it’s NOT me saying “I hate you because you are white” it’s saying, “stop and check yourself, listen, educate yourself, because you don’t know what this is like”. There was no reason for people to be so cruel to me yesterday, and to whine about the possibility of “prejudice against white people” from a place of such high privilege is what is even more offensive.
We are on the topic of racism and certain individuals came up with “But you know not all white people are like that, but what about white people? Why do you people always try to make everything about race? It’s not about race! Don’t you think white people go through shit too?” -_-
You have to understand; that is not the point of the conversation and if that is all you have to bring to the table, then just LISTEN; that’s all anyone is asking of you.
Right I understand, it would be like “race bending” the character’s race, I get what you mean.
It’s just frustrating to see that POC playing their ethnicity means that they have to play the stereotype of their ethnicity. Latinos say “OYE PAPI!” and black women say “HEY GURL HEY!”, so far we mainly get cast as stereotypes, the best friend, maids, slaves, etc. So when I say, “when their ethnicity doesn’t come into play”, I mean more “when the stereotype doesn’t come into play” :/
I just believe in justice, I believe in it with all my fiery lion heart, and people who don’t even want to bother thinking about it or talking about it… as you can see, generally I’m up for a discussion (right now, I may not be at my prime because I’m in recovery) and for someone to show me such hatred over something they clearly do not understand IS sad. But it won’t keep me from speaking my mind.
All I can do is shrug, I carried peoples’ anger and hatred with me for so long in life, I can’t carry it with me anymore.
“Dear White Feminists” is not about hating white people, it’s about asking white feminists to stop erasing a serious topic by pretending that it isn’t happening, and no, it’s not saying that “ALL” white feminists do it, it’s for those that do, which I seriously hope does not have to be clarified, as I feel it was already implied.