From One Survivor to Another

September 26, 2011

Racism against white people does not exist.

Racism is power and privilege, not “omg black dude called me a cracker”. It’s institutional and cultural oppressions that affect your life on a daily basis, not isolated instances.

It is literally impossible to have people be racist against you when you are a part of the dominant culture. Why? Because there is no historical and still prevalent monolith of the african savage for white people. There is no legacy of sharecropping and indentured servitude that keeps white people poor. There is no police culture that puts disproportionate amounts of people-who-look-like-you in prison for whites. There is no media-entertainment complex which prevents white people from being equally represented. Not being born into these institutional limitations is a kind of privilege.

When a person of color says negative things about whiteness to a white person, it doesn’t mean they are racist, it means they are prejudiced. Of course it’s an unfair assumption, and of course it is unrealistic because they don’t know you. But it does not mean that the person of color can actually contribute to a centuries-old legacy of oppression of white people, because there is no such thing.

People of Color get pissed off when White People™ complain about “racism” because it’s like comparing apples to oranges. Wow, someone said you’re a stupid whitey? Big deal. Wow, someone called you an ignorant little cracker-ass? SO WHAT. That slur isn’t going to put you in prison or murder you on death row or be used as an excuse to rape you. That slur is not going to contribute to a culture which will keep your family and your family’s family poor for the next one hundred years. It’s not going to mean that you have to try ten times as hard as any of your white coworkers because you are seen as the token “representative” of all other people who look like you. That slur is not going to do anything except make you feel a little uncomfortable in your tiny little bubble.

When People of Color say things about white people, it hardly even matters. It’s like if I talked shit about someone because they have perfect eyesight and I have to use glasses. Who still has perfect sight afterwards? They do. Who still has crappy eyes? I do. What I say has no power over them, but what they say can certainly contribute to a monolithic, dominant culture of able-bodied people. When a black person talks shit about a white person, who still has to be black afterwards, and live every moment of their life as a black person? They do.

Racism against whites does not exist. Racism is institutional and the institution right now is whiteness. The word you are looking for is “prejudice”.

*This, of course, is only about racism, and not other forms of oppression like (sexism, transphobia, homophobia, ableism, etc.)

edit: second post on this.

  1. lovely-savage reblogged this from fromonesurvivortoanother
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  6. reasonersreasonings reblogged this from kosher-robot and added:
    Sidenote: this applies only to the US or Europe where we have a white majority, PoC minority and racism can play out in...
  7. kosher-robot reblogged this from fromonesurvivortoanother
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  11. doriangraymatter reblogged this from ethereal-shawty and added:
    I agree 110%!
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    Did I really just read that
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