maybe OT- who can be a racist?

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-16-2008
maybe OT- who can be a racist?
37
Fri, 09-03-2010 - 1:30pm

I'm posting this here because this board seems to have a lot of activity, and I think there are quite a few smart folks on this board.

I was recently involved in a online discussion about race. Specifically, it went along these lines: Only white people can be "racists". Several black (or african american -- I'm going to use black because it's easier to type and most black people I know don't care if I say black -- I'm not trying to be insensitive), have informed me that ONLY white people can be racists. People of other races canNOT be racists.

Now, I don't understand this. It seems to me that anyone who denigrates another human being, based on their heritage/skin color, can be "racist".

Further, I asked about people who are of mixed race. I was told that if they identified more with their "white part", then they COULD be racist, but if they identified more with their "black part" then they couldn't be. (In that argument, it was more about whites and blacks, not other heritages.)

What do you think? Can ONLY white people be racists? If I am "mixed", and I identify more with my "white half", can I still be racist? I thought it was an interesting discussion, but I was called "the worst kind of racist", since I maintained my position that ANYONE could be a racist. Your thoughts?

Meez 3D avatar avatars games




Meez 3D avatar avatars games
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-09-2007
Fri, 09-03-2010 - 2:06pm

I think we have thought of race/racism in this country as "White" and then "other".

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-10-2010
Fri, 09-03-2010 - 2:10pm
Anybody can be racist. The economic power that a racist can use against those who s/he holds racist views, however, is more likely held by those with control of government and business. I absolutely believe that minorities can hold racist sentiments. Whether those sentiments give them any power over the object(s) of their sentiments is another thing altogether.

~OPAL~

~OPAL~   onoz_omg2.gif OMG ONOZ image by KILLER_BOB11694

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-28-2009
Fri, 09-03-2010 - 2:12pm
Anyone can be a racist.
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-16-2008
Fri, 09-03-2010 - 2:23pm

<>

This very nearly mirrors my college experience. I had a black roommate and a philipino roommate. Of all 3 races, the black girl had the most problems, with people telling her she should move out, and live with the people "like her". It disgusted her, and I believe she actually lost friends over it. This was at a college in Mississippi. All 3 of us were from small towns, and we were all rather shocked at the some of the things we heard/witnessed being said about other races than our own.

The point I made with the gentlemen I was speaking with yesterday was that *my* generation, and the younger generations were much more tolerant and accepting of people of other races. One response was, "Well, that's all well and good, but how long do we have to wait for things to change for us?"

I told him things "were" changing. That the people I know are teaching their children things that are completely different than what our grandparents were taught. That wasn't good enough for him.

<>

Very good point, and I (not so succinctly) brought up that fact. However, these men countered with the point that most black men were unable to fulfill these goals, because they were unfairly targeted by authority, thus resulting in them being the majority of inmates. Black people are more likely to be searched in a traffic stop than whites. AND, that it was somehow *my fault* (or the fault of people with my skin color, and me, personally by extension), for perpetuating racism.

I had to end the discussion, because *I* am a housewife who has never arrested anyone. I am also one of the 3.2% of white people who HAVE been searched by police.

I am teaching my child that skin color doesn't matter, but I guess it really does? It's sad to me... these gentlemen also have children and grandchildren and I just don't believe they are teaching them the same things, thus perhaps THEY are perpetuating racism? Oh, but they can't be, because they are black, and according to them, black people cannot be racist. I can't wrap my head around that.

Meez 3D avatar avatars games




Meez 3D avatar avatars games
iVillage Member
Registered: 01-12-2004
Fri, 09-03-2010 - 2:23pm

That's what I was going to say, exactly!. Anyone can believe that one group of people is superior or inferior to another based on their racial characteristics (or other identifying characteristics.)

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-30-2003
Fri, 09-03-2010 - 2:28pm

I think you are right about things changing. Where I live there are so many kids of mixed race that, no one even bats an eye. I often forget my kids are mixed race. A friend of mine told me once that her daughter was trying to explain to her who a boy in her class was. She was saying things like he usually wears a certain hat. It turned out that he was the one black kid in her class, but it did not occur to her to describe him by his race. It's just an anecdote, but I think it's pretty telling.

Anne

I have no need for anger
With intimate strangers
And I got nothing to hide


- Amy Ray

I have no need for anger
With intimate strangers
And I got nothing to hide


- Amy Ray

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-16-2008
Fri, 09-03-2010 - 2:32pm

I think that's pretty telling too. I have a 12 year old stepson, who honestly did not see race. He described one particular classmate as Micheal K. (There were several Mikes in the class). I told him I didn't know which one was Mike K, and he said, "You know, the one with the black curly hair. It dawned on me that he was speaking about the Mike who was mixed, although his skin was much darker than white Mikes. My SS actually did not understand that Mike was a different race.

One of the things the man from yesterday told me was this:

"You believe that black people can be just as racist as whites... Tell me of one white hung by a group of black people. Tell me of one black group that goes around terrorizing white people because of their race. Tell me one black politician that is going around in this day and time stating that it should be alright to call whites racist names. What are you not understanding?"

Meez 3D avatar avatars games




Meez 3D avatar avatars games
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-30-2003
Fri, 09-03-2010 - 2:48pm
"You believe that black people can be just as racist as whites... Tell me of one white hung by a group of black people. Tell me of one black group that goes around terrorizing white people because of their race. Tell me one black politician that is going around in this day and time stating that it should be alright to call whites racist names. What are you not understanding?"



I think this goes back to the power thing that both Jane and Opal brought up. Being racist is one thing, having the power to discriminate is another.




Anne


I have no need for anger
With intimate strangers
And I got nothing to hide


- Amy Ray

I have no need for anger
With intimate strangers
And I got nothing to hide


- Amy Ray

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-09-2007
Fri, 09-03-2010 - 2:54pm

I don't want to say I see his point, because that's not true exactly, but...

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-30-2003
Fri, 09-03-2010 - 3:01pm
Unfortunately, it's still too fresh. But, the older generations will die out or become marginilized, and those attitudes will die with them. That will be true for ALL sides of the racism debate.



Yes.



Anne

I have no need for anger
With intimate strangers
And I got nothing to hide


- Amy Ray

I have no need for anger
With intimate strangers
And I got nothing to hide


- Amy Ray