I have opened this thread repeatedly over the last several hours, and then promptly closed it back up because I'm having a hard to expressing myself.
First of all, I can only speak about racism in the US because that's what I know. I stated at least once that my comments are about the US.
That said, if the Irish are considered white and are discriminated against by other whites, it's not racism. It can't be. It can be prejudice, it can be discrimination, but it's not racism because they are the same race as those doing the discriminating. The prejudice is not due to race, but to ethnicity.
Additionally, something has been bothering me for hours and I've been struggling with how to word it.
Repeatedly in discussions about race and racism, there have been people who join in and ask questions, like they're really curious and interested in learning, and others patiently (at least initially) attempt to answer them. People invest their time and their energy, they share their experiences, they expose emotions, revisit pain, hoping that the interest shown will lead to something, that somewhere something will click...
And then the person comes back and announces that everyone is wrong, that this is what she believed before the discussion and it's what she believes now, and suddenly everyone who was so invested in the discussion realizes that her mind had been made up long ago, and she didn't really give a crap about the answers after all.
I saw at least the shell of that happening in this discussion, and it was really hard to watch it unfolding and attempt to step back and disconnect.
Susuwatari, you asked:
|But I'm just wondering, if a black person cannot be racist against a white person because white people make up the majority, can they be racist against an asian person?
Can an asian person be racist against white people? Can white people be racist against asian people? What about other minorities? Mexican people, Italian people, Irish, Polish?
LoMaH gave you a thoughtful response. I'm sure that others, like me, were still forming a response. But then, after asking what really seemed to be genuine questions, you came back with:
|It is such a complex issue,
In the example of an American white person in America claiming to be a victim of racism because a black person said something mildly offensive to them, I can totally understand how that is not the same as the racism that many black peopl have had to face their whole lives, and to say that it is is totally insensitive.
However, I don't think it is as simple to say that white people can never experience racism though. I don't know if that's what people are saying here, but it's coming across that way.
There are minority ethnic groups in where I come from who have to face discrimination every day. Their skin is white, but they are the minority.
I live in Ireland, and one example is the Irish travelling community. They are the minority, they are instantly recognisable as different, from the way they speak and how they dress. They are a legal ethnic minority and they face contant discrimination. That is racism.
I lived in England as a child and as a result I have an English accent. There are alot of Irish people who hate English people. My family moved to a part of Ireland where the people have a particularly strong dislike of English people. (To the point where two English people were murdered this week and police frantically search for a bomb on it's way to London)
It is considered racism here, when the topic is dealt with and cases have been brought to court it has been called racism.
I have had to deal with alot more discrimination than my husband, who is of Asian origin. When it happens to him it is racism, but not when it happens to me?
It could get even more complicated when you consider that it is a reaction to racism, since the hatred of English people only came about as a result of what the English did to the Irish. (Although thats nothig to do with me, I'm not even English, people just think I am)
And also, I believe that if my dh were to say something offensive about black people, he would be racist, despite not being part of the race in power.
It seems like your mind was made up. You knew the answers you wanted to those questions. It wouldn't have mattered how much time any of us spent responding to your other post. And that was frustrating. It felt like almost every other discussion about racism. It felt like you were asking questions without any desire to actually consider the answers. So, if you already know how you want the questions answered, I don't understand the point of asking.
If the point is to illustrate the difference between racism in America vs. discrimination in Ireland, identify the shift. But, since you very clearly knew we were discussing racism in the US, it felt like a lot of pot-stirring and not a genuine interest in discussion.