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Reverse racism - Page 3

post #41 of 417
Quote:
Originally Posted by Missy View Post
This is not exactly the place for this discussion, given that it is the multicultural forum and is supposed to be a safe place for those of us with multicultural or multiracial families, away from racism 101, and bringing this here feels...squicky. But, I don't want to just let this hang, either. To me, and many others, "reverse racism" is a racist term, but not for the reason you gave. What you experienced is prejudice. It was likely the result of racism, but it was not racism. It does not have the power of racism.

I'm not going to respond anymore as it was pointed out to me that this is not the place, but I do want to point out that I did not go into details about what I have experienced... and I don't plan to (unless I write a book someday). I just threw a quote up as an example.
post #42 of 417
If your experience was in the US and you are white, the details are not needed to define it. It was prejudice, not racism. That doesn't mean it was less hurtful personally; it does mean that it lacked the systemic power of racism and was very probably a result of racism. Again, that doesn't diminish your hurt, but it's simply not the same thing. There are plenty of people who would disagree with me, but racism and prejudice are far more complex than we tend to believe.
post #43 of 417
Quote:
Originally Posted by Missy View Post
When I was in middle school, I was talking with a guy I went to school with. Really popular guy, went on to be our homecoming king. He's black, pretty dark, and he knew exactly the line to walk...We talked often, but I will never forget this particular conversation. He said then, at age 13, he was going to marry a white girl so his children would be lighter and he wasn't going to give them names like "LaVonda", and "LaDonna", and "LaShelle"; they were going to have "normal" names, "white" names, like "Caroline" and "Jennifer".

That wasn't something he was taught at home; I knew his parents fairly well. It was something he was taught by observing how things worked where we lived. It wasn't racism, or reverse racism--it was a reaction to the racism we lived with.

As we grew up, he cultivated friendships in the "right" crowds while still never actually cutting anyone else off. He knew which white girls he could safely date, never doing anything beyond flirting with the girls in the same crowd of his closest friends because those girls were off-limits. He, like I said, was homecoming king. Or maybe it was prom king. Either way, he couldn't have dated the girl who was on the court opposite him and he knew it. He, very sadly, "knew his place". His actions were a direct and absolute result of the racism engrained in our community. He wasn't racist; he was reacting to racism.
This sounds just like my older brother. He took it to the extreme, though. We have a sister (technically a half sister) who we grew up with. She is blonde, blue eyed, with very white skin. My brother and I are half mexican/n.a. He has black hair, brown eyes, a broad nose and dark skin. You can see what I look like in my sig pic. My brother so hated our father (yeah, our father is an ass) that he decided he hated all mexicans including me. He told me in 2001 that he likes our sister more than me because anytime he looks at me, he sees not me, but my brown hair, brown eyes and doesn't like what he sees. He married a blonde blue eyed girl and converted to Christianity just to look more mainstream (he told me this) so he wouldn't be treated with racism and he said it's not enough.
post #44 of 417
Quote:
Originally Posted by ~Purity♥Lake~ View Post
This sounds just like my older brother. He took it to the extreme, though. We have a sister (technically a half sister) who we grew up with. She is blonde, blue eyed, with very white skin. My brother and I are half mexican/n.a. He has black hair, brown eyes, a broad nose and dark skin. You can see what I look like in my sig pic. My brother so hated our father (yeah, our father is an ass) that he decided he hated all mexicans including me. He told me in 2001 that he likes our sister more than me because anytime he looks at me, he sees not me, but my brown hair, brown eyes and doesn't like what he sees. He married a blonde blue eyed girl and converted to Christianity just to look more mainstream (he told me this) so he wouldn't be treated with racism and he said it's not enough.
Wow that is so sad He has some serious self hate issues.. Do you see him maybe realizing he is wrong about how he feels??
post #45 of 417
Quote:
Originally Posted by futurmama8 View Post
Wow that is so sad He has some serious self hate issues.. Do you see him maybe realizing he is wrong about how he feels??
No, I don't see him changing. That conversation in 2001 was the first time we spoke since '96, and before that it was in '93. He has this habit of treating me like crap and then cutting me out of his life. My sister visited this state again last year. I confided a bit in her about some things he did to me as a child. She went and told him what I said, he thought I was lying so he called our mom who confirmed I was telling the truth about our childhood. He then called me on the phone to tell me about all of the back and forth between him, our sister and our mom and to tell me he doesn't 'remember' the abuse he inflicted on me, so it must not have happened. Then he claims maybe it did happen since he was using drugs from the age of 14 so maybe he did it and just doesn't remember doing it. So, there are more issues there with him.
post #46 of 417
Quote:
Originally Posted by ~Purity♥Lake~ View Post
No, I don't see him changing. That conversation in 2001 was the first time we spoke since '96, and before that it was in '93. He has this habit of treating me like crap and then cutting me out of his life. My sister visited this state again last year. I confided a bit in her about some things he did to me as a child. She went and told him what I said, he thought I was lying so he called our mom who confirmed I was telling the truth about our childhood. He then called me on the phone to tell me about all of the back and forth between him, our sister and our mom and to tell me he doesn't 'remember' the abuse he inflicted on me, so it must not have happened. Then he claims maybe it did happen since he was using drugs from the age of 14 so maybe he did it and just doesn't remember doing it. So, there are more issues there with him.
Wow I am sorry to hear that. Your a beautiful woman and I wish you the best.
post #47 of 417
Quote:
Originally Posted by Missy View Post
If your experience was in the US and you are white, the details are not needed to define it. It was prejudice, not racism. That doesn't mean it was less hurtful personally; it does mean that it lacked the systemic power of racism and was very probably a result of racism. Again, that doesn't diminish your hurt, but it's simply not the same thing. There are plenty of people who would disagree with me, but racism and prejudice are far more complex than we tend to believe.
thanks for this clarifying paragraph. I was combing through this post looking for a definitive statement on the term "reverse racism" as it is one that I frequently encourage people around me to avoid, for the reasons you articulated in your post. It was what drew me to this thread in the first place. Thanks.
post #48 of 417
Quote:
Originally Posted by VanessaS View Post
What I said was not that "all white people look alike", which would be ridiculous, but that the people in my DH's home town all look alike. And they do. Even my white relatives who are not from that town (and who come from a more diverse place nearby) have commented on it. I know it's hard for you to believe but there are places where the people have been living in relative isolation and marrying each other generation to generation. Where everybody is the second or third cousin of everybody else. Where they have all of the same markers in appearance. The people from that town can tell each other apart easily but visitors have much more difficulty.
F
For the record, I am a pale redhead. I visited a small rural town in MO. I was disturbed by the heterogenous pale, light haired people. Saying those people were seriously inbred is not the same as saying "all white people look alike"
I have noticed though that my ability to tell East Asian faces apart has developed with exposure. I did not grow up with many asians. I could not see the differences between Japanese, Vietnamese, etc. faces. I think we tend to focus on the way these faces are different from what we're used to. But when I moved to Ca. I was exposed to many different Asian cultures on a daily basis. It is now much easier for me to see the way Asians are different from each other, now that I am accustomed to the ways they are different from faces I grew up with. Though I still don't assume I know what country someone's ancestry is from. I know how hurtful that can be if you guess wrong!!
I have been told by several Korean immigrants that they have similar problems when they move to the States. All they see is round eyes and big noses...until they get used to it. It's not racist, it just a matter of exposure.

I really enjoy the opportunity to get perspectives on race that come from such a diverse group of people. Even if they do sting a little sometimes, I find them enlightening and valuable.
post #49 of 417
Quote:
Originally Posted by VanessaS View Post
What I said was not that "all white people look alike", which would be ridiculous, but that the people in my DH's home town all look alike. And they do. Even my white relatives who are not from that town (and who come from a more diverse place nearby) have commented on it. I know it's hard for you to believe but there are places where the people have been living in relative isolation and marrying each other generation to generation. Where everybody is the second or third cousin of everybody else. Where they have all of the same markers in appearance. The people from that town can tell each other apart easily but visitors have much more difficulty.
laughup

This makes me laugh, and I had to share with my partner, who also laughed.

See, he once told me that it's fairly common to find little villages like what you described in Germany where people don't leave and families remain in the same area forever and ever and ever. So, the result is that everyone is somehow related to everyone else, and they all look the same to the untrained eye. I didn't believe him until he actually took me with him to visit friends and family. Ha ha ha! There were some foot-in-mouth moments there...

He also said that when he first came to the west coast of America, he couldn't tell apart the different ethnic Asian groups or African groups. Now he's nearly an expert! And, I, for the record, now know that there are different levels of blondness.

Oh well, you live and learn.
post #50 of 417
I guess it just goes to show that discussing race is still very difficult. The great feminist acivist Audre Lorde cautions us of the dangers of trying to be "colorblind" (which is something that is really only an advantage to white people and does not recognize inequality), but how to discuss it? Like most white people living in a mostly white geographic area I am often concerned with not wanting to sound racist but to still be comfortable discussing race.
My daughter is half me and half her dad and looks like a perfectly even mix of the two of us except for one thing: her very light skin. Most people who do not know us never would have guessed she is 1/2 AA. In fact, only 3 people have guessed that so far and 2 of them were their selves biracial B/W. Even I, well meaning, expected this beautiful little brown baby (an exact clone of her papa as a baby) and in all my exhausted bliss post birthing her thought "who's white baby is this? Will people think I cheated?" It was my husbands family that lovingly "assured" me that she would get darker and told me not to worry. Indeed, many biracial babies are lighter at birth and get darker and I do get those questions from people but I have not taken offense (not that I am implying anyone else did) but maybe that is becuase I know first hand how difficult it can be to discuss such a sensitive subject matter-of-factly.
One thing I have seen many of my biracial or multiracial or international friends endure is the "what are you" thing, which I anticipate to be my babes plight. Maybe we should come up with some witty retorts.
I love my beautiful daughter exactly how she is and if or when she changes over time I will love those changes too. We are lucky to have the most incredibly brilliant, strong, healthy, personable, and amazing baby ever; her skin color is just one more thing that makes her who she is.
post #51 of 417
Quote:
Originally Posted by MustBeJelly View Post
But to the pertinant point...NO that is not racism. Racism is academically defined as power plus predjudice. And, while some individual folks of Color might have the power, systemically speaking, we're still at a disadvantage, economically, academically, and so on. So to that end, there is no such thing as 'reverse-racism'. I can link you to some books that you might be interested in, if you want to learn more about it.

That being said, you can certainly find predjudice on all shades of the spectrum. And lord knows, ignorance knows no color. But racism? It's a pretty much one-sided dealio.
Isn't that a bit ad hominen?

So, in a place where a certain group is in power, a person of that group can be racist, but if they move to another location, they aren't racist?

Like, if a white supremacist went to an area where black people were in power, the white supremacist would magically no longer be racist?

I have never seen much of a difference between a black person being rude and treating a white person like crap, and a white person being rude and treating a black person like crap. Not all white people are "in power." By your definition, of which I am skeptical, if the OP took her white husband to a family gathering and some within the family were rude because of his color, technically within that gathering they are the majority and the ones "in power" so that WOULD indeed be racism.

I agree that the term "reverse-racism" is misleading.
post #52 of 417
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelly1101 View Post
Isn't that a bit ad hominen?

So, in a place where a certain group is in power, a person of that group can be racist, but if they move to another location, they aren't racist?

Like, if a white supremacist went to an area where black people were in power, the white supremacist would magically no longer be racist?

I have never seen much of a difference between a black person being rude and treating a white person like crap, and a white person being rude and treating a black person like crap. Not all white people are "in power." By your definition, of which I am skeptical, if the OP took her white husband to a family gathering and some within the family were rude because of his color, technically within that gathering they are the majority and the ones "in power" so that WOULD indeed be racism.

I agree that the term "reverse-racism" is misleading.
I didn't get that at all. When discussing institutional racism in America we're looking at the big picture, not at the small locals where the white supremacist might move. He'll/She'll be a bigot no mater where they move, by the way. White supremacy is ideology, not a misunderstanding that's typically cleared up by making some black friends.

People at a party, family, etc. where a white person is a minority does not equal POC having 'power' over that white person. Rudeness that that white person might face comes from years of institutional oppression and racism. Those people aren't going to go out and keep him from getting a loan at a bank, or a job with a big corporation. Cause those things are STILL problems, hell, even 60 minutes has run undercover experiments about it. That white person isn't going to be pulled over by the police for driving while white, and his family isn't in a position to have him pulled over, either.
post #53 of 417
Quote:
Originally Posted by Danelle78 View Post
I didn't get that at all. When discussing institutional racism in America we're looking at the big picture, not at the small locals where the white supremacist might move. He'll/She'll be a bigot no mater where they move, by the way. White supremacy is ideology, not a misunderstanding that's typically cleared up by making some black friends.
Yes, that was my point... even if a racist moved somewhere else, he/she would still be a racist. The change of locale doesn't make the attitude change.

Quote:
People at a party, family, etc. where a white person is a minority does not equal POC having 'power' over that white person. Rudeness that that white person might face comes from years of institutional oppression and racism. Those people aren't going to go out and keep him from getting a loan at a bank, or a job with a big corporation. Cause those things are STILL problems, hell, even 60 minutes has run undercover experiments about it. That white person isn't going to be pulled over by the police for driving while white, and his family isn't in a position to have him pulled over, either.
This seems like a generalization. I mean, not all white people are bankers, CEOs, or cops. Does this mean that if a white person is a janitor, and he has racist ideas, he is not a racist because he doesn't hold power?

There ARE black people who are bankers, CEOs, and cops. If one of those black people acted in a racist manner towards a white person, from that position of power, would the black person THEN be a racist?
post #54 of 417
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelly1101 View Post
This seems like a generalization. I mean, not all white people are bankers, CEOs, or cops. Does this mean that if a white person is a janitor, and he has racist ideas, he is not a racist because he doesn't hold power?

There ARE black people who are bankers, CEOs, and cops. If one of those black people acted in a racist manner towards a white person, from that position of power, would the black person THEN be a racist?
Kelly
You're still using isolated examples.
Systemically, there is no such thing in America as people of color having that kind of power over Whites.

Can you give an example of a place in the U.S. where Black people are in power?
post #55 of 417
Quote:
Originally Posted by LoMaH View Post
Kelly
You're still using isolated examples.
Systemically, there is no such thing in America as people of color having that kind of power over Whites.

Can you give an example of a place in the U.S. where Black people are in power?
It seems playing with semantics works better than having a clear understanding of how racism works. Thanks for asking the question of where black people have power in the US. Even though Barack Obama is President, there are still brothers getting racially profiled and then some
post #56 of 417
Quote:
Originally Posted by PDXmama77 View Post
I guess it just goes to show that discussing race is still very difficult. The great feminist acivist Audre Lorde cautions us of the dangers of trying to be "colorblind" (which is something that is really only an advantage to white people and does not recognize inequality), but how to discuss it? Like most white people living in a mostly white geographic area I am often concerned with not wanting to sound racist but to still be comfortable discussing race.
I'm glad you posted this.
Discussions about race usually come to a halt. I'm always hoping that they wouldn't, but they always do because it never fails to get heated- too painful- too personal.
Even on this board, you read "oh gosh, that's such a negative thread- I rather skip it."
No one want to push through the growing pains, so things never change.
post #57 of 417
Quote:
Originally Posted by LoMaH View Post
Kelly
You're still using isolated examples.
Systemically, there is no such thing in America as people of color having that kind of power over Whites.

Can you give an example of a place in the U.S. where Black people are in power?

I'm using isolated examples because that is what people are. I feel like it's generalizing to say something like "white people are in power." What?

A place in the US where Black people are in power? ALL OVER the U.S. There are black policemen, black judges, black doctors, black politicians.

Perhaps it is because I have always believed in considering people as individuals, not groups. You can't consider one black person in the context of "all black people are *whatever generalization*, so EVERY black person must be like that" and you can't do the same for white people, either. Humans are individuals, not categories, and racists are racists no matter what or who else they happen to be.
post #58 of 417
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelly1101 View Post
I'm using isolated examples because that is what people are. I feel like it's generalizing to say something like "white people are in power." What?

A place in the US where Black people are in power? ALL OVER the U.S. There are black policemen, black judges, black doctors, black politicians.

Perhaps it is because I have always believed in considering people as individuals, not groups. You can't consider one black person in the context of "all black people are *whatever generalization*, so EVERY black person must be like that" and you can't do the same for white people, either. Humans are individuals, not categories, and racists are racists no matter what or who else they happen to be.
Kelly
You are not everyone. This isn't meant to blame. It's a complex problem.

I'm working off the top of my head here- so I may not be completely accurate with my numbers, but I believe Blacks (African-Americans) comprise of about 13% of the U.S. population.

Try looking at statistics.
The % of young Black men in prison is out of proportion to those of the White race.
(why? what's the most common crime they go in for?)

Compare how many Black children:
live below the poverty line?
live in single parent households?
attend school segregated, in deplorable conditions..

What is the average life span of AA compared to the rest of the population?What is the obesity rate?
The % that graduate high school, college, grad school?
The % who own homes?
The unemployment rate compared to everyone else?

On and on and on.... it's disproportionate.
post #59 of 417
Kelly,

I see from your location that you are in Richmond, the much celebrated capital of the Confederacy. Having grown up in Fredericksburg, I find it hard to believe that anyone living in that region can't feel how engrained racism is or understand the depth and the source of its power. Have you ever seen the statues on Monument Ave? Walked past the "White House" next to MCV?

Like someone already said, you're using isolated examples and not looking at the whole. If you have any doubt, drive the two hours up to DC, visit Capitol Hill. That's where our laws are made. My daughter and I were up there a couple weeks ago, on the Hill, the day President Obama addressed Congress. So everyone was working that day, and we were walking by the Capitol right as a huge number of Congressmen surged from the building. In the middle of it all, we saw Roland Burris. He was easy to spot, not because he cut such an impressive figure but because--of all of those lawmakers--he was the only person of color.

That is systemic and it impacts every region, state, city, town, school, neighborhood in this country. An isolated black CEO or bank president does not shift that power.
post #60 of 417
I realize that generalizations can be made about proportions of population, but I feel that making those generalizations is not the right thing to do. This is, of course, just my opinion and the way I look at it.

Are white people sometimes racist? Absolutely. I have seen that all of my life. Are black people sometimes racist? Absolutely. I have seen that all of my life.

Is it understandable when black people-- ESPECIALLY older black people who lived through times like the Civil Rights Movement-- have judgmental attitudes towards "all white people" instead of seeing past the color of someone? Yes, because I haven't been through that I can't imagine how difficult it is to let go of anger at such violent injustice. But just because it's understandable doesn't mean that it's morally right or something that should be continued and excused, especially in subsequent generations.

As was noted, I do live in the south and have my entire life (although the Confederacy was kind of over before I ever got here) and because I have a multi-racial family, I have seen racism coming from both sides. It's upsetting from both sides, too. I don't see the point of implying that if the racism is coming from a black person, it doesn't really matter or count as "real racism" because in general that person's demographic doesn't have much power. Pointing out demographics and population statistics are NOT a good way to judge a person, I think.

So, you are right, I have been forced into a lot of awareness about racism and how deep and ugly it can be-- the south still has the ability to demonstrate that (although really Richmond isn't a great example of it-- go out into rural VA if you're looking for that). But I don't think generalizations about groups of people will help at all.
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