Reverse Racism DOES NOT EXIST

If you ascribe to the simplest and broadest definition of racism, which means “discrimination on the basis of race,” THERE IS NO WAY FOR IT TO GO IN “REVERSE.” Racism doesn’t mean “hating on minorities”–it means “hating on ANYONE because of their race.” Thus, “reverse racism” is a ridiculous concept/idea because any instance of racial discrimination would just be racism.

If you ascribe to the definition of racism as institutionalized discrimination/oppression, “reverse racism” (which again, is a term that does NOT MAKE SENSE ANYWAY, AHHHH) doesn’t exist. Discriminatory actions can be perpetrated by anyone, but racism needs the institutional backing. Racism is not a one-off moment of discrimination; it is a cycle, a web of power and structures that affirm one group’s dominance over another. Racism has deep roots and a wide reach.

At the end of the day, a discriminatory action can stay encased in that moment where it happened, or it can reverberate throughout a person’s life and be repeated over and over.

Of course, racism and discrimination don’t play out in the same ways in every person’s life because their other circumstances and identities affect their experiences. Still, the point is that if you can leave your moment of experiencing racialized discrimination relatively unscathed and without having great odds that it will be repeated, it was PROBABLY NOT RACISM. If you leave that moment and go back to a place where you are inherently valued more because of your race, where systems in place privilege you, IT WAS NOT RACISM because you live in a society that has the scales tipped in your favor on the axis of race.

6 thoughts on “Reverse Racism DOES NOT EXIST

  1. colorblind says:

    Reverse racism or black on white racism, it is a question of semantics. If you want to use different words, fine just discuss the core concepts.

    Secondly racism doesn’t have to be institutionalized to be racism. Discriminating on the base of race is racism. Discrimination on the base of sex is sexism and so on. Redefining words to fit your agenda is just intellectually weak.

    Thirdly, the sentence saying that if you can go to a place where systems privilege you, then what you are living is non racism is also nonsense (Zimbabwe comes to mind) . Again you are attempting to redefine racism to fit your agenda. I suppose that just because you can type doesn’t mean you have to make sense…

    • aida manduley says:

      Did you just not…read…any of it? Because I actually explained *2 different definitions of racism* and why “reverse racism” doesn’t work for either of them.

      The only instance “reverse racism” works as a concept is if you’re saying that racism just means “Whites putting down (in any way) people of color” and thus doing it in “reverse” would mean “POC (in any way) putting down Whites.”

      It’s funny because in no section of this post am I trying to “redefine” racism. I’m trying to tackle the silliness of “reverse racism” using two of the biggest definitions of racism. It’s also funny that you allege I don’t make sense and then your final point is a mess.

      • thedesent says:

        I too, was disappointed by this article. Going into this, I was expecting an explanation on why black on white racism (a.k.a Reverse Racism) is either non-existent or negligible. Your response to colorblind’s post makes me think that you do not have any interest in considering viewpoints outside of your own. Which is a shame, because your blog is quite a good resource otherwise.

        • aida manduley says:

          There are many other awesome blogs out there that talk specifically about the idea of “black-on-white racism” but that was not the aim of this post. The goal was to explain why, on a semantic level, the idea of reverse racism was silly (and thus the brevity). 🙂

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