August 23, 2011

Whites "sick of the race card"

A response to a recent crime in which a white teenager ran over a black man:

"Reverse Racism":  A Sad Misnomer for a Tragic Mississippi Murder

By Terry KeleherOn a Facebook page set up by Dedmon’s supporters, the teen’s great aunt said, “He is not a racist or a murderer…. If anything, he is being tried by the media, suffering from reverse racism and placed in jail without bond. I am sick of the race card.”

With this recasting of the story, the alleged white murderer is now the victim, the perpetrator is the media, and the crime is “reverse racism.” And anyone suspecting racist foul play is recklessly playing the race card.

If your head is spinning, welcome to the Orwellian world of so-called post-racialism, where the new racists are people of color, along with anyone who still sees or speaks about racism. The new victims of racism are always white. Any effort to redress racism is itself racist.

The gospel of this new, upside-down world is colorblindness, which treats any kind of race consciousness as a cardinal sin. Of course, there are exceptions, such as when you play the race card in an effort to absolve someone likely to be charged with a racially motivated murder. That’s an irony that I’m sure is lost on those whose only true colorblindness is to their own whiteness.
Why individual prejudice isn't the main issue:Sure, racial prejudice can go in all directions—forward, sideways and especially backwards. But racial prejudice is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to understanding the realities of racism. Power, more than prejudice, is the foundation of racism.

Despite holding the overwhelming share of economic, political and cultural power, some white people believe in “reverse racism” because they truly fear that whites are the targeted and threatened racial group. If you hold this worldview, the concepts of systemic racism, white superiority or even white privilege are likely to escape you. This reductionist view limits racism to mere personal prejudice.

But most racism stems from a historically-evolving and institutionally-based system of racial hierarchy and inequality that routinely privileges white people and disadvantages people of color. It’s alive and well today, and even worsening—as, for instance, with the widening racial wealth gap, which has reached record highs thanks to a recession that has hit people of color hardest.

For further evidence of systemic racial inequality, look at any key quality-of-life indicator in the U.S., from infant mortality to life expectancy and everything in between. Whether it’s household income and wealth, home ownership or health care access, educational attainment or employment, it’s all racially skewed. Any one of these glaring disparities is serious enough, but taken together—the cumulative and compounding impacts—they point to an organized and ongoing system of racial inequality.
Comment:  For more on the subject, see:

"Man's most dangerous myth"
Understanding implicit bias
"Symmetrical view" of race is wrong
Whites feel like a minority
Palin:  Racism is a ploy
Talking about race perpetuates racism?!
Americans refuse to acknowledge racism

Below:  "Our mascot isn't racist! You're racist for calling us racist!"


Anonymous said...

This is hilarious, because they are, of course, assuming everything is racist, against them.

What's really disturbing is, with the rise of Indian casinos, all the old stories about greedy Jews who control the government are now said about Indians.

dmarks said...

Something is racist if there is evidence of racism. It's not if there isn't. Seems logical enough, and so obvious, but many forget this (including the raging bigots who claim that everyone of a certain skin color is racist, and people of other skin colors cannot ever possibly be).

As for the casino "old stories", I hear references like this all the time.

Anonymous said...

I have a grammatical issue with that term, "reverse racism." Wouldn't it just be racism? Wouldn't "reverse racism" be more along the lines of a corporation hiring only Jews to work in their accounting department, or a landlord trying to rent to Asians only because he thinks they're cleaner? Or any other case where a racial stereotype benefits someone rather than hurts them as is usually the case?

Rob said...

You can read about reverse racism here:

Many current sociological definitions of racism focus on a central idea of racism as requiring not just racially charged beliefs, but also the power to affect races differently. The very systems of the western world therefore qualify as racist by cause of the "culturally sanctioned beliefs, which, regardless of intentions involved, defend the advantages whites have because of the subordinated position of racial minorities."

However, by this definition there is no such thing as "reverse racism," as even if a minority held racially-prejudiced beliefs about the racial hegemons, they are unable to disadvantage them outside of the small scope of their personal life, specifically because they lack the power to oppress in a more covert manner.