Reverse Racism — Keeping Eyes Off The Prize
So what’s my take on reverse racism? I would love to see the term “reverse racism” vanish. Why? Because I think it will need to vanish before we’ll ever see racism itself 100% disappear. I completely understand why someone coined the term and why people use it, don’t get me wrong, but in the big picture, I think promoting the idea of reverse racism does more harm than good. If you disagree, please, before you judge, hear me out – you might just change your mind…
The main concept behind reverse racism is that, in a society where one race is the majority, there can’t be racism against that majority – there can only be “reverse racism” against them. As much as I understand and wholeheartedly agree that systemic/institutional racism needs to be railed against with everything we have, I am equally opposed to the whole “there’s no racism against a majority” concept, which I first heard introduced back in my college days at the University of Illinois.
I will at some point make an effort to research who originated that idea (so I can take him/her out for coffee, and we can engage in some philosophical banter that will blow the doors off the joint), but until I have that conversation, let me just say that this concept will, at its very core, always lead to discord. Period. We want harmony in the world folks, not discord. You’ll hear me speak frequently about the over-complication of racism, which stands as a big obstacle to solving the problem. Like anything else in life, the more complicated you make a problem, the more difficult the solution.
So trying to break a concept down into non-existent intricacies like “reverse racism,” it doesn’t help. As I noted here in The Definition of Racism, we define racism as “a belief that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race”. When someone shares such a belief, it doesn’t matter which way the superiority arrow is pointing, that person is still a racist. We don’t need to reverse anything in order to fight against the big picture problem of racism, and here’s why –
We’ve advanced far enough here in America to fight this head on, as people. There is a large enough acceptance of people in America (far from perfect, but enough), regardless of skin color, for us to form a united front and begin the windup for racism’s knockout punch. And that means ending all of it. We can’t cloud the agenda with “well, if a black person hates on a white person, that’s not racist – that’s just reverse racist!” I mean seriously, re-read the words in quotes there – it sounds like grade school banter.
We cannot afford the distraction. We ALL need to stop acting racist. We ALL need to recognize the truth, that there is ONE race on Earth right now, and we are ALL part of it. That scientific fact is the key to the equation, and arguing back and forth over semantics, or starting a line of thought in which reverse racism is somehow a lesser evil – that takes us two steps back. The world we seek to live in is the world in which people are judged solely by their ACTIONS, the one true measure of a human’s character. Not skin color or any other outward appearance… actions are what deserve all of our focus.
Now understand, that is a BIG, BIG thought. It’s huge. It means that even now, when you confront someone who acts racist, that you judge them solely by that action, and that action alone. It means that yes, you confront and condemn the racist behavior, but at NO POINT do you say “he acts like that because he is white/black/etc.” Take that out of your own thought process. Recognize that those judgments make you no better than the person you just confronted. And leave the “reverse” out of it. It’s the 21st century, and it’s time to move forward full throttle, not get stuck in reverse.
If you feel otherwise, please pop in a comment or send me an email if you’d like to discuss further.