Can you be racist against white people?


A lot of people seem to have an opinion about this one way or another, and I wanted to do a little write up that can finally put this issue to bed. I can definitely understand the position from which people say you can’t be racists against whites, but I absolutely think they are wrong. Feel free to share this with anyone who makes this dumb claim.

So the general logic about why you can’t be racist against whites is all about privilege. The idea being that those who are privileged are the oppressors and cannot be subject to oppression, and that’s what racism is, oppression. This means that if you’re white, even if someone is saying “white people are dirt” while beating you for being a “white pig” you’re still not subject to racism because you are of the privileged race class.

Obviously, under this definition of racism, where oppressors can’t oppress, you can see where they are coming from and they would be right. Well kind of. They were right. Systemic oppression is still a huge deal in the modern world, and systemic racial oppression was no different. However in the modern world, systemic racial oppression isn’t so much of a thing any more. It’s illegal for companies to fire you for your race, it’s illegal to be discriminated against based on your race, it’s illegal for people to physically attack, verbally assault or harass you based on your race. These ideas apply for most any context too.

Whereas historically systemic racial oppression has been a big deal, it’s really hard to argue based on the modern world we live in today that it still is now. I don’t deny the systemic oppression of people based on race that has happened historically. I merely deny that its still happening today or that its still allowed to happen today without contest. Which it only takes a brief look at the human rights act to disprove.

Not to mention that systemic racial oppression isn’t the definition of racism as we all know it. Its a sociological definition, which only really applies in sociological contexts – not in the context of every day use or even legal use. Both every day and legal contexts keep it really simple, in that if you’re subject to a violent crime because of your race – that’s a racist hate crime.

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Here’s my country’s stats for hate crime separated by race. Unfortunately more recent versions have stopped separating by race. Not sure why, but that’s what the ONS told me. Anyway, here you can see the statistics of victims of racially motivated hate crime – by the legal definition. As you can see, white people are absolutely included in this definition, and therefore in a legal context it is absolutely possible to be racist against whites. That’s all you need. BUT, this would be a pretty boring article if I didn’t make mention of the glaringly large numbers up there.

Yes, according to these statistics, not only are white people subject to racially motivated hate crimes, but also they make up about 93% of all victims.  The number of racially motivated hate crimes against whites out numbers the number of racially motivated hate crimes against non-whites 9:1. Of course, when compared to all white people, its a tiny percentage, but compared to all racially motivated hate crimes? That’s incredibly worrying.

Yes, you can be racist against white people, socially and legally speaking. Is it possible to be sociologically racist in terms of systemic oppression in a society that is majority white and run by white people in power? No, but most people don’t live in a sociology textbook, so this is largely irrelevant to people’s everyday lives. Stop being racist against white people, thanks.

 

 

 

 

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