I am going to say this quite clearly. There is no such thing as reverse racism. Racism is racism no matter where it is coming from or where it is going. “Reverse” means “the opposite of” and the opposite of racism is what? Think people. I hate hearing this. What makes it even worse is the fact that it is spouted by non-minorities when they think they are trying to help or are exhibiting behaviour they view as showing that they are on our side. It is not reverse racism. In some instances it is racism, blatantly. Not all “Black” people wish to be white. Not all “Black” people value light/fair skin, straight hair or narrow noses. Not all “Black” people like Caucasians. Some of us are happy just as we are. There are just as many “Black” people who do not favour Caucasians as there are Caucasians who don’t favour “Black” people. And don’t misunderstand, any Brown person or person of colour is despised however, there seems to be a particular distaste for the darker shades of brown. The other cultures of people with brown skin are the lesser evils because although they have insular cultures that support themselves, they still allow the pseudo-majority to feel superior (for the most part – of course not everyone fits this mold).
However, there are other times when it isn’t racism at all. It is actually a frustration stemming from a non-ethnic view that you can somehow relate in any way to our experience. As much as we may appreciate your efforts and your contributions to overcoming the struggle, you will never have an anecdotal story that will ever compare to the ingrained and entrenched institutional biases we have to overcome on a daily basis. If you want to help, just be yourself. Empathise with us, absolutely. Try to understand what we go through and be part of the solution, absolutely. But the kindest thing you can do is to recognise that you will never know what it is like to be thought of as beneath everyone no matter how prestigious the schools, no matter how high your grades, no matter how hard you work (but don’t rub it in our faces, we already know it well). You have a privilege that will never be extended to us. You have a standing in the larger societal view that will forgive you for everything you do, always. You hold a status in the world context that means you can experience the world without fear. We hold no such delusions. Unless we are lucky we are not taught to love ourselves from day one. It is something we learn. It is something we can only learn from each other.
Can Caucasians be victims of racism? I would say categorically no because they hold a privilege that allows them to rise above everything. They also hold a majority standing that means they are granted anything. Can you know real racism if you are in the population that benefits from it? I am not sure but I don’t think so.
Can they be victims of racially insensitive comments and stereotypes? Yes, they can. They can, most certainly, be victims of the institution they created. The difference between racism and racial insensitivity, in my mind, is the effects. Racism can keep me from thriving, can cost me my life, can keep me from getting a job, or accessing certain services. Racially insensitive comments and stereotypes may hurt your feelings but that’s about as far as it will go. It seems to be a bit crass, but it is absolutely the truth.
I don’t want you to think I am a racist. I absolutely am not. What I am, is someone who is honest about the world in which I exist and the effects of the things inflicted upon me. I am thought little of by the ruling majority. I am thought little of by other people of color. I am thought little of by my own. And that is just as a “Black” person. As a “Black woman”, I am not even respected, at times, by anyone. I am viewed as an oversexed, glorified mattress and portrayed in the media as though my skin isn’t beautiful (although the products that people of colour have been using for ages to keep our skin so lovely is now being marketed to the ruling majority), as though my hair is something to be hated and drastically changed on a cellular level. I wouldn’t change my skin. I have learned to love my hair and have always loved my curves (even on my nose). I believe everyone, no matter the race should feel the same.
I genuinely feel that all men/women are equal by virtue of the fact that we are all humans. I don’t begrudge anyone their happiness as long as it doesn’t infringe upon the happiness and well-being of others. I believe people have to do what is best for them; that which will allow them to thrive. I enjoy getting to know people, and having friends from a wide range of backgrounds but this will not diminish my love of or respect for “Black” people.