A White Woman Derails A Post About Racism Since She Thinks “Racism = Insults”

Imagine this. You are “tired” of racism being critically examined for what it actually is because you want racism to mean “name calling when race is mentioned” and not the multifaceted structural, systemic and institutional thing that it is. No matter how many times you repeat your hegemonic lie, it will not change what racism actually is nor what people of colour experience. And while you are “tired” of accurate definitions of racism, we are TIRED of experiencing racism.

June 29, 2013

A White Woman Derails A Post About Racism Since She Thinks “Racism = Insults”


I am fascinated by the fact that White women continue to enter my space and make their ahistorical and inaccurate multiple paragraph irritations, solely for the purpose of derailing and centering the conversation on themselves with their personal narratives and on the area where they do not experience oppression: race. Didn’t we just examine this phenomenon a few weeks ago when I summarized the exact same behavior of another White woman in White Women Who Seek To Dominate Black Women’s Spaces and Discourse Are Not There To “Learn” Anything?

The latest one to do so is katielu92 who posted the comment below on my essay Why Whites Call People Of Colour “Racist”, her portions in blockquote:

Okay. I have a lot of things to say about this post, as a white girl. I have experienced my fair share of racism that is directed at me personally. I’m constantly called “little white girl,” “wigger,” and “cracker,” at my place of work. I am the only, yes only, white person working a front end register. I am called this by my co-workers and by customers. I have heard “stupid ass white-girl,” “punk-ass white girl,” and I’ve also been called a, wait for it, “cunt-ass white girl.” I’m tired of being told that white people are the only ones who are racist because, honestly, we aren’t.

You are already wrong here. Simply because you are White and choose to “decide” what racism is does not change what structural, institutional and systemic racism are. Period. The idea that you can decide what it is versus what people of colour actually experience it as is a manifestation of White supremacy. White supremacy includes the notion that all discourses should be hegemonic and only epistemology as determined by Whites is valid. Thus, though a White person knows that they do not experience the multiple manifestations of racism, they can “decide” that racism is just “insults” that “goes both ways” and call it a day. However, they remain wrong.

A man referring to you as “girl” or “cunt” does connect to oppression, via sexism and misogyny, because of your gender. There is oppression that goes beyond name-calling that connects to those words. However, the idea that the oppression that is associated with “Black cunt” is the same as “White cunt” completely ignores the history of racist and sexist oppression that Black women uniquely face which differs from White women. (You can view the tagmisogynoir on my blog for clarification.) Further, beyond this name calling, what has occurred? No one who calls you these names can oppress you based on race. And if you are confused about this, you can read a post where I reveal that even some MEN face oppression in a way you don’t (though you still face sexism/misogyny) because of race: Examining The Claim of White Women’s Oppression By Black Men With “First” Or “More” Rights

I understand that many white people do sit back and watch these injustices occur on a daily basis, but I do not. I’m tired of being clumped into a group that, yes exists, but then it is considered the only racist group that does. I do not claim other racists to be racist because I feel the need to “get back at them,” or I “don’t understand where they come from,” because to put it simply, it isn’t true and to be quite honest, that is a truly ignorant point of view.

The luxury of “individuality” that you want here, not to be included with racist Whites is lost since everything you posted reveals White privilege and racism. The luxury of individuality, identity and humanity is not afforded to people of colour; we’re still expected to “audition” for it and “earn” humanity. You demand the very thing that White supremacy denies people of colour regularly. It does not matter if you are not individually racist towards individual people of colour because you still benefit from White privilege and society still remains White supremacist. Period. Again, racism is NOT JUST ABOUT NAME-CALLING. IT IS NOT ABOUT THAT. Even when it does involve slurs against people of colour, those slurs connect to a legacy of uneven power and dehumanization for which there is not parallel.

Racism is NOT, I repeat, is NOT the “belief that White supremacy is “normal” in society,” racism is an action that can be made by any race against another in a negative way. It is NOT strictly related to white people. I’m so tired of this.

Imagine this. You are “tired” of racism being critically examined for what it actually is because you want racism to mean “name calling when race is mentioned” and not the multifaceted structural, systemic and institutional thing that it is. No matter how many times you repeat your hegemonic lie, it will not change what racism actually is nor what people of colour experience. And while you are “tired” of accurate definitions of racism, we are TIRED of experiencing racism.

I am not racist because I am white. I am not racist because I was born with things others were not. I completely agree that there is white privilege and that shields a lot of people and contorts their point of view, but I’m tired of hearing that is the only way things happen, because it isn’t.

Whites love adding the first sentence in this part. I never said a White person is racist because they are White. Whether or not an individual White person “feels” that they are racist, White supremacy exists and is reaffirmed in subtle and overt ways. Society remains racist because enough Whites are racist and because even when some are not, how racism manifests in ways outside of person-to-person interaction still exists. You are not acknowledging your White privilege despite saying you are, because if you did, you would know that beyond insults that may irritate you, you face no systemic oppression based on race.

Let me just say, there is no such thing as Reverse Racism as RACISM IS UNIVERSAL IT IS NOT JUST FOR ONE RACE OR ANOTHER. ANY RACE CAN HOLD RACISM FOR ANOTHER. There is a difference between fighting for freedom and being racist. A huge difference.

Again, you believe racism is disliking others based on race and interpersonal insults. What you describe is dislike (just not liking a person), bias (preference towards one person over another), prejudice (desired distance and intolerance of a person) or bigotry (rigid and uninformed views of a person based on a particular characteristic). While I did not applaud these either in my original essay, they still are not racism. Racism is not solely about interpersonal relationships and insults. If you are purposely going to ignore how racism manifests in the lives of people of colour because of institutions beyond interpersonal relationships and insults, you are being racist. Period. And your idea that me critiquing racism is “being racist” actually ties into the original post. You are doing the same thing that so many Whites do and it is OLD now.

People tell me my ancestors had slaves and that because of that I should be sorry. But you know what? My ancestors came from Germany in the 1860’s and fought for the North, held no slaves, and barely owned property. Yes, at some point in history they owned slaves, but not black slaves, slovik slaves. Every race, at some point in history, OWN SLAVES so that excuse is invalid. You were not under oppression like that, do not expect me to apologize for the horrors of my ancestors. It was awful, and I never want to see something like that happen ever again, but that doesn’t mean it was my fault, and it doesn’t mean I am racist.

I cannot account for what someone else told you that has nothing to do with my original post, but since White women continue to visit my blog and think that the make-believe people that they feel are oppressing them for race and in ways not mentioned in the original essay of mine, are ones I have to answer for, I will address this. Nowhere in my original post did I suggest Whites must apologize for their ancestors. However, the fact that capitalism itself today would not exist without slavery, and the fact that the oppression of people of colour TODAYbenefits you TODAY is a factor. Again, my original post was about why many Whites call people of colour “racist,” not whether or not every single White person is a racist. You’re projecting your own fears on to my essay.

First of all, you aren’t hurting my feelings, you are being racist, not rude. “Cracker” is a slur from slaves used in a derogatory way toward their slave owner. It was passed down through the ages and now is prevalent in todays society and not many people know that it is a racist, YES A RACIST, term. If you call ANYONE a name based off of their skin color it is RACIST AND IT IS A SLUR. I’m not just talking about white or black, I’m talking about Native American, Indian, Chinese, Korean, Mexican and so on. It applies to EVERYONE. Genocide has also affected whites. The Russian Revolution, World War Two, even during the reign of King Henry the 8th in England. GENOCIDE HAPPENS IN EVERY CULTURE AND EVERY RACE.

Again, nothing I said facilitates the oppression of you as a White woman based on race. You cannot submit any evidence to disprove this because racism is not just about interpersonal insults. Only a really self-centered and willfully ignorant person would think so.

Further, are you seriously juxtaposing a name a slave called a slave master with what slave masters called their slaves? You see this as parity? This is racism, clear as day. You genuinely believe a slave, a dehumanized person treated as chattel and an owned object calling a slave master “cracker” is the same as the owner who treats the slave as an object for profit, power and pleasure calling the slave “nigger?” This by far is the most offensive thing in your comment. I cannot believe you would suggest this and not realize that you are in fact much worse than the type of Whites I critiqued in the original essay. Further, though I agree that war itself is ultimately genocide, you cannot juxtapose war and slavery as the same forms of genocide if it obscures manifestations of power. The same Whites who benefit from war also benefited from slavery. If anything, this commentary needs race/class analysis versus false equivalence to the racism that people of colour experience. It is ahistorical and willfully ignorant to juxtapose “cracker” and “nigger.” It needs to stop NOW. I know it resurfaced because of the Zimmerman trial and is a favorite argument among racist Whites. It is a flawed argument.

I would also like to point out that you are upset about being classified by another race as “lesser” or even “rude” to others, yet you are doing the same exact thing to another race. The only way things are going to change and to have racism stop altogether, is if we all realize WE ALL ARE AT FAULT. One race is not better than the other, one race is not racist and the other is. You cannot, YOU CANNOT, just classify an entire race like that. You just can’t. That in itself is a form a racism. For anything to change we all need to stop pointing fingers. Put down the slurs and the “but you did this to me so I’ll do this to you,” mentality. All of us.

“Lesser” and “rude” are not terms with parity, nor did I suggest that in my original essay. Dehumanization based on race and someone not liking my personality or statements are not parallel. Only someone who is not oppressed by race would think so. My essay did not suggest that Whites are less than human. My essay addressed why the deflection, derailment and attention-seeking nonsense involved in Whites inaccurately calling people of colour “racist” prevails and why. You view legitimate critique of racism as being “put down” only because White supremacy affirms your status should exist without critique. As far as stopping racism “together” again, your teeny tiny idea of what racism is, everyone stopping “insults” to each other does not speak to what racism is systemically. It is not just about goddamn insults and none of those posed to Whites can oppress Whites. A fucking comedian, Louis C.K. said you can’t even hurt his feelings let alone oppress him. Why? Because he recognizes beyond an insult, oppression based on race for Whites is non-existent. This does not obscure, gender, class, sexual orientation, weight, ability, and the like. That’s why intersectional thinking matters. But even as a White person possibly faces oppression for other categories, they still have White privilege. You cannot acknowledge White privilege as you claim to do without recognizing the corresponding form of oppression: racism. As far as “everyone” being at fault, let’s be clear, Whites and sadly even some Blacksbelieve that racism is Black people’s fault and we could end it by being “better” as if racism is about our resumes and behaviors not our race. Save your White supremacist “we are all one, as long as Whites remain dominant” trash for someone else.

I suggest you think about why you felt the need to come to a Black woman’s blog with this garbage. Why you felt that your personal narrative about name-calling matters more than the oppression of people of colour. Why you think your simplistic and inaccurate definition of racism supersedes centuries of research and experiences as documented by people of colour. Why? That would be White privilege and racism amidst a White supremacist society.

(via katie-lu-who)