This is the same as reverse racism. Sure, if defined in text, can be explained simply. But this is simply NOT a simple issue.
Now, let me preface by saying this; You all know, I’m not the best writer, and I don’t speak much on social things because I’m just not that good at expressing my thoughts and how I feel completely. I tend to have incomplete thoughts and also tend to not get my point across properly at times. BUT! Know this. I know what side I stand on. And this here thing…I’m not standing with.
Look at the following image. This image comes from some training material about workplace harassment. Note: This training was not generated from my company, but sourced out from another training resource.
Being an African-American male, living in America, working in Corporate America. My first response is exactly what the “contestants” in the image show. TRUE TRUE TRUE MOTHERF**KING TRUE!
Because the oppressor cannot be oppressed.
What does this mean? Someone who benefits from racism cannot suffer from racism.
Now, being that this is a training resource, to be politically correct and whatnot about this, the answer to this question is False, by definition.
But that’s just the problem with this image. You cannot just simply paint a black and white picture for this. In most cases, a non-minority would not face any type of racial harassment, due to the fact that he/she is white. Putting it in perspective on a high level (we’ll get to a lower level, deeper conversation a little further down in this post), a non-minority person would never have an issue with this. I can never in my life recall any time any of my white friends suffered from ANY type of racial harassment, and I have a LOT of white friends.
Who in the HELL thought this was a good question to put in training information in the first place?
The company I work for, at the corporate level, is probably around 75% White. Keep in mind that this is just an estimation, so I know I’m wrong on the actual percentage, but I’m probably close enough. If you look at only my office within the company, and go deeper to my specific department, that percentage is even higher. With my team undoubtedly being >85% white, as I can count the total number of African-Americans on one hand. If I include other minorities, I think I may get up to 10 total, but not much higher.
So this image here, in all it’s glory assumes that white people are subjected to suffer from workplace racial harassment. Which, sure they can, at a definition level. But how? Tell me when this would most likely happen? This picture screams to me that “white people have it just as bad as black people when it comes to racism”, which that could not be any more wrong. As mentioned in a wonderfully created movie “Dear White People“, there was a line stated that Black people can’t be racist. Why? Because black people can’t benefit from it. White people, on the other hand has benefited from racism for CENTURIES. Black people and other minorities are at a disadvantage EVEN BEFORE THEY ARE BORN, because of the color of their skin. Yet, I’m sitting here looking at a video of an African-American man, asking a question about if it’s True or False that a non-minority in the workplace can be a victim of racism.
Excuse me sir…Let’s not…
Even the white “contestants” has more sense than that.
And I can already hear the moans and groans of white people all over America right now because they speak words of how everyone is equal and racism isn’t a thing anymore and we won’t “let it go”. I implore you to read my blog post from a while back about Growing up an “Oreo” in America. This is a minority’s reality.
Resources like this perpetuate the idea that racism can be played on both sides, but that’s just not true. And for this to be in training material for a pretty big corporation that hires thousands of people, It makes me sick. Then I think about how many companies are using the same training resource. This is just a form of institutionalized oppression, spreading the idea that you can be racist toward white people, and that’s just not true.
For years, black people have had to have shows like “Black-ish” and networks like “BET” and celebrate holidays such as “Black History Month” or “Juneteenth” to show our greatness. Why? Because of racism. Because we needed somewhere to go to celebrate our culture, our greatness of who we are, because white people kept us from showing how great we were. White people don’t have these things, because they already control all of it. Their culture bleeds throughout every facet of life.
So I ask you to read the question again and if you think that someone can be racist towards white people. I urge you to think outside of the black and white box. Stand back, take a look at your life, and ask yourself, if you’ve ever suffered from or was ever at a disadvantage because of racism.