Shoutout to all the queer kids being turned out of their houses and fighting to stay alive.
Shoutout to Cece McDonald, a trans woman 322 days into her 41-month imprisonment following an act of self-defense against racist transphobes who smashed glass on her face.
Shoutout to all the queer people of color who are trying to find their space in a movement and community dominated by white voices.
Shoutout to my friends who have been hurled slurs out of the car windows of their peers.
Shoutout to everyone for whom the right to marry doesn’t mean shit when they’re still fighting for the right to survive.
You wanna raise awareness? Fine. Please do. Her rapists need to be outed.
But reposting the picture of the victim during her goddamn assault is despicable.
It will haunt her rapists. Sure. But it will haunt her longer.
Fucking stop it.
In case any of you missed it.
I have! I wasn’t as fond of it as I am of their other work (I thought the setting wasn’t as creative and the characters weren’t as vibrant, and there were a couple of uncomfortable scenes that bordered on sexual assault and were both afterwards ignored by the narrative) but it was a pretty good show. And the music and animation were both fabulous.
Let’s get right into this one. Somehow this has become an acceptable response to any argument where the word “Reverse Racism” comes up.
First off, allow me to state how idiotic that phrase is. Reverse Racism. By using that phrase, young Caucasians of the world, you’re…
alright, let’s stop right here
Lins, look, I like you a lot. You’re funny and smart and fun to talk to about video games. But this shit is not cool and it would be remiss of me to let it slide, I’m sorry.
White people cannot experience racism, because we’re backed by society and have powers people of color do not which protect us from that. Sure, we can be put in situations where we’re prejudiced against for our skin color, but it does not equate to racism because there isn’t an institutional force behind it. If I was cornered on the street tomorrow by a black woman and taunted for my skin color, it would suck and I’d feel bad and it wouldn’t be an okay thing to do, but it would definitely not be racism, because I could walk away. I could leave. As soon as I got away from that one person, I would be home free and wouldn’t have to worry about experiencing something of the like again. But a person of color can’t do that! If it was me cornering the black woman, simply getting away from me wouldn’t be enough to end her experience, because we live in a society permeated by this idea that white is superior. If she gets rid of one harasser, she’s likely to pick up at least two more before she gets home. And even then it wouldn’t be enough to escape persecution, because as soon as she gets online or turns on the TV, she’s subject to a million more messages telling her that to be brown is to be bad. And that is why white people cannot understand what it’s like to be a victim of racism, because racism isn’t simply a matter of someone on the street telling you your skin is ugly - it’s having that message supported by literally everything around you, from fiction to government to white-centered medicine to fashion and everything in between. Messages in these things that portray white skin in a negative light do not exist. Messages that look down on brown skin and POC features are everywhere and unavoidable. So that’s why you can’t be racist to white people - white negativity is nonexistent and POC negativity is one of the pillars our society is propped up on! The two situations are incomparable in how deeply they go beyond a single incident.
Here, let me explain using one of the OP’s examples:
An interracial couple, one black and one white, both enter a diner. Both are discriminated against by people who are and aren’t their race. Who is suffering from racism?
In two separate instances, a member of the couple is assaulted by those outside their race. Is it racism when the black member of the couple is assaulted? Is it not racism when the white member is?
Sure, if you were looking just at those situations in the moment they happened and not at what happens because of them, there’s little to distinguish between them. But the problem is that neither of these is an isolated incident - they go deeper than that.
If you’re assaulted, obviously you’re going to press charges, right? The POC in the relationship reports their assault and the white person reports theirs. However, because our society sees white people as more special and important than people of color, the white person assaulted by people of color is going to have more attention and time and money put into their case, and their assailants are going to get a harsh sentence. However, the person of color who was attacked isn’t going to get as much attention as their partner, because society thinks people of color are worth less than whites. The white people who assaulted them aren’t going to receive nearly as harsh of a sentence as the people of color - their defendants are going to speak of wasted lives and the strain jailtime would put on their families, and the judge and jury will listen, because protecting white people is more important to the institution than getting justice for people of color. These issues would never be considered when persecuting the POC assailants, because whiteness doesn’t care about brown children. Additionally, though you can claim each individual situation is relatively comparable, the overall stats speak otherwise - how often are white people physically attacked for being white? How often are people of color attacked for their skin color? The overwhelming majority of attacks like this are conducted on people of color, precisely because of the power dynamics I mentioned above. White people feel safe in attacking a person of color because society has taught them that their victim is worthless and that they have little to fear from the repercussions of their actions. A person of color will rarely attack a white person even if they want to, because they know doing so will ruin their lives and the lives of their family, as all of our institutions are devoted to the protection and preservation of whiteness.
The OP makes the argument that you can’t just change the definition of a word to mean something else. Well, guess what? That happens all the fucking time! Look at all the words that have acquired new meaning because of the internet - friend, follow, chat, post, board, load, thread, link, stream… Look at all of the new words that have been invented - meme, blog and reblog, blogosphere, tumblrverse, download, upload… The English language changes all the time and for the most arbitrary of reasons, as society expands and we find ourselves in new situations that need labeling. Additionally, it’s perfectly possible for the meaning of a word to change over time - it’s called semantic change. Here’s an entire wikipedia article about it. One of the ways in which a word can undergo semantic change is when its meaning becomes irrelevant or outdated thanks to a change in sociocultural perception, and that’s exactly what’s happening to the word “racism”. As our society slowly advances towards becoming less white-dominated, we are becoming more aware as a whole of the differences in the way prejudice against white people and prejudice against people of color are enacted and responded to in our society. Because a racially motivated attack on a person of color and a racially motivated attack on a white person contrast in the ways I illustrated above, using the blanket term “racism” to describe them is no longer (and honestly never has been) linguistically accurate! Sure, you could use the same term for both events in the same way that you could use “rainstorm” to describe both a light drizzle and a hurricane, but doing so vastly exaggerates the drizzle and undermines the severity of the hurricane, especially when we have words specific to both kinds of weather.
Which leads into the last reason why white people cannot experience racism and why we shouldn’t claim we do - when white people try to say that we can suffer from it, too, we are ignoring the ways in which people of color feel the effects of race-based prejudice, and taking attention away from the inequalities that desperately need to be fixed. By trying to claim “racism” as a blanket term for any form of racial prejudice, we’re denying people of color the right to define their own very different treatment as something separate from what white people might experience, which ultimately leads to a brick wall in terms of trying to fix racism in our society. When anyone can suffer from racism, why is it a thing we need to fix? What’s the big deal when a person of color is attacked for their skin if it happens to white people too? To deny the incredible disparities between the way whites and people of color are treated in our society is to deny that there is a problem. And truthfully? The argument of “white people can experience racism too!!!” most often comes up when the white person in question is attempting to derail a person of color talking about their experiences with racism. “Why do you feel the need to point out that your harassers were white? Not ALL white people are like that! It’s racist for you to say that white people can’t experience racism!!1!!” If you just read a post where a person of color talked about being harassed, and your first thought is to defend white people because she blames white society for her attack, you are upholding the racist belief that a white person’s feelings are more important than a person of color’s safety! And if you’re not using it to derail, then why the hell does it matter if “racism” doesn’t apply to prejudice against whites?
I mean it when I say I like you, but I can’t just ignore this. That would be a slap in the face to the people of color who have taken the chance of trusting me even though I have been racist and will be racist again. Please think about this.