This is how I’ve come to understand racism, and white privilege/supremacy, working it out in my head.
America was built on genocide and slavery, caused by white people. This is irrefutable. After all of the Native Americans were raped and slaughtered, Africans were bought and sold, and become property of white people and were treated…well, we all know what happened. We were taught and conditioned to feel inferior, we always have been, we were told we were inferior, less than. This conditioning didn’t end with slavery, it continued to exist and still does to this day, though it’s just becoming more and more subtle. What with micro-aggressions, micro-insults, etc.
Black people, and all people of color, but BP specifically, may have animosity and hatred towards white people, but it’s not motivated by the same thought process that created racism. White people felt superior, for no logical reason. It was blind, irrational hate. That same hate was shoved down our throats, and because a few hundred years later, I still hear and see the word “nigger” thrown at me by white people, I can clearly see that the irrational hate and superiority still exists. So I still have a reason to be angry, because white supremacy still exists. And now, it’s been built and ingrained into our institutions and impacts political power, education, employment…it exists all around me. White people (white men) have been the ones creating all of these social/economic/political institutions, and because they’ve had hundreds of years of power and privilege over everyone else, those same institutions are going to reflect that. It’s impossible for them not to.
Guess what? The Found Fathers were slave owners. Just because Lincoln abolished slavery, you think white people automatically gave us 100% freedom and treated us like equals? When it came to employment, education, healthcare, economic freedom, were we automatically placed on the same level as them? You know the answer to that. This should be common sense by now. Of course they would take their biases and superiority with them when they create laws, create schools, build political leaders and institutions…(Jim Crow, for example)
I KNOW you know they did that with sexism and misogyny and male privilege. Women are still talking about the wage gap between genders. Clearly, that’s because men’s sexism, male privilege and misogyny didn’t die. Why would their racism and racial biases die? You can’t acknowledge one and then say the other one doesn’t exist. You know you’re lying to yourself.
So as a black person, and you as a white person, we can’t experience racism in the same way. You hating me and mistreating me is beneficial to you as a white person, it helps you. Me hating you, does nothing for me. I don’t get to move up on the socioeconomic ladder by mistreating you…you do, by mistreating me. That’s how it works. That’s what racism is. Racism is the systematic disadvantage of people based on ethnicity. Black people and people of color don’t hold the same power/privilege over white people, as they hold over us. We can’t benefit from this system. Therefor, we can’t be racist.
We can be prejudice. I can hate you because of the color of your skin for no reason, but it doesn’t have the same historical implications as white people hating black people based on the color of their skin does. It’s not the same thing. It doesn’t mean the same thing.
Black Lives Matter, any kind of movement created by black people who have been oppressed because of the color of their skin, is motivated by us feeling inferior and demanding that this white male heterosexual patriarchy be destroyed. Black Lives Matter is not us feeling superior…why and how the fuck would we and could we possibly feel superior to white people, or anyone else?
This also means “reverse racism” doesn’t exist. It’s a myth. White people, you really need to stop acting like you are or can be oppressed. You can’t and you aren’t. So when I say Black Pride, it means I’m building myself up, because of our history. It’s not racist. When you say white pride, you’re building yourself up – even though you’re already at the top. So what are you celebrating? Your advantages over everyone else?
If you’re white and you don’t understand everything I just wrote, then you either weren’t paying close enough attention, or you’d just rather hold onto your racism. Because nothing I said is incorrect.
If you want another guide to white privilege, you can check this out.