Ashini Fernando

Reverse Racism Doesn’t Exist

Of course, it is not as simple as that. I could repeat this sentence over and over again and still people will answer with “And what do you call people who make jokes about White people? Those who call us White trash? What about when they hate us? And when they discriminate us?” What about that? It still isn’t reverse racism.

“What do you call it? Because it’s still a race hating another one.” Race is a funny word. Although, we are all human beings, historically the term ‘race’ has been used to perpetuate an ideal of a negative diversity between peoples and ethnicities. Racism as a concept particularly refers to the abuse of power by White people against people of colour.

Reverse racism cannot exist as it would imply that people from a Black, Asian or Minority ethnic background could mimic the same structure of injustice that they went through against white people.

If we had the same privileges as them, that would allow space for an equal society. Having more privileges would allow space for what could be called ‘reverse racism’. As Aamer Rahman (Fear of a Brown Planet) explains in his video ‘Reverse Racism’, such a thing could exist only if we went back in time and allowed Brown and Black people to be the colonisers. Go to Europe, destroy their countries, take away their resources, exploit them, trade White people as slaves to places away from their homes, take their rights away from them, go to war in their countries and say no when they want to find a better future in ours. No when they expect the same privileges.

With what I said so far, I don’t in any way mean that people of colour cannot and will not hate White people. Considering the systematic injustice we go through it would be a bit too much to expect that we don’t feel at least frustration. Of course, hate is possible. It only cannot be called reverse racism. Call it hate speech, call it prejudice. Don’t call it racism, because we do not and never had the power to do anything about it.

You could argue that, as economy works and classist systems go, there are BAME people who have more power than less economically-advantaged White people. But the second you confront a person from a BAME background, they will have less privileges than their White counterparts. If you are a woman, you might say that Black, Asian men or those being part of minorities can still be sexist to them. Yes, but sexism, just like racism, is about a power imbalance and dictated by centuries and centuries of social, political and economical inequality. In fact, comparing a White woman to, let’s say, a woman from Bangladesh or one from Nigeria or from Jamaica, the first one is the most advantaged one.

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