Black People Can’t Be Racist.
The Difference Between Prejudice & Racism
A lot of White people, from the well-educated to the under-educated, seem to struggle with the concept of ‘Racism in America’ and who can be “Racist.”
It’s important that we continue to break this down, so everyone can better understand the scholarly differences between Bigotry and systems of Racism.
*** YES, Black/Brown people can be prejudice, bigoted, hateful, etc, but they cannot be “Racist”, in that they do not have the ability to affect ‘Systemic Racism’ against Whites. If YOU as a White person want to personally consider someone being Prejudice the same as them being Racist, that’s up to you. But that is inaccurate from a scholarly sense, and more importantly regardless of your opinion, Black people do not have the ability to impact Systemic Racism against Whites.
*** IF, Black/Brown people became the dominant ethnic groups, controlling the majority of wealth, politics, banks, and laws, and IF they were the majority of judges, lawyers, politicians, CEO’s, businessmen, police, and IF they then Systemically Oppressed White people for Hundreds of years, then they could be “Racist.”
For example, if Blacks controlled all of these aforementioned institutions FOR GENERATIONS, and IF they imposed a #OneDropRule, in which anyone with “one drop” of “white blood” was considered “White” and therefore lesser human, and without the same equal rights, then Black people could be “Racist.” There would also be some “Whites” that could ‘pass’ as Black if they had enough “black blood” and were thus viewed as Dark enough.
However, even if all of this were to occur and there was a systemic structure of Racism against Whites in America, as imposed by Black-controlled systems. Blacks, with their newfound Black privilege, would have the ability to speak out against these Racist systems and become ALLIES of oppressed White people.
Of course, this is hypothetical and opposite of our American History and the racial realities that we live in today. Again, if you want to consider ‘everyday prejudice’ and bigotry the same thing as “Racism,” go right ahead. But you would be wrong.
Therefore, this discernment between understanding basic bigotry and larger concepts of structural racism is very important if YOU are concerned with using accurate language when speaking about Racism in America, in the context of historical structures of Race in America.
All of this is based on extensive scholarship and generations of Historical study by noted academics. I did not make this up! I do however have a degree in History from the University of California, Davis, with an emphasis in Race in America and US History. Moreover, I minored in African-American studies and spent more than a year specifically studying under Professor Clarence Walker, the award winning African-American History teacher.