Most black and brown people are experts at identifying racists and determining which archetype of the following four racist categories they fall into:
- The Empathetic racist
- The Fetishist racist
- The Supremacist racist
- The Sadist racist
I’ve been a victim of racism for most of my life. This has given me the intuition and hindsight to infallibly detect the type of racist one is dealing with.
First, there are the Empathetic racists. They call you up whenever there’s a racist incident reported on in the media. They demonstrate alongside you at Black Lives Matter protests, they talk about how shocked they are at open displays of racism.
You think they are your friends, that they get you, only to discover that they partake in making and laughing at racist jokes. You see, they don’t see anything wrong with racist jokes, and there wherein lies the problem. These people are performative antiracists — and at their core lies racism without guilt, unfettered and unbothered.
And then there are the Fetishist racists. These people go so far as to befriend, date, and marry black people. They idolize black people and parade them in front of family and friends. It is important to note here that not all white people in interracial relationships fetishize their black partners. Only a few do.
Fetishization can sometimes turn into hatred for the black person that is being idolized. The fetishist does not necessarily love all black people, they only love (or hate) that one black person. The fetishist can be abjectly racist to other black and brown people.
The Supremacist racists are those that believe that white people are superior to black and brown people. They categorize all nonwhites as sub-human. In fact, they dehumanize black people to better abuse them. They feel threatened by what they say is “the big replacement”: a white extremist theory that says that black and brown people are willfully trying to out-populate white people.
So these racists kill black people. They are the Derek Chauvins of the world. They infiltrate law enforcement, politics, and large corporations so that they can find themselves in positions of power to dominate and oppress black and brown people.
And then there are Sadist racists, the ones that inflict the most pain for their sick pleasure. They are the ones that want to see black people suffer. Without the iPhone cameras filming, these people will kill black people whenever they have a chance.
They have a deep-rooted hatred for blackness. Many of them were present at the January 6th riots at the US Capitol. Their main mission is to annihilate blackness while dispensing the maximum amount of pain and suffering upon black and brown people.
So the reality is that racists can belong to one or several of the above categories. Some can be Supremacist racists and Sadist racists at the same time. Others can be Empathetic racists and Fetishist racists. Cross-pollination occurs across these categories all the time, but whatever the racist, they are harmful and sometimes life-threatening to black and brown people.
So what do you think of the above categories? Did you recognize yourself? What category would you say you fit into? And if you don’t fit into any of these, what would you consider yourself as being? Because you see, it’s not enough to tell me you are nonracist. That doesn’t count anymore.
You have got to be an antiracist. Nonracists are so useless, they are cowards. They don’t use their platforms to combat racism, they might as well be called complicit racists in that they let racism thrive and fester. If the world was full of them, there would be no civil rights movement, no Black Lives Matter movement. They sit around on their hands and do nothing.
So the complicit racist is not an option, you must strive to be an antiracist. Antiracists work to dismantle racism altogether. They study the systems of oppression, identify their weak points and work to take them down. They work to ensure that everyone is treated fairly. They work toward a better world for humanity.
And yes, maybe you are just about starting off or already are on that antiracism journey. You’ve got to educate yourself, you’ve got to learn to be an antiracist. And don’t ask black and brown people to educate you — put in the time, put in the work, do it yourself. Consider what you're doing as a service to humanity.
Thank you for reading my perspective.
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