Let’s face it, we all hate racism. Or at least, most of us do. Racism isn’t big or clever, and at this stage in humanity most of us have outgrown it. Yes, you get someone making the odd joke or comment in bad taste, but racism is widely believed to be a bad thing. Even those who make the joke know it’s bad, that’s why they make it; for the shock factor.
So, it’s clear that racism is bad and that equality is good? Good. S’all I’m asking for. Now, without any further ado, here is another Barmy rant.
Today, I was browsing Twitter, casually putting off revision, when something caught my attention. A friend of mine had retweeted (for you Twitterphobes, that’s like reposting on facebook but much cooler) the following tweet (made by a black person, if you were curious): “Why do we call it ‘banter’ when a black person disses another’s country, but racism when a white person does it?”
I gave a little murmur of consent, as even though I’m not entirely certain on what ‘dissing’ means, I do agree with the statement. About to show my recognition with a retweet of my own, I noticed a slight disturbance in the force. Yes, stop the presses; someone had disagreed with something posted on a social networking site.
Now, I’m a sucker for a good bantering session, and when attempting to ignore my impending exams, nothing can stop me from having a little nose. So I delved into the realms of Twitter, to discover that one very proud woman of African descent had taken great offense at this statement. The woman in question claimed that there is no way a black person can be racist against a white person, that by very definition racism only refers to the oppression of black people.
I’m sure you can all guess what happened next. That’s right; yours truly got involved. What can I say? It’s a weakness of mine. I simply pointed out that racism is the belief that one race is better than another race; if it was what she suggested, it would be called ‘blackism’. I was met with the response that racism was ‘invented by whites and maintained by whites’, claiming that any black racists were ‘tools in white racism’, birthed out of hatred and slave labour.
Surely, I’m not going crazy here. I understand that, yes, racism was largely against black people. Y’know, back in the ‘30s. I’m not even suggesting that serious racism doesn’t exist today – I know it does. But, seriously, does that mean any black racists are excused? An eye for an eye, perhaps? Equality, whichever way you look at it, doesn’t involve discrimination or judgement by skin colour.
Claiming that all white people are Nazis or KKK supporters doesn’t seem to fit the bill. When it was pointed out that those most offended by the woman’s tweet were people of colour, us ‘whites’ were accused of brainwashing. As if we have some sort of massive anti-black propaganda scheme to turn black people into white supremacists.
*Sigh* I… I just don’t understand.
Suggesting that every white person is a slave driver, that all Arabs are incredibly racist and that every black person is oppressed seems to be some heavy-duty prejudice, don’t you think?
I don’t know, maybe it’s just me, succumbing to the great brainwashing propaganda machine that is the Western World.