“Racism works on an individual and societal level.”
The #BlackLivesMatter movement has angered segments of the white population in America who claim its a prime example of reverse racism. Some have even gone so far as to promote #AllLivesMatter on social media and rip the word “black” off #BlackLivesMatter protest signs. According to Petula Dvorak of The Washington Post, they’re missing the point...by far. “‘All Lives Matter’ or ‘Lives Matter’ is the opposite of colorblind. It is not about racial harmony. It is not a clever call-out on reverse discrimination. It is not a way to give other groups equal importance. It tries to erase one of this country’s most pernicious and persistent shortcomings: its ugly racism.”
Last week, the the University of Toronto Mississauga Students’ Union (UTMSU) came under fire for claiming that reverse racism doesn’t even exist.
“An oppressed group cannot be racist towards those in the dominant group (white people) because though they may be prejudice [sic], they are not in a position of power to actually be racist towards them.”
This post has drawn criticism from students such as Ibrahim Bouteraa, “Institutional racism in favour of whites is a cruel fact that I think most people acknowledge and I completely support its eradication...The UTMSU definition of racism, however, is purposefully geared against white people in that it only considers power dynamics at a macro level and not in everyday inter-personal exchanges.” But it also has its supporters, “It’s really sad but not surprising that many white people took this post offensively because it isn’t meant to attack whites at all,” said UTMSU anti-racism coordinator, Shery Ghaly. “It’s simply stating that white people are given privileges in society not afforded to POC [People Of Color].”
A 2011 study found that preceived reverse racism was actually on the rise amongst whites in the United States. According to a research article by Tufts University's School of Arts and Sciences and Harvard Business School that appeared in Psychological Science, “These data are the first to demonstrate that not only do whites think more progress has been made toward equality than do blacks, but whites also now believe that this progress is linked to a new inequality – at their expense.”
A new video by The Huffington Post, “Reverse Racism Is A Giant Lie” was recently posted to provide some clarity and put the notion of reverse racism to bed. What do you think?