“Unlike other groups of people, it’s pretty easy for a white person to use their skin privilege and brush off any stereotyping.”

Red Seven and J. Serens  say that privilege has an effect on racism for all groups of people.

This is a comment by Red Seven and J. Serens on the post “Yes, Black People Can Be Racist Too“.

Red Seven said:

I think the point of the black-people-can’t-be-racist theory is that if a black person were to stereotype a white person, it’s pretty easy for that white person to re-engage his/her skin privilege and brush it off, whereas a black person doesn’t have this option, and incidents tend to pile up, and even the smallest micro-inequities, when compounded over a lifetime, become a heavy burden for a person’s soul to comfortably bear.

What’s interesting about this is that your neighbor the not-delivery-boy was likely not going to shake this incident off so easily. He likely hears a racial stereotype tied to his Asian identity every day. So yeah. You were totally a racist right there. Which basically means you’re human. If every white person called themselves on their own racist-@$$-$#!t as soon as it happened, the world would be a more perfect place.

J. Serens said:

I think the appropriate term is racial profiling, which on the scale to “pretending not to be racist” to outright racist it is pretty bland.
When I think about black people being racist, it’s more of a “[cultural group] of people can’t be trusted. You’re down for the cause or not.”

But that is my opinion. I am not immune to racism at all. I made the horrible mistake of speaking Japanese to a Korean customer. She was very livid, and I apologized because I was so used to speaking Japanese to every Asian customer who visited our store. 

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Comments

  1. Joanna Schroeder says:

    Incredibly impressed by the profound message by Red Seven, above. Of course, it’s so important to remember that people of color are truly living in a racist society, with a profoundly violent racist history, and being prejudiced against them simply isn’t going to be that simple to brush off than it is for a person who does stand on racial privilege day in and day out, without even realizing it.

  2. Well, it’s undeniable that the consequences are lesser for white people, but that doesn’t mean it’s not wrong on principle, which is what people are objecting to. There isn’t some magical threshold of consequences where bigotry becomes acceptable, and pointing out bigotry in any form doesn’t mean you’re claiming all bigotries have equal consequences.

    Pointing out that someone stole $100 and is a problem is fine, just like pointing out that someone stole $10000 and is a more serious problem is fine.

  3. Actually, no, white people *can’t* just brush off stereotyping, at least not in the sense of stereotype threat. The same thing that causes black people to score disproportionately low on standardized tests as a group (the stereotype that they are less intelligent) works exactly the same way for things white people are perceived as being inferior at, such as sports.

  4. “When I think about black people being racist,….”
    I think of
    An ebony wild child in my hometown called Blue by his neighbors, 50 years ago.
    How appalled I was to learn of the paper bag test and good hair.
    A kid who thought he could bluff me into giving up a 2nd generation cell phone on the subway because I was a white man in a suit.
    A humiliated, hurt and scared kid who bought into the stereotypes.

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