The Klan thing and reverse racism
The New Haven Register posted a link on Facebook this morning to a story I wrote about past incidents in Milford involving racism/Klan/neo-Nazigroups. A person named Bobette Giorgi commented underneath the post:
"As usual, NHR doing what it does best: one-sided reporting, as if blacks are not capable of racism."
Giorgi's comment deserves exploration. A couple of other people have made similar comments about these stories.
I think Giorgi raises an interesting point: that when we talk about racism or Klan-like groups, we (the media) forget to mention acts of racism committed by minorities.
This kind of blame-the-media complaining is, I guess, part of a line of thinking called “reverse racism." Many people believe in "reverse racism," which is what happens when a minority discriminates against the majority (white Christians). And that leads to people saying things like "why isn't there a white history month?" or “why is it OK for them to have a group?" (the NAACP)**
The thing is, reverse racism is a myth. If you, a White Person, find yourself feeling discriminated against, that's actually just the feeling of fear. The fear is rooted in insecurity over one's race; that a minority is challenging the inherent power you were born into as a White Person.
The term "reverse racism" is in itself an admission that true racism is only perpetuated against minorities, and that you have to reverse it to affect the majority.
It's not that blacks or other minorities are incapable of racism. But when a black person hates a white person for the color of their skin, it's different in a major way. It’s definitely not the reverse of the racism that we the majority afflicts on minorities.
Why? Because, it’s White Persons who invented things like racial slurs, slavery as a means of economic gain, the outlawing of interracial marriage, and forcing different races to use separate water fountains and schools. (Also, uh, the KKK.)
Comparing black vs. white racism is unequal. Racism is never OK, but when a white person does it, they’re adding to that long history.
There is no long history of majority on minority racism.
But who cares about my opinion, right? People like Giorgi will believe what they want. So, in the spirit of things, I’d like to issue a Reverse Racism Challenge – if you sincerely believe that racism vs. whites is just as pernicious as it is against blacks and other minorities, tell me about it. I’m not looking for vitriol here, but well-reasoned, moderate, and sincere thoughts. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll post it on this blog.
*To be very clear, what happened on Monday in Milford wasn't necessarily a racist event; the leaflets advertised a neighborhood watch program, but stated nothing discriminatory. It's just that the leaflets were distributed by a group that named itself after the Ku Klux Klan, the most notorious and racist domestic terror group in American history.
** Actually, the guy from the Milford Klan incident on Monday made this exact complaint to me - that no one ever says anything about the NAACP having an all-black membership, but that when it comes to the Klan, it's a problem. (!!!)