Let’s also operate on the idea that racism is oppressive based on historical and cultural contexts that show large-scale, hierarchical, bad/aggravated/deadly interactions between racial groups, since this gives said racism its power.
Given that, how is this alleged racism towards whites, however it manifests itself, harmful? Name instances that show oppressive interactions between white people and POC in which POC were causing white people harm on a large, systemic level.*
Name times when POC manipulated the culture that they were dominant of to be biased towards them, used their platform of power in said culture to espouse their inherent racial superiority and the inherent inferiority of white people. Name times when this manipulation became prevalent and reflective in everything-government, the sciences, the media, religion, the medical field, education, the work force, all aspects of culture. Name times when said bias was deadly to white folk.
Name a time when POC conquested, ruled, and dominated over most of the countries of the world, or if not, had a very strong influence in a country’s culture?
Name a time when the dominant culture of the world (like Western culture) was POC.
Now, if we are operating on the idea that racism is any time you say something demeaning, derogatory, or generalize about another race with the point being to show your superiority over said race and to point out their inherent inferiority, POC STILL aren’t guilty of that.
Yes, POC generalize-when we talk about racism and privilege and cultural things, for example. At it’s simplest, topical comments like “White people sure love casserole” or “Why don’t they take off their shoes when they enter the house?” while painting a broad brush, are hardly even rude, let alone are oppressive statements that mischaracterize white people, let alone have brought them wide-scale systemic harm. At its worse, our racialized language is that of a people turned bitter from being sick of being oppressed by another group that thinks themselves higher than us, or of wanting to destroy a dominant culture so it is NO LONGER TREADING ON OUR BACKS. Nowhere does our language include wanting to become the oppressors, but rather to stop being oppressed.
On the other hand, the racialized language of white people is that of a people who think themselves and their culture better or superior to others, who hear proof of said superiority reflected in their culture, or who see other cultures as exotic/strange/unpalatable/animalistic, etc. They also have the power and control to make that reflected in the cultures they inhabit and to cause mass harm and mischaracterization of POC. Many times they are fine with becoming or eager in being oppressors, since it is a means by which to control, subjugate, or even wipe out the peoples they think themselves above.
POC racial sentiments come from fear of erasure, of loss of identity and culture, more pain, oppression, and subjugation. White racial sentiments come from fear of loss of dominance and power, and thoughts of superiority and entitlement.
Because of this, POC racialized language is in no way, shape, or form on par in harm, voracity, or maliciousness with the kind of generalized racialized talk you hear from white people. These differences have to be taken into account and can’t merely be ignored in favor of reductionist, supremacist culture-favoring definitions of racism.
Another thing to note-negative racial generalizations come from simply existing in a negatively racialized culture. You internalize the shitty generalizations of the people the culture deems inferior. You don’t internalize any shitty generalizations of the dominant group, of course. Given that, there really isn’t such a thing as these mass dangerous & harmful generalizations POC have about white folk. Why would the supremacist culture inure us with negative generalizations about themselves?
*No, small or isolated instances of POC prejudice and affirmative action do not count. That includes the time that Latina girl called you a “gringo” or even people saying “Kill Whitey”. If anything, since those are types of reactions to or results of white supremacy, they are in fact the fruits of white racism’s labour.
**I’d also like to note in general that this whole piece is operating on the current definitions of privilege and oppression, of whiteness and POC. Yes, if you go back far enough in history, all humans have oppressed other humans and it doesn’t follow neatly under the POC or WHITE box, let alone any current discussions or dissections of racial interactions, at all. That doesn’t erase white privilege or white supremacy as we’ve seen in the past 600 or so years of human history or mean that POC in the current day can be oppressive because once a long time ago they were. Again, this is operating on current definitions & current ways in which people are racialized and what privilege or powers they do or don’t have based on history and current manifestations of culture and racial attitudes.