I recently posted on Facebook a happy incident involving the kindness of a white stranger who expressed to me his hatred of racism and his desire to see more people like him speak out against it.
Most people enjoyed what they read. One person did not. That individual took exception to a statement I made. Racism is a white problem. Nothing else warranted a comment. Not the positive outcome of the racial dialogue. Not the courage of the man who spoke with me. Just the opinion, my statement is an act of reverse racism.
Of course, I believe racism is a white problem. White supremacy is a white-idea. Every white person in America has to decide if it is an idea they will embrace or reject. Those who don’t like us—their problem. Those who feel they are a better race—their problem. Those who want us to behave according to their expectations, again—their problem.
Reverse racism? Really? Oppressing people, taking their lives, stealing their possessions, dehumanizing them, excusing those actions and claiming superiority is somehow on par with a black person saying something a white person doesn’t like? Clearly, one of us doesn’t understand what racism is.
The actual definition of racism is: The belief that a particular race is superior or inferior to another. I’m not sure about reverse racism because I’ve only heard the term used in the form of white reaction to a person of color speaking an unpleasant truth. My personal definition is: White privilege having a temper tantrum.
The exchange brought to the forefront the contrast between the two white mindsets—the subject of the post and the person who complained. The one, choosing to be part of the solution. The other choosing to magnify the problem. The one initiating peace, the other picking a fight.
The one took action in an intentionally positive manner. The other caused a disruption in an intentionally negative manner. The one spoke from his own experience. The other challenged mine. I didn’t ask either one of them to talk to me, I just happened to be visible, yet, the one spoke to me as an equal. The other sounded like a judge.
The incident represents the truth of my statement (at least it does in my opinion). Racism is a white problem. Having to choose to be part of the problem or part of the solution is the dilemma white people face. Sadly, for whatever reason, it’s a difficult choice for some of them.