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On Radical Racism Theory

Posted on Tuesday, March 2, 2010 in Theories

A few nights ago, I was reading philosophy by Steiner followed by reading Dottie the Sock: How I Found My Pair. Both were good reads. I also wrote a piece about Queercore: what is it?.

In other news, I was pretty surprise to find out radical racism theory makes a villain out of anyone who happens to be white by automatically labeling them as the “oppressor.” I don’t agree with it. How is the circle of hate going to end when you automatically decided that a group of people due to their race is the problem? In the eyes of these people, it’s acceptable for people of color to dislike people for simply being white. They also say there is no way to ever be racist to people who are white – you can only be racist towards a minority. If racism is discrimination based on race, how is that not racism? I think that is perpetuating hate and not help putting the end to it. It’s like deciding all men are sexist because they never experience discrimination due to their sex.

Honestly, I think it’s time we stop playing the “who’s more oppressed than who” game. The truth is, EVERYONE in a capitalistic system is oppressed to some degree. Some people have more privilege but they are still oppressed. Instead of fighting amongst ourselves, we should recognize our common struggle as being humans in an oppressive system and try to get along.

To make up theories to justify your hate due to race, is no different than what other hate groups do to justify their discrimination. People were attacking my understanding of theory for not accepting that simply due to my race, being white, that my whole struggle and existence isn’t as valid as a person of color is ridiculous. I was born with my race. Just like I was born with my sex. To me, race matters just as much as sex, which isn’t at all because it’s beyond a person’s control.

Don’t get me wrong, everyone has their own heritage and experience. I think the world should be more of a tossed salad than a melting pot. So, that we’re all mixed together, equal, but different. People forget that equality and sameness are not the same thing. You can be different and equal. We don’t need to assimilate anyone or any culture for equality. The world would be really boring if everyone was the same.

I view everyone as being equal and different. I take each person on a case by case bases. I don’t judge a group of people because of a few individuals. I take each person for who they are without judging them first due to their meatsuit. I think if more people would stop judging and be more loving the world would be a better place. If the cycle of hatred isn’t going to end with you, who do you expect it to end with?

Bring on the comments

  1. Tessa says:

    Definitely true. There is no hierarchy of oppression and we need to stop pretending there is.

  2. Greetings! Great post.

    I agree with a lot of what you said, but I don’t agree on the point that people of color can be racist. I like to use the sociological definition of racism, which is racism = prejudice + power. So, people of color can’t be racist because (in America) they are the oppressed groups, and hold no power over any other group. Can they be prejudiced? You betcha. Can they discriminate against others? Absolutely. But I don’t think they can be racist.

    Also, I don’t entirely disagree with radical racism — I would say that in America, white people *are* the oppressors, actively and passively. Every day we live with the privilege of whiteness, and it permeates everything we do. We may not individually be racist or actively oppress others, but we are benefiting from a racist, oppressive social system.

  3. Jess Five says:

    It’s not my fault I am white – anymore it’s my fault that I am female-bodied. You can’t stereotype a group of people without becoming the villain yourself. There is prejudice and hate to automatically deciding a group is at fault. Look at the nazis.

  4. I’m not quite sure what you mean in your comment, but until I figure it out, I have a related question – have you read We Can’t Teach What We Don’t Know by Gary Howard, or White Like Me by Tim Wise?

  5. Jess Five says:

    I’m saying to automatically classify a group of people is to become hateful yourself. By deciding a group of people is automatically all at fault due to their race is no different than what Hilter did to the Jews. It is not ending hate by placing blame. It’s about forgiving – not forgetting so it repeats – but letting go so not to become what you are against. Most anti-racist folks I know are some of the most racist folks I know and it really pisses me off. They are so off the deep end of being anti-racist that they have become racist themselves. So, for all people of color to despise a white person for being white is not the answer or blame them for the fact of something beyond their control is ridiculous. It is important to be an ally and be educated on issues – that your the majority and all the stuff I wrote about when I addressed white privileged – – previously in my blog but the cycle of hate needs to end with you.

  6. Tessa says:

    Is the terminology we use really that relevant? If people have prejudices, and act upon them, it is counterproductive, as is arguing over whether or not to call it racism. If it’s counterproductive, it should end, plain and simple.

    I realize that white privilege exists, but does that really mean that all white people are oppressors? There are other ways of being oppressed than racism. The truth is, most people don’t significantly benefit from this oppressive system. Chances are if you’re not a rich, white, straight, Christian male, you have been oppressed in one form or another. If we keep arguing over who is slightly more privileged and who is slightly more oppressed, nothing will ever get done.

  7. To your point, “to automatically classify a group of people is to become hateful yourself” I think is misleading. In a recent post you classified the kind of person you are looking for in a mate – queer, straightedge, vegan, anarchist, etc. You are classifying people into these categories, but that doesn’t mean you are automatically becoming hateful of queer vegan anarchists.

    “for all people of color to despise a white person for being white is not the answer or blame them for the fact of something beyond their control is ridiculous” — I don’t know about you, but I can’t say for sure what ALL people of color think of white people. And hating them for the color of their skin is really not what’s happening. For people of color, someone’s skin tone matters much less than the way that people with that skin tone have treated them for their entire lives. I think this post over at Womanist Musings explains better than I could.

  8. Jess Five says:

    I’ve noticed when people run out of things to say for their argument that they attack me personally. It’s a lot easier than proving an illogical thought to somehow make -me- into the villain. My wanting someone with the same lifestyle choices as me has nothing to do with only wanting someone of a certain race. I don’t want meat which I view as murder in my house. I lived with meat eaters and it upsets me to no end. I don’t want to be with drug users – dated them before, doesn’t work. Lifestyle choices similarities wanted in a mate is different than basing your dating pool solely on color. I also keep friends of all types: meat eaters and drug users alike. The anti-racist racists I’ve dealt with don’t even want to consider having a relationship do to elements beyond my control. If people weren’t befriending people because of what’s between their legs, that would be viewed as sexist. But, what you’re saying is that it’s okay for people of color to be racist (or call it prejudice because of wacky theories that claim people of color can never be racist which I say is bullshit. You can call it whatever you like but hate is still hate no matter what name you give it.) and that’s wrong.

  9. Oh goodness no, I wasn’t attacking you. I was trying to make a comparison that obviously failed. However, it doesn’t seem like you really want to consider *why* some (not all) people of color might have negative attitudes toward some (not all) white people. I hope someday you will understand, Jess…but for now my efforts obviously aren’t helping.

  10. Jess Five says:

    It has nothing to do with a lack of understanding. Hate is hate no matter what you try to call it and what “theories” you create to validate it.

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