“Blacks are just as racist as whites if not more so!” It is a common thing whites in America say. I do agree that blacks are racist, but just as racist? No way! Not even close.
For example, blacks have not:
- Kidnapped millions of whites at gunpoint and sold them into slavery.
- Worked whites to death by the millions.
- Forced millions of whites to work for free for hundreds of years based on their race.
- Wiped out people on three continents and taken their land.
- Sold their own children into slavery.
- Raped so many white women that most whites are now part black.
- Pushed a strange, racist standard of beauty on the world through the fashion and film industry.
- Wanted the right of calling whites a racist slur.
- Even had a slur for whites that is as racist and dehumanizing as the n-word.
- Burned crosses in front of white people’s houses.
- Burned down or bombed white neighbourhoods, towns and churches.
- Hanged white people, taking parts of their bodies as keepsakes.
- Had strange homosexual hang-ups about white men’s penises.
- Looked down on or hate those who are not racially pure.
- Caused high white unemployment rates through racist hiring practices – or even affirmative action.
- Regularly dehumanized white people in black mainstream culture.
- Had white minstrel shows.
- Regarded speaking their dialect of English properly as a sign of intelligence.
- Required whites to learn black history and literature.
- Based their sense of self-worth in part on looking down on whites.
- Made fun of murdered white people, like by selling Nicole Simpson target practice posters or laying on the ground to act like a dead Nicole Simpson (Simpsoning).
I am sure commenters can come up with some more.
I am also sure that Uncle Milton can find examples of some of the above – but that is the thing, they are so rare that they are not common knowledge.
True, blacks lack the power to carry out some of these. Like they do not control the labour market or the fashion industry. But many they could do and yet do not.
The Just As Racist model cannot account for this. It cannot account for Tyler Perry films, for example, which demean blacks, not whites. That is because it has a false understanding of how and why people are racist. It sees it as a common human failing – tribalism and so on. But that is not it: instead it comes down to power or the lack thereof.
In the case of blacks in America their lack of power means:
- They cannot carry out many of the above examples. Whites can.
- They do not have to be racist to feel good about their position in society. Whites must.
- They are in danger of internalized racism because whites flood the culture with racist messages as required by #2.
So for blacks the danger is not racism against whites but against themselves! Thus Mr Perry.