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COLUMN: 'Reverse racism' isn't real, let's stop using it


Reverse racism does not exist.

I concede definitions are often inherently flawed, and every person has different connotations associated with the word “racism.” But it is important to differentiate the two. As for whether people can be racist against whites? That’s an article for another time.

There is no reverse, inverted, opposite or antithesis to racism. If we are going to have a constructive conversation about race relations in America, we must put the phrase "reverse racism" to rest.

The problem with claiming reverse discrimination or reverse racism exists is that these instances always involve a minority projecting feelings of racism onto the majority. This is a flawed premise. In many cases, it’s a white male claiming that a government policy, or a person from another race, is reversely racist or reversely discriminatory. One example would be how some people feel that Affirmative Action is wrong because it is inherently racist toward whites.

Using the term “reverse racism” implies that “normal” racism goes in a single direction: from whites toward non-whites. The term is never used in other ways — for example, to describe racist behavior from one non-white minority toward another, or from whites against non-whites. What makes racist behavior “reverse” for people who use this term is that it runs opposite to the norm.

People argue that racism against whites is reverse because it isn’t typical?

By doing so, we acknowledge that people of color experience racism on a regular basis.

A 2012 poll from the Public Religion Research Institute indicates that 60 percent of white Millennials believe discrimination against whites has become as big of a problem as discrimination against blacks and other minorities.

Just because you are white and threatened does not mean you get to minimize the reality of racism that people of color experience.

Where are the white Millennials who think discrimination against minorities is wrong in itself? What are you implying when you claim that reverse racism exists? Can Asians be racist against Blacks? Would you call them reverse racists? Are Asians less oppressed than Blacks?

It does not matter.

We must admit people of color endured hardships brought on by the American government and society since our country’s beginning.

By maintaining that reverse racism and reverse discrimination exist, one must accept the notion that whites are the dominant and privileged group in society.

Believing in the notion of reverse racism takes us back to a segregation-era way of thinking. “Separate but equal” did not hold up in education, public accommodations, employment and marriage rights. It surely will not hold up in your perceived threats of reverse racism either.

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