There is no such thing.
When discussing racial slurs or anything race-related, the question of whether you can be racist towards white people is often raised. After all, terms like “honky” or “cracker,” are frequently used to degrade whites so why don’t more people get as upset over it as they would when white people use words like “nigger.”
Ok so slurs against white people are quite obviously inappropriate and offensive, and people really should refrain from being assholes as much as possible but really, these words are so just so damn silly, so utterly pathetic that they hardly qualify as racial slurs at all, let alone slurs on a par with those that have been historically deployed against people of color. POC have little or no power over white people institutionally; we haven’t ever defined the terms of their existence, we haven’t ever limited their opportunities, and so white folks don’t need to worry much about the use of a slur to describe them since, in all likelihood, the slur is as far as it’s going to go.
So whereas “nigger” was and is a term used by whites to dehumanize blacks, to imply their inferiority, to “put them in their place” if you will, the same cannot be said of honky: after all, you can’t put white people in their place when they own the place to begin with. People argue this point by saying that racism is discriminating against someone because of their race, but this is where they’re fundamentally wrong. Prejudice is one person discriminating against another person because of their race (and or other factors). Racism is the systemic discrimination against and oppression of people of color by white people. No such systemic oppression of white people by people of color exists. So ‘racism’ against white people cannot logically be a thing.
The day that someone produces a newspaper ad that reads: “Twenty honkies for sale today: good condition, best offer accepted,” or “Cracker to be lynched tonight: whistled at black woman,” maybe then I’ll consider the concept of “reverse racism”. When white churches start getting burned down by militant blacks and browns who spray paint “kill the honkies” on the sidewalks outside, then maybe I’ll take seriously these concerns over “reverse racism.” Until then, that shit don’t exist.
Tags: bigotry, blacks, browns, people, people of color, poc, race, racial slurs, racism, reverse racism, slurs, whites
Cultural Appropriation: A conversation by Sanaa Hamid
This body of work is an exploration of the extent of cultural appropriation and encourages a discussion about it. I give the appropriator and the appropriated the opportunity to defend themselves and create a dialogue between them, while maintaining a neutral stance myself. I am not attacking those who appropriate, merely educating and creating awareness. Neutrality is key in this series, as i remove myself from my political and social status and opinions, stripping the problem to the most basic issue; taking an item that means a great deal to somebody and corrupting it.
If you recognize your privilege, then that’s good for you but don’t expect a cookie for being a decent human being. With that being said, you can use this privilege to benefit people of color in the same ways that you too benefit from being white. Watch this 4-minute video to see how:
“Hey I’m not racist or anything, but I’m going to keep repeating all the same racist messages, words, stereotypes, and jokes that I’ve internalized since childhood. I’ve personally risen above it all though – I just do it because it’s absurd”
Let’s take a gander at what it really means
- “I’m not Racist, but (insert racist shit here)” – So, obviously I am a racist because I just said something incredibly racist, but totally don’t want to take the title racist, so guess what, I’m just gonna say I’m not a racist and hope you’re stupid enough to believe me. Don’t call me out though, you see, we have this thing called Reverse Racism that we made up and we’re gonna use that on you.
- “That’s Reverse Racism” – Although my reasons for disliking you are completely about my belief that you’re inferior and your reasons are out of being made inferior, I’m going to call them the same thing. I’m going to tell you that Affirmative Action is an example of Reverse Racism, but get this, Affirmative Action was created to level out the centuries upon centuries that I have had a head start in comparison to you.
- “You can say nigga, but not me, that’s not fair” – Neither is the fact that I’m much less likely to get pulled over by the police and I can be a felon and still have a better chance at getting hired against your crime-free record, but hey, this isn’t about me! I’m more concerned with taking the one thing you can do that I can’t, which by the way, came out of centuries of oppression and cruelty. I don’t like that you can use a word that has historically hurt you, but I can’t use the same word, even though I’m the one who used it to hurt you.
- “Appropriation? No, I just love your culture.” – I just really saw some cute Indian headband shit at Urban Outfitters and was completely unaware that it was your culture until you pointed it out. But keeping up with a summer trend is way more important than your people and the sacred meanings behind your accessories. come fall, new shit is gonna be out and your culture is going to be in my trash can but hey , I’m still appreciating you! Feel appreciated, damnit!
- “I have Black People in my family/as friends.”– My racism is so apparent that I have to resort to the measure of bringing up a cousin by marriage on my aunt’s husband’s stepson’s side or a guy my science teacher made me do a project with as evidence that I don’t discriminate against Black People. And you know, slave masters and colonizers totally didn’t procreate with their victim.
- “There’s a Black History Month, but no White History Month” – So, get this lawls! We actually do have a White History Month, but we’re just so fucking selfish that we decided to branch it off into subcategories (German, Italian, Polish, Italian, etc.) but you know, we’re still going to play the victim role here. Also, you have plenty of history that we either neglect or steal, so we’re just going to not discuss you in any of our history books, but get mad when you actually try to celebrate the history of yours that we’ve distorted.