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Michelle Sanchez: The oppressed have every right to prejudge

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Michelle Sanchez: The oppressed have every right to prejudge

Megan Kearney

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Whether it’s brought up in a discussion with my classmates, or as a comment on the internet, the most common response I’ve heard from white people when people of color express their outrage and mistrust towards them is “you’re being reverse racist,” the notion that minority races have the audacity to be prejudiced towards whites, and that this brings discrimination .

 The idea of “reverse racism” or “racism against whites exists” is ridiculous, and it’s important to establish that it does not exist.

Racism is having your pain mocked and belittled, your expressiveness cackled at and being portrayed as a “sassy black woman,” while white people have the privilege of having their thoughts and opinions coddled and considered important. Racism is dehumanizing people of color by making their cultures’ customs (eg. bindis, headdresses) a petty fashion trend.

Racism is having a lesser chance of being hired for a job for sounding “too black,” while other American English dialects, “California English,” Appalachian English, New York Dialect, to name a few, are considered to be “proper.”

The most prominent message while looking through magazines and watching TV is that the only people worthy of being represented are those with euro-centric features. That is racist.

So no, “reverse racism” does not exist. Is there such thing as prejudice towards white people? Definitely, but it’s important to understand that racism takes place when racial prejudice and systematic/institutional power are both against you. People of color are not in positions of power as white people are. Therefore, racism is only inflicted on people of color.

If your instinct is to get irritated and defensive when a person of color points out your privilege, sit down and listen. It’s essential to realize that people of color have every right to be angry and to assume that people are evil due to oppression that they face  in the first place. To think people of color have to downplay their anger just so white people don’t get their feelings hurt is self-centered and disgusting.

The oppressed have every right to prejudge.

What do you think?
5 Comments

5 Responses to “Michelle Sanchez: The oppressed have every right to prejudge”

  1. Foothill Alumni on November 23rd, 2013 9:56 pm

    I disagree with your point of view. To say someone can be hateful towards another because they have a darker skin than another is wrong. Unfortunately we do have that past, but it isn’t right that people who haven’t done anything to another should be punished because someone else was stupid.

    I have seen racism all around the world coming from every race. I was in South America recently and everywhere I went the people there were incredibly racist towards Asians. They even have a racial slur for them. It was terrible. To me any hatred or prejudice towards another group is wrong. No one deserves to have prejudices put against them.

    If you think that white kids have privilege, you are a little misguided. That is not the case anymore. I did not qualify for a lot of scholarships because I wasn’t “of color”. I had to work for a solid year before I could pay for a year of college because my parents could not help me with any of it. They are on the poverty line. I have never had privileges. You know what is even more ironic? My cousins never qualified for scholarships within the black community because they weren’t black enough. Half black isn’t black enough? Really? Race should not matter anymore. It is all about performance and the attitude of the person.

    The fact that you said that reverse racism is not happening in the US today is kinda funny because you just said that people of race have the right to be that way towards people.

    Hasn’t anyone heard of the concept forgiveness? Love one another? People are wrong most of the time because of pride? Martin Luther King and the others who have fought for equality of ALL races did not intend for people to still have this point of view in THIS DAY OF AGE. With so many mixed raced families how could you? Everyone is just a different shade of brown.

     
  2. Jackson Tovar on November 24th, 2013 2:30 pm

    I’ll make this brief.

    I completely agree with your statement, “‘reverse racism’ does not exist.” I have the same cringe in my body when someone will accuses another of being a ‘reverse racist,’ however that term is used because of the lack of understanding of what being racist is. Some fail realize that term ‘racism’ wasn’t created in response to the horrific oppression that Africans and African-American’s experienced in America. That being said, I’m sure you can agree that racism is still prevalent in the world today. We see many whites and blacks hating each other due to the differing complexions. We see racism towards Hispanics, Asians, Europeans, Americans, and many other races.

    I agree, “people of color have every right to be angry.” As do Caucasians, Asians, and Hispanics. Everyone has the right to be angry at the way they are treated. Everyone has the right to be racist, though I sincerely hope as time progresses, hatred toward differing races decreases.

    Also, as far as telling me to sit down and listen; I don’t think we have ever met, nor do I mean any disrespect, but spend some time outside of Southern California. I currently live with a group of upperclass New Englanders, in Washington, D.C. (technically the South); and I have never seen so much racism in my life. Some Whites are racist and some Blacks are racist. To me none of it is justified, but the individuals who harbor these feelings have every right to feel the way they do.

    Before I go, one last point. To the fellow Foothill Alumni above: face it whites are far more privileged than another race in America. It is terrible to think that one race is still seen as superior to another in “this day of [sic.] age,” but you cannot seriously think that whites are treated worse than any other race in America.

     
  3. I get your point. on November 25th, 2013 9:54 pm

    I can see your point and I agree with your comments on how racist things can get. I don’t think whites are treated any worse or anything like that. What I am trying to get across is the fact that people can be any race to be privileged or dirt poor and resourceless. I think it has to do a lot with the area that you live. I just don’t think it is right for anyone to be racist.

     
  4. bob smith on December 4th, 2013 11:57 am

    this is the truth!

     
  5. Another Foothill Alumni on January 18th, 2014 2:41 pm

    As a young woman of color, it troubles me to see that thirteen out of twenty-five readers rated this article as “awful”. It would be one thing if the ratings were mid-range. This indicates that readers of the Foothill Dragon Press (whether they are students, alumni, teachers, or community members), do not merely disagree with Ms. Sanchez, but rather do not believe white privilege exists. Yes, people of color (also, commenters should note that people of color=anyone who is not white, not just blacks) can be racist towards whites and each other, just as whites can be racist towards people of color. This does not mean that all white people are intentionally racist, and it does not mean that all people of color discriminate against white people.

    But that’s not the point. White Privilege IS NOT reverse racism. White privilege is our criminal justice system, in which there are far more blacks and latinos than whites. White privilege is having to put up with “beaner jokes” because the people saying the jokes were “only joking”. White privilege is not being considered as beautiful as a white girl because black and latino features are not considered beautiful in American society. White privilege is not being trusted by a policeman because being a person of color ups your chances at committing crimes (or so they say). White privilege is former New York City Mayor Bloomberg’s Stop and Frisk program. White privilege is working in an office where all four main bosses are white, while all the secretaries are Mexican. Lastly, white privilege is almost never intentional. It is a form of institutionalized racism. The sooner people accept that white privilege exists, the sooner all people, regardless of skin color, can work together to end it.

     

Comments on articles are screened and those determined by editors to be crude, overly mean-spirited or that serve primarily as personal attacks will not be approved. The Editorial Review Board, made up of 11 student editors and a faculty adviser, make decisions on content.

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