Rachel Dolezal, a White Ally
Hello, everyone! So I’ve been getting many questions lately about what is racist and what white people can or can’t do. So, per your request, I have decided to make a column that answers the question “What the fuck is racist?”
Question 1: Who can define racism?
Well, this is a tricky question! Before, when people of color were oppressed, we could say when something was racist. We defined racism as “race prejudice + power,” and racism was something that could be overt or subliminal through societal structures, social interactions or internal beliefs. Racism was something that affected our daily lives by the processes of structural policies that limited our access to resources to even the way we walk in society in hopes that cops don’t attack us and we survive another day to see our families.
However, I guess now that people of color seem to have more rights than white people because of policies like affirmative action, clubs reserved for people of color and our ability to claim “racism!” when white people harm us, now white people get to define racism! In our society, it seems that white people are the most affected because they need to monitor their actions and be worried they may be called racist (which is worse than actually being racist). Because of this fragile line white people must walk to not be racist, now they can define what racism is because they now understand what it means to be a person of color more than a person of color, because of this experience of watching their language and not being comfortable to say all their opinions in their intro to sociology course.
Question 2: Is it okay to say the n-word?
I mean if you asked me this before this year, I would say non-Black people absolutely CANNOT say the n-word in any regard because the cultural violence the word inflicts. This word was created by white people to literally remove the humanity of Black people and reclassify them as something other than human. Non-Black people who still believe in this definition use it today to justify their violence to Black folks and inflict their internalized superiority.
However, I guess this year has taught me that yes, it is OKAY to use the n-word if you’re a white person! As long as you didn’t mean any harm, you’ll be completely fine because hey, you’re not like “the rest of the white people.” You’re a good white person because you have a Black friend/family member/professor/co-worker/neighbor/student or because you’ve read books by Black authors, followed people on Twitter who retweet tweets by Black people and most importantly, because racist academic norms say, it’s OKAY to use it! We live in a post-racial society where we were able to have our first Black president for crying out loud! Racism is basically extinct, so basically now all people of color gotta do is wait for white people to pave the way for an extra, extra post-racial society by saying racial slurs to get rid of their context, power, and history!! How else can white people be not racist if they don’t say the n-word even after students speak up and say it’s not okay? That’s anti-racism training 101!
This article was originally published in the April 5, 2019 issue.