Race 101: More Classic White Thoughts (2/2)
Updated: Jan 3, 2019
Before we leave the state of White Denial, I thought we'd make two more stops. You can find my first post on the earlier part of the journey through the land of White Denial here.
"Stop Generalising Because Not All White People Are Racists. It's Only a Select Few People That Do These Things"
You're sure not to miss this stop. It's the ultimate jugular shot in hopes of shutting any anti-racist down. Admittedly, once this is thrown it's usually worth not having the last word because all parties will only get riled.
My response, if you want one (it won't go down well), is to be brutally honest.
Yes, I'm generalising because it's a general problem: the majority of white people have a degree (slight, moderate or strong) of racial bias or racial preferences for their own group. They do, and this sadly manifests itself as racial discrimination.
For example, structural racism wouldn't exist if it was only a select few. How could a few have such a wide-ranging impact on all aspects of society from education to health to work?
Moreover, history and it's brutal periods of slavery, colonialism and discriminatory laws and practices wouldn't have happened with a few pioneering Europeans setting sales in a couple of boats to Africa and Asia. Admittedly you don't need as many people to colonise a continent when you're armed with Maxim guns, shallow drafted steam-powered river gunboats and quinine, still, you need more than a few (1).
"You're White Hating"
This usually follows our last stop in the state of white denial. Once they think you're generalising, they conclude that you hate ALL white people. Well, allow me to tell you something of the 5 percenters who believe all white people are devils. They're a controversial offshoot of the Nation of Islam, formed by Clarence Smith who at the time was a former student of Malcolm X. So my so-called generalisations ain't got sh!t on these Islamic dudes.
My personal response is I have white people in my social circles. For instance, my partner's white and my friends are white, and these are all people I CHOOSE to be in a relationship with.
Just because I'm calling you out on your racism doesn't make me a hater. It makes me an anti-racist.
So there we have the second and final leg of our tour through the state of White Denial, it's time to leave, goodbye!
1. David Olusoga (2016), Black and British: A Forgotten History, Pan Books.