I posted this earlier to an Antiracist chat group I created on Facebook. I’m open to hearing your thoughts.
A friend, who is also a member of this group (who can say “it was me” if they choose to), asked on a separate thread: Can Black people be racist? Frankly, it’s a hard question and a harder conversation. Here is what I replied:
There is an ongoing debate whether someone who is Black can be racist. Dr. Ibram X. Kendi believes a Black person can indeed be racist. His book, “How to Be an Antiracist”, is about exactly that, how he learned about who he was and his path to eliminate what he saw in himself as racist behavior. Others feel that only White people can be racist since race was created, and racism exists, as part of a system to define and enforce a hierarchy with White people at the top.
As to my thoughts, things built into our system that keep racism in place, whether they be stereotypes, laws, societal norms, or otherwise can be used by people, Black, White, and of other races. Does it really matter how we label it if it’s wrong? If a White or a Black person uses a racist structure to hurt someone, it’s wrong, period. It’s stopping the act and unraveling the systems that keep racism in place that matter most, not the label we apply to them.
OK, we are mostly a White crew here, not all though. That said, what are your thoughts? And yeah, this is not a simple question. Yet if we want to change what’s happening, this is what we need to think about and confront.