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People of colour/minorities cannot be racist?

172 replies

sundayrose10 · 11/05/2011 10:44

Do you agree with this statement? I was on a different forum where they discussed black people cannot be racist. Many said blacks/minorities could NOT be racist but there were an equal number also arguing that it was impossible. The reason they gave for the impossibility was that whites have the political and economic power to supress minorities.

Do you agree with that statement or disagree?

I know some people have a problem with the term 'people of colour' but I use it to include anyone who is not white. If it is relevant, I am black myself.

OP posts:
sundayrose10 · 11/05/2011 10:45

arrrrrrrrgh I meant some people argued that minorities were racist and others argued minorities could not be racist.

OP posts:
worraliberty · 11/05/2011 10:46

Of course they can...anyone can be racist?!?

GwendolineMaryLacey · 11/05/2011 10:47

No, it's nonsense. Racism can come from one man walking down the street, political and economic power have nothiung to do with it. Anyone can be racist.

CFAW · 11/05/2011 10:49

The people who said that are thick. My grandfather was Greek his skin was dark brown, he was like Alf garnet. Silly old sod.

And i know loads of black people who hate Somalians. Trinidadians who hate Jamaicans. So not only can they be racist, they can be racist to other black people too.

thedirtydirtybastards · 11/05/2011 10:50

Erm, off the cuff I think that of course any person of any background can be racist - if they regard others from a particular group as inferior on the basis of race or colour

but racism from a minority group has a completley different context and significance from mainstream or institutionalised racism - clearly it does not have the same potential for massive destructiveness

so I suppose people say "black people can't be racist" because a) most people associate racism with discrimination against black people, and b) if black people are racist, it isn't seen as "mattering" in quite the same way because they are not in the majority and are not holding all the strings of our society and culture

but I am sure there are lots of scarily articulate MNers on their way to give you a proper answer Grin

knittedbreast · 11/05/2011 10:50

anyone can be racist whatever their colour.

i am a person of colour too, because i am not see through!

EricNorthmansMistress · 11/05/2011 10:51

That's a ridiculous statement. Everybody can be racist. Racist views held by ethnic minorities in a society are less likely to have an impact on society as a whole as they are less likely to hold economic and legal power, but they can still be racist on an individual level.

LeMousquetaireAnonyme · 11/05/2011 10:54

Of course they can be racist, I met some people from minorities who disliked any other minorities or/and all white people with no other reason than the skin colour. If you take the "whites" out of the equation, they will still be racism against the minorities which are not theirs.

MrSpoc · 11/05/2011 10:55

I do not agree with the statement at all and if offends me when people try and use that as an excuse. Of course there is racism on all sides. Its not big and its not clever.

thedirtydirtybastards what you said is complete twaddle so I suppose people say "black people can't be racist" because a) most people associate racism with discrimination against black people, and b) if black people are racist, it isn't seen as "mattering" in quite the same way because they are not in the majority and are not holding all the strings of our society and culture

Thats the problam MOST people think that because racism is against black people or other ethnic minorities then people do not see it in the same light when an ethnic minority person is racist against a white person.

beldaran81 · 11/05/2011 10:55

There were nasty race riots in Birmingham in 2005 and the 1980's, between the black british and south aisian british population groups there, so it can have the potential massive destructiveness.

jobrien1980 · 11/05/2011 10:56

Anyone can be racist. For example in the US there is a fair bit of tension between ethnic minorities i.e. African-Americans v South East Asian Americans or v Hispanics.

kreecherlivesupstairs · 11/05/2011 10:57

Ridiculous claim. When we lived in Oman, the Indian and Pakistani workers were the lowest of the low. In Bangkok, those who came from NE Thailand and had darker skin were dirty and nasty.
People are racist whatever their colour. Me? I don't like the people next door, not because of their skin colour, rather their nine shit machines that mew.

HomeJames · 11/05/2011 10:57

I agree with the statement. Racial prejudice (which anyone can be guilty of, regardless of which group they belong to) is not the same as racism, which is racial prejudice 'backed up by' the power which the majority group has over minorites. Hence why racism can be inherent to society.

I have often seen people on mumsnet argue that men and women are not interchangeable in arguments about whether something is sexist or not, given that we live in a man's world. I agree but would extend this to race as well.

Hammy02 · 11/05/2011 11:07

Yes. In 6th form, I was close friends with 2 asians. They were very westernised, eg, dressed in a western manner, no accent etc. They often refered to asians that were not westernised as 'TP's'. I asked them what it stood for. It was 'Total Pakis'. I was shocked and have not heard the expression since.

MrSpoc · 11/05/2011 11:11

Bollocks HomeJames - then why as a predominatly white society are we trying to bend over to become integrated? if we as a power or majority race are racist?

Just because the majority group is a certain race does not mean the oppisite race cannot be racist.

I used to go out with a mised race girl at college and all the black men use to try and have a fight with me because I was with one of thier kind. Look a white man with a mixed race girl. Its all bollocks

Also it maybe a man's world but it does not stop women being sexist.

GwendolineMaryLacey · 11/05/2011 11:13

Does anyone know much about South Africa? I worked with, and was friendly with a black South African woman a couple of years ago. She would tell me about life in SA and I was fascinated, I'd love to go there. But she kept making derogatory statements about the 'blacks'. Obviously this confused me but I didn't have the question to point out the glaring obvious.

Is there a hierarchy amongst black people in SA or something? This is probably a really ignorant question but it was clear that she wasn't including herself in this.

GwendolineMaryLacey · 11/05/2011 11:14

Didn't have the gumption, I meant Blush

SenoritaViva · 11/05/2011 11:15

Ridiculous to think that this statement is true. Any race can be racist towards any other race.

I've lived in Africa and, gasp, you even get black on black racism. In India you have the caste system etc. If whites think they are the only ones that can be racist then that stinks of, well exclusion to me, the start of racism itself, a little elitist certainly...

worldgonecrazy · 11/05/2011 11:15

Of course black/asian/anyone can be racist. Racism is about thinking another race is inferior/superior, not to do with colour of skin.
The city I live in has a lot of interracial tension and fighting which is not reported because it is between different "Asian" groups. I have put the word "Asian" in quotes because the people involved were all born in Britain and are therefore British.

MrSpoc · 11/05/2011 11:16

GwendolineMaryLacey - i travelled all over South Africa and spent about 4 months, Bloomfontain, La Hatla, Capetown etc. the minorities there are the White People but they are also the richest. They are the most racest people I have ever met and very elitest. They hate the black people but hate the white british people even more (goes back to the Bower War). The best places to go for a night out was where all the black people went.

ByThePowerOfGreyskull · 11/05/2011 11:16

Just to add another voice to the "what a load of bollox" camp.

my old neighbours were proffessionals one a doctor one a lawyer of Indian decent (both born in England) The things they said about muslims homosexuals and black (from both Africa and the Carribean) would make your toes curl!

DH and I would sit there and try to argue the toss but in the end we just distanced ourselves because they weren't going to change.

NotJustKangaskhan · 11/05/2011 11:16

I agree with HomeJames completely. There is a difference between being racist and being racially prejudice against. Anyone can be racially prejudice against, but only those in power can by racist.

Racism needs to have the power of society to back it up and we live in a society with institutional racism where Whites have and use power over other racial groups, where Whites are defined as individuals, but the bad of minority groups ends up colouring the whole in socieities eyes, and where as much as a racial minority may hate another racial group, that individual doesn't have socieities backing to be superior to them.

HomeJames · 11/05/2011 11:19

MrSpoc, are you saying that you don't believe in institutional racism or racism inherent in our society?

You must live somewhere different to me...

I think the issue is largely semantic tbh. Of course I don't think that people from minority groups can't be bloody unpleasant when they act on their racial prejudices. I guess what I'm saying is that this is distinct from the racism/power wielded by white people against minorities and there should be language to reflect the distinction. Likewise, women and sexism...

nobetterthanthat · 11/05/2011 11:20

I am in a mixed race relationship and have had a torrent of racial harassment/abuse from non white people due to 'taking their man'. There is significant racism against Nigerians from other races but perhaps that is more xenophobic than racist. I have often heard chinese, south koreans and japanese people be racist about white people, black people and SE asian people such as malaysians or thai. Some of the elderly chinese in my family genuinely think black people are inferior and hate the japanese (war generation).

I think people who do believe it may have a very limited world view.

GetOrfMoiCase · 11/05/2011 11:20

Gwendoline I used to work with a south african - there were whites, blacks and coloureds. Coloureds were those of asian origin or mixed race. The coloureds would certainly have looked down on the blacks.

There was a lot of racism between the whites as well, depending on whether you were English origin or Afrikaaner.

Was very interesting (and hideous) to listen to how the society was arranged there in the 60s.

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