“we are investigating complaints about racist abuse at the club”
Let me start out by saying that I am a descendant of Alkebu-Lan. I am proud of my Yoruba-American heritage, and feel secure enough to share these thoughts with you. Despite what i’ve just said, there may be some folks who still believe my message is biased.
I want to refute the adage that “Black” People (I don’t use this term too often, but for the sake of argument I will) cannot be racist. I’ve heard this for years and never really paid much attention to it. But while watching Black-ish
yesterday evening, lead character Dre and his mom (played by the delightful Jenifer Lewis
) argued with Rainbow that they were allowed some freedoms when it came to making judgments based upon race & ethnicity because as they put it, “Black People can’t be Racist”.
This is simply untrue. But not only is it untrue, it it dismissive, devise, and irresponsible in nature.
To be considered a Racist, one only has to believe that one race, or races, is superior or inferior to another. This means that a White person can be racist towards other White people, the same way a Mexican person can be racist towards Koreans, and vice versa. Anyone can be racist against any race or ethnic group, including their own.
The fact that people of color have been systematically marginalized and disenfranchised in the Americas, and all over the world, doesn’t give us the right to mistreat others. “Two wrongs, doesn’t make a right”. Frustration, and a feeling of powerlessness may be the root cause of such behavior. Because most people of color most often do not find themselves in an advantageous position in relation to the dominant race of that society (in America it is Caucasians at the moment; in other countries and parts of the world it is obviously a different race) they give themselves a pass to misbehave.
-When a Latino dude come to the park or gym to play basketball, but is constantly passed over for other “better” players, is this not racism?
-In a school project, students flock to the Chinese students because they “want to get a good grade” is this not racism?
-An airplane is delayed, and a few passengers begin to express there displeasure. One of them happens to be a woman who is a descendant of Alkebu-Lan. She is looked at as an “Angry Black Woman”, while the others are just “voicing their concern”, is that not racism?
-In the entertainment industry, a white artist is given more kudos for performing in a genre that was pioneered by people of color because they “stepped out of the box and did something different” when countless other artists who are minorities receive little or no praise, is this not racism?
I have experienced racism from other descendants of Alkebu-Lan (although removed by their ancestors being brought to the Western Hemisphere by force) just like I have experienced racism at the hands of people from the Domincan Republic, Korea, Pakistan, as well as from Caucasian Americans. I have been racist towards other descendants of Alkebu-Lan, as well as every other race and ethnicity. It’s is no different because the outcome is the same: fracture, division, and anger.
For there to be a legitimate discourse on the topic of racism and race inequality, we all need to be honest about what the issue is and how we have contributed in both good, and bad ways.