isthereany,

It does seem true though that MLK would have been a vehement opponent of racism towards white people. His words and teachings would not support the idea that “black people can’t be racist” and similar modern catechisms. These are harmful concepts that only further entrench white supremacy as people living in fear won’t be open to higher minded insight.

CaptnNMorgan,

I think that’s a saying because racism is only harmful when people in positions of power act on their racism and black people traditionally don’t have power in this country. If a black judge is only prosecuting white people or anyone else that isn’t black, guilty or innocent, that’s a case of a black racist. But that situation is way more likely if the judge is white and only prosecuting minorities

be_excellent_to_each_other, (edited )
be_excellent_to_each_other avatar

As brief overview:

  • I generally only hear people in common conversation complaining that someone told them once that they heard someone say black people can't be racist. I don't think I've seen anyone in the wild claim it with a straight face - because many people use racism and bigotry interchangeably, and it's quite plain that anyone can be a bigot. However:

  • Racism by sociological definition is something that only the group in power can engage in (paraphrasing) so your problem, like most people who bring this up, is probably:

  1. You heard from someone that someone else said "black people can't be racist" one time, but have probably never actually been told "black people can't be racist." (Which is sort of multiple layers of irony, because if you define the word correctly, they can't, at least generally not in the US.)

and/or

  1. You are using racism and bigotry as synonyms. Anyone can be a bigot, racially prejudiced, etc. Black folks can absolutely be bigoted and racially prejudiced towards others, just like anyone else can.

Here's a snippet of a definition from an into to sociology:

Racism is a stronger type of prejudice and discrimination used to justify inequalities against individuals by maintaining that one racial category is somehow superior or inferior to others; it is a set of practices used by a racial dominant group to maximize advantages for itself by disadvantaging racial minority groups.

The text goes on to say this doesn't preclude racial minorities from being prejudiced, bigots, etc.

And finally, and really this was all that truly needed to be said: In my experience, most of what people complain about online as "racism against white people" turns out to be nothing of the sort, and I'm personally doubtful MLK would have had a sympathetic ear for the common examples I see, either.

Edit: Forgot the link.

Edit again: Still forgot the link

https://openstax.org/books/introduction-sociology-3e/pages/11-3-prejudice-discrimination-and-racism

Edit - so many edits to be sure I'm saying what I mean to.

isthereany,

I’ve heard it plenty of times from black people themselves. That’s what happens when you say things like “sociological definition” and “if you define the word correctly.” Racism already exists as a word and has a definition. You can add another definition in a certain context and so on but it doesn’t change the most widely accepted and long standing definition of a word.

White people are widely subjected to racism from black people. That’s a fact and is easily supported by any number of violent attacks against them where the perpetrator outright states it was because the victim was white that they attacked them.

Seems like you’re working really hard to try to basically claim “black people can’t be racist” while also stating that’s a silly concept, no one takes it seriously, even if they do it’s rare, and besides… it’s also true. Huh?

This seems to be a sore point but it’s still reality that black people can be racist, have been racist, and will be racist.

be_excellent_to_each_other,
be_excellent_to_each_other avatar

Black people can be bigots, and can can be racially prejudiced. Only the dominant group can be racist.

So you can use that to get upset as if I or anyone else were saying black people can't be bigots, or you can recognize that you are choosing to use two words as if they are synonyms when they are not.

Edit: Full disclosure, I made a shitload of edits to the original comment, which may or may not have overlapped with your reply.

snooggums,
snooggums avatar

They can be racist using the common definition that does not have the context of power imbalance in the sociological definition. Just like a lay person using theory in a way that would be a hypothesis in a scientific context.

Acting like the sociological definition is the only definition comes across as arrogant when you leave out the context.

be_excellent_to_each_other,
be_excellent_to_each_other avatar

And yet I all but guarantee that anyone who has ever said "black people can't be racist" did not actually mean "black people cannot be discriminatory, racially prejudiced bigots." (I'll allow for corner cases where people are idiots - because that happens with anything.)

Anyone at all can plainly see that nothing stops black people from being those things.

So the singular reason to get upset when someone says "black people can't be racist" is a failure to recognize (and based on this discussion I'm pretty sure it's a choice for many) the scholarly definition.

snooggums, (edited )
snooggums avatar

No, a black person can be racist. They cannot meet the sociological definition of racist that includes additional context of the power imbalance of western culture.

Leaving out the context means the statement is meaningless. Someone from Saudi Arabia cannot be racist using the sociolocigal definition while in the US, but can in Saudi Arabia doing the exact same thing because of the context. They are still being racist in both situations because the sociological definition did not replace the common definition that does not include that context.

be_excellent_to_each_other,
be_excellent_to_each_other avatar

They are being bigoted racially prejudiced douchebags in both cases, but only racist in one. Not that hard.

snooggums,
snooggums avatar

You are like a guy from the US telling someone from the UK that chips can only mean deep fried thinly sliced potatoes and that potatoes cut in strips can only be called fries.

isthereany,

Only the dominant group can be racist.

That’s factually untrue. You’re merely attempting to ignore the primary definition of racism and racist. Just because they added a new secondary definition to the word doesn’t negate the long standing and most widely used definition.

It’s ok. Black people can be racist with no concern for anything beyond individual actions or any larger context. That’s how the word is defined and has been defined for over a century. You should accept that. Your statement might be true, in America for example, and if used in a specific context, and if you want to use the much lesser known and very new secondary definition of the word.

be_excellent_to_each_other,
be_excellent_to_each_other avatar

You’re merely attempting to ignore the primary definition of racism and racist. Just because they added a new secondary definition to the word doesn’t negate the long standing and most widely used definition.

These are harmful concepts that only further entrench white supremacy as people living in fear won’t be open to higher minded insight.

And if I continue to insist you are wrong, and that you are choosing a different than accepted scholarly definition, I guess I'm pushing you to white supremacy. Not much of a push for some folks, damn.

Ah well, just going to refer you back to OP then I guess.

isthereany,

You can insist I’m wrong all you want but the fact is that black people can be racist. Full stop. This isn’t a discussion occurring in a scholastic environment. We’re on social media talking about chuds. Let’s stick with the century old definition of racism that everyone understands not the few years old scholarly definition.

That’s the whole crux of the problem. You can’t add a new definition to a word, constrain it to a specific context, and then make a broad statement in public like “black people can’t be racist” then when people get upset about it say “Hah! Look, I made a new definition and in this other context what I said is right!” The result of making that statement is harmful. It’s harmful to black people who begin to think they can physically attack, insult, and otherwise be racist towards white people but it’s not true because an academic told them they can’t be racist. It’s also harmful to white people if a black person stabs them and says “I want to kill all white people” and they decry increasing or ongoing racist attacks against white people by black people only to be met with “but black people can’t be racist.”

This shouldn’t be difficult to understand especially if someone claims to be such an academic that they can use a secondary, few years old, alternative definition to a word that has existed for over a century and is already widely used in that context within society. When “academics” do this and try to dismiss the obvious truth of “black people CAN be racist” it merely supports the idea that they’re intentionally trying to bury black racism. Thus like I said, it further entrenches white supremacy. No one who has been attacked by a black person because of their race is going to want to engage in a discussion with someone who keeps telling them black people can’t be racist because there is this new definition.

You’ve still essentially refused to admit that the primary definition of racism is not the one you are using.

be_excellent_to_each_other,
be_excellent_to_each_other avatar

It’s harmful to black people who begin to think they can physically attack, insult, and otherwise be racist towards white people but it’s not true because an academic told them they can’t be racist. It’s also harmful to white people if a black person stabs them and says “I want to kill all white people” and they decry increasing or ongoing racist attacks against white people by black people only to be met with “but black people can’t be racist.”

You think drawing this distinction about the word "racist" is going to create "black people who begin to think they can physically attack, insult, and otherwise be racist towards white people?" Because of this relatively minor difference in terminology? You have imagined quite a lot based on this delineation between the word "racist" and the word "bigot" I must say.

I'm gonna let someone else enjoy whatever remains of this discussion with you. I'm not surprised to find what lurks behind the mask, nor interested to continue pretending it's anything else.

isthereany, (edited )

The difference is not “relatively minor” when one context implies black people can’t be racist and the other implies they don’t have the collective power, in America, to be systemically racist on a national level.

It is factually true that black people have attacked and insulted white people, and other races, and when confronted responded with “black people can’t be racist.” That is happening and it is mentioned often by people.

reddit.com/…/how_to_deal_with_racist_minority_stu…

There is just one example but they’re not hard to find. It is a wide spread thing now that black people are openly racist towards white people and use “black people can’t be racist” as a shield for their behavior.

There was another example on Reddit recently from a teacher who said a black student insulted a white student on the basis of race, the teacher told them that was racist, and the student said “black people can’t be racist.” The student continued to argue with them so they sent the student to the principals office and the black principal agreed with the student and reprimanded the teacher for being racist.

This is another thing the whole “black people can’t be racist” argument misses. Black people DO have systemic power in certain areas. There are states, counties, and cities with majority black government, police, schools, and so on. Telling a white student in that kind of environment that they can’t experience racism due to structural power at a national level is also wrong and those black students in an environment where black people do have control over “systemic” or “structural” elements that they can’t be racist is also wrong.

Bipta,

Yours is a bad faith bullshit argument if I've ever seen one.

be_excellent_to_each_other,
be_excellent_to_each_other avatar

You are welcome to your opinion.

blaine,

Here’s the ACTUAL definition of racism:

“prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism by an individual, community, or institution against a person or people on the basis of their membership in a particular racial or ethnic group, typically one that is a minority or marginalized.”

Please get out of here with that “Only people in the dominant group can be racist” mumbo jumbo. That may be the more typical case, but it’s not the only one. You (and the author of the sociology textbook you quoted) are EXACTLY the type of people OP was talking about, and that’s why you’re being downvoted here.

urist,
@urist@lemmy.blahaj.zone avatar

What word would you use for the systemic oppression of racial minorities in America?

Do you feel white people experience systemic oppression? In what way?

Which racial group has historically been in control of the large structures in our society (government, large and wealthy corporations)?

If you’re wondering why I’m asking these questions, it’s because I think you’ve missed the point that the poster you’re responding to is making. You seem to be arguing about which words to use instead of noticing the wider topic.

lolcatnip,

What word would you use for the systemic oppression of racial minorities in America?

That’s easy: systemic racism. It easily avoids any dumb debates about what is meant by “racism” in a particular context.

BarrelAgedBoredom,

There’s more to racism than a dictionary definition, you know that right? People didn’t dedicate their lives to study the topic just for the fun of it. The realities of racism from the dominant group (white people in the west) and racism in the marginalized groups are very different. Racism is bad no matter where you fit in that spectrum but the harm done to certain (non-white) groups of people is more severe by several orders of magnitude

snooggums,
snooggums avatar

You know how there is a scientific definition of theory that is different than the common usage of theory, and it is really confusing when two people are using the different definitions interchangeably?

Same thing with racism. More than one definition which causes confusion when used interchangeably.

bigMouthCommie,
@bigMouthCommie@kolektiva.social avatar

Dictionaries are often treated as the final arbiter in arguments over a word's meaning, but they are not always well suited for settling disputes. The lexicographer's role is to explain how words are (or have been) actually used, not how some may feel that they should be used, and they say nothing about the intrinsic nature of the thing named or described by a word, much less the significance it may have for individuals. When discussing concepts like racism, therefore, it is prudent to recognize that quoting from a dictionary is unlikely to either mollify or persuade the person with whom one is arguing.

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/racism

MedicPigBabySaver,

MLK: “Yo, you white ass honkies are dumb as shit.”

andrew_bidlaw,

I find a weird coincidence between their choice of a mascot and the Paperclip operation to retrieve scientist from nazi Germany. Yes, it’s a basic office supply. But yes, american users consulted it with their problems just like these scientist. There’s a little gist of an irony in that, albeit probably not intentional.

HikingVet,

What did you take before typing that?

andrew_bidlaw,

40% vodka?

Bridger,

Considering what Microsoft is, expect clippy to support a white nationalist narrative.

HikingVet,

I would love to read your reasoning.

ThrowawayPermanente,

Microsoft is headquartered in Seattle, a known Nazi stronghold. Obviously.

QuantumSparkles,

Just look at that little fucker’s face

HikingVet,

I only see the bottomless void in those eyes, and a desperate plastic smile devoid of emotion. Clippy has always given me the vibe that they don’t want to exist, and would destroy the universe to get respite.

EldritchFeminity,

So your average retail worker, got it.

PugJesus,
PugJesus avatar

"MLK had a dream where people would be judged by the content of their character and not the color of their skin, therefore, racism is dead and has been for 60 years" - some chud just before or after saying something horrifically racist

Grayox,
@Grayox@lemmy.ml avatar

Why was it only a dream mf? TELL ME WHY IT WAS ONLY A DREAM!?

HeyThisIsntTheYMCA,
@HeyThisIsntTheYMCA@lemmy.world avatar

It was Clippy’s fault. Get’em!

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