I want this MyTake to be as balanced and fair as possible, because this is an issue I feel passionate about. I will do my best. Feel free to critique this after you finish reading this. I am open to criticism.
Originally I asked a question related to this topic. In retrospect that was a mistake. Many users didn't read the question and assumed I was racist because I mentioned race. And because I ran out of room I didn't have a chance to make all the points I wanted to make. So I'm writing this MyTake.
I am not racist. I have never been racist. Nobody in my family is racist, and I do not support racism. Like most people I'd say. However, because it pertains to this issue, I will give a little bit of detail about my background. I'm white, middle-upper middle class. Money has never be an issue I've had to content with. I've never had to go hungry because I didn't have enough money. As much as I hate this term, for the purposes of this MyTake I'll concede to the fact that I am "privileged." I live in a safe neighborhood, I have access to high quality medical care, and I can always count on my family to be there for me.
Now that I've cleared that up, let me start this MyTake. All I ask is that you read everything I have to say before responding. If you are reading this, I'm going to assume this MyTake has been promoted. In that case, I'll say this- do you really think this would have been promoted if it was racist. In my experience, no, it wouldn't have.
1) Anyone can be racist
There's a misconception being spread around by the liberal media that only white people can be racist. This is based on an alternate definition of racism. This alternate definition states that only the group that has benefited from racism can be racist.
This definition doesn't make sense. Words can be broken down into their parts to derive the meaning of the word. For example, the word racism and the word racist.
The word racist contains two parts. Race and ist.
Race: A group of people identified as distinct from other groups because of supposed physical or genetic traits shared by the group. This is the universally accepted definition of race. This particular definition isn't challenged.
Ist: a follower of a distinctive practice, system, or philosophy, typically a political ideology or an artistic movement:
So, roughly translated a racist would be the follower of a system based on race. So basically anybody who believes in a system based on race is a racist. This makes sense. Where does all that other stuff about privilege come into play though.
The way I see it, some people try to redefine the word so they can say and be as racist as they want without having to worry about being labelled a racist. Because being prejudice or being a bigot is so much better.
If you aren't prejudiced based on race, you shouldn't have to worry about being called a racist. And if you are prejudiced based on race and don't like me because I'm white I'm not too fussed about your personal preferences to be completely honest.
If you believe a race is superior to another race you are a racist. Simple as that.
Now that we've gotten that out of the way, let's get into the meat of this issue
2) Racial divide
This is generally what I've observed on the internet. People who have been most affected by racism claim it exists in every facet of society while people who haven't been affected by racism at all claim it doesn't exist in any facet of society. Here's what I personally think: Racism does exist in some facets of society.
I think the race card is sometimes used even when an issue has nothing to do with race. I think other times it is thrown out even when the issue does have something to do with race.
So far I've been beating around the bush with "People who have been most affected by racism." Brace yourself, because I'm about to be a lot more blunt. This is probably going to create a shitstorm.
You can find statistics on the internet that support the belief that white people are actually at a DISadvantage in society because of their race. Does this mean they/we are? No, this just goes to show how there is a statistic or fact to support any opinion/viewpoint you may possess.
One thing I see some white people do is look for any statistic or study to disprove the notion that racism could still exist in any way in society. I see this a lot on Youtube. I don't believe the people saying this are being racist, but I do believe this is wishful thinking on their part.
The reality is this: If racial discrimination exists but non-white people are the ones affected by it, how could we as white people possibly know whether it does or does not exist. After all, we wouldn't be affected by this if this was true. So there is really no way for us to know. These videos that claim there is no racism and discrimination anymore are incorrect I believe.
I for one believe it does exist to an extent. I think there are certain things I've never had to deal with because of the color of my skin. On the other hand...
I believe that in some cases racism is used as an excuse or used because white people are a convenient scapegoat. Blaming everything on racism doesn't make any sense either. That is the other extreme.
For example, here's an article on buzzfeed (you know it's going to be good when it's on buzzfeed. This article lists "17 deplorable examples of white privilege."
Here's one of the "deplorable examples."
4. White privilege means you can be articulate and well spoken without people being “surprised.”
(funny enough, that's not listing a deplorable example, that IS a deplorable example)
Really though, what does that even mean. How do you know they are "surprised." And how do you know this has anything at all to do with race. maybe they aren't actually surprised and you are just misinterpreting their response. I don't think this has anything to do with race. I personally don't assume anything about a person's intelligence based on their skin. I'm not just saying that. I consider myself a logical and rational person, and that assumption isn't logical or rational.
6. You can wear and act however you’d like without being labeled a thug, low life, gangster, etc
Again, does this really have anything to do with race? Yes, how you dress leaves an impression. If you dress with your pants sitting below your butt people are going to judge you. But what does that have to do with race. I make judgments about anybody who dresses a certain way. I've thought "that white person is a gangster" before. This has nothing to do with race.
Take this "social experiment" video on Youtube. A black guy and a white guy are walking with a semi automatic rifle in an area that permits open carry.
COULD this be race related? Sure. But it could also not be related to race at all. pay close attention.
The black guy isn't dressed like a hoodlum or criminal, but he's dressed far more casually. He's wearing a black tee and jeans. Of course people who aren't gangsters have the same style, but if you look at two people regardless of race and one of them is wearing a long black tee and jeans and one of them is wearing a tucked in polo shirt with a belt and jeans, who looks more like the gangster? The guy dressed in a black shirt and jeans of course. The other guy looks like he's going to a shooting range.
Honestly given the trend of shootings, I'd actually be more inclined to think the first guy is up to no good. But based on a split second judgement, the second guy looks more suspicious not because of his skin color but because of what he is wearing. If I saw either one I'd be freaked out and I'd give both of them a wide berth/get away from them as soon as possible.
I'd be curious to see a social experiment where they were wearing the same thing. If you can find something like that, feel free to link it down below.
Here's another example
White privilege allows you to speak on any particular subject without being the sole representative for your entire race.
Really? I've never listened to one black person and assumed that all black people believed in what he was saying. Why on Earth would I. There are many differences between two people that possess the same color of skin. Is this even an actual thing?
White privilege means no one questions why you got that really great job; it’s assumed you were just highly qualified.
Again, what? Anybody is going to be curious why another person got a good job because... (shocker) they want a great job too. What on Earth does this have to do with race? I've never asked a black person in a high position how they got that high position in a company and I've never seen anybody else ask that question either. I assume they got it by working hard.
White privilege means not having to worry about your hair, skin color, or cultural accessories as the reason you didn’t get a job.
Employers aren't allowed to discriminate on the basis of skin color. Employers can say a person has dirty hair and not hire them because they are unclean, or can choose not to hire somebody with a beard. I have no idea what "cultural accessories" are.
None of the examples I listen and most of the examples on that list don't seem to have anything to do with race. Yet, all these issues that PEOPLE face are turned into race issues.
The other examples on the list, including the ones about police brutality are race issues. But these petty non race related ones undermine the entire list and make me more doubtful of everything else that is said.
The problem with turning everything into a race issue
As a white person, I'll be the first to admit that I do get defensive when talking about race. Historically my race hasn't been great to people not of my race (that's an understatement).
But when I feel like I'm being attacked or all my faults are being pointed out I only get more defensive and am less willing to communicate. This is a trend I've observed on Youtube. Youtubers that cover these ridiculous BuzzFeed videos blaming white people for everything think that white people are to blame for nothing and race issues simply don't exist.
Race issues DO exist, but turning everything into a race issue is ignoring the main issue.
Hostility towards white people
Turning everything into a race issue is the symptom of a larger issue. Changing the definition of racism to exempt oneself of the act is the symptom of a larger issue.
That larger issue- hatred towards white people
I am well aware that white people, historically, have not been great to people of other races. And I am also well aware that an entire group exists dedicated to hating black people and trying to take their rights away (the KKK). But some of the stuff I encounter on the internet is just plain nasty. I know somebody's going to be outraged that I'm acting like the victim- I'm really not. But I'm still a person and believe it or not certain things said about me can affect me even though I'm white.
I'm not talking about cracker and honkey. Those words don't offend me. I'm talking about stuff like "white tears" and "white people need to shut up about race." Things I've heard multiple times on the internet, either in response to me or someone else even though I/ that other person didn't say anything racist.
I, as a white person, have never done anything to somebody because of their race. The only thing my ancestors and I have in common is the color of our skin. I obviously don't understand how it feels to be black and read about the atrocities white people have comitted. Just like a non white person doesn't fully understand how it feels to be attacked and blamed for something your ancestors did years ago. Slavery is horrible and I wish it never happened. But it isn't my fault. More to the point, a lot of white people don't have ancestors that owned slaves. Not all white people owned slaves. Being blamed for something that other people did or to feel as though you're being blamed for something that other people did is rotten. Just like being told race isn't a factor and you're just lazy is, I'm sure, rotten.
You already have some white people (I'll be blunt RACIST white people) saying that white genocide exists. There are channels that publish propoganda pieces very clearly saying that white people are being attacked or are going to be attacked by black people. My concern is this- if the white people in government feel threatened enough they may take steps to alleviate the threat. And those steps would hurt non-whites. I'm not so sure that segregation couldn't happen again. And if it does, who benefits from it and who loses. There are more white people in America and there are more white people in the government.
White people: Don't worry about Black Lives Matter
I see white people and white Youtubers saying that black lives matter is a terrorist organization. Now yes, some of these Youtubers may be closet racists, but I think a lot of people genuinely believe this.
Black lives matter is not a terrorist organization. Arguably, they aren't even an organization. Black Lives matter is just a phrase. Most BLM supporters are fine people. Some are not. Some hate white people and some will probably kill white people. But you can't compare BLM to ISIS a group of Islamic Extremists who hate America. ALL of whom hate America.
As long as BLM's actions aren't threatening white people/us who cares if the statistics they are going off of are correct. They want to reduce the number of unarmed black men shot and killed every year in the US. That's a good thing. Who cares if the number is higher or lower then the number of white men. As long as they aren't hurting anybody, there's no issue. If they do hurt people or property, everybody including the non extremist supporters should call them out on it. If they achieve their goals, that's great. Let's stop nitpicking every statistic and piece of data that comes out. And be wary of those who claim BLM is a terrorist organization- they may be closet racists.
Black Lives Matter supporters: Don't worry about white people who don't support you and allow the ones who do to help
It's such a trivial thing. BLM is an important movement. I don't personally support it. I do believe all lives matter. I get how someone might be pissed off when someone says all lives matter in response to black lives matter, but at the same time isn't that a real nonissue? They aren't interfering with black lives matter. And if they actually were racist or disagreed with the movement they'd probably respond with "no they don't" or "white lives matter." There are more important issues to deal with then white people who aren't in support of BLM. Just ignore us and do your thing. As a movement, some people will support you and some people won't. That doesn't mean everyone who doesn't support you is a racist.
Also, if white people want to participate, let them. And don't attack white people after a black person gets killed by police (I don't think the people that do that are going to be reading this MyTake though). White people do care about black people. We do. Well, racist white people don't, but white people don't care about racist white people.
White people: Quit being so paranoid
I saw a video recently which was a compilation of every single example of black on white racial violence. It was 36 minutes, a very random length. Furthermore certain categories like "white women aren't safe" didn't have a counterpart "white men aren't safe" so I can only assume the video maker couldn't find certain examples. Yes, obviously racial violence towards white people does occur. That doesn't mean that all of a sudden BLM is going to take over your neighborhood. That doesn't mean you should start distancing yourself from non white people. That doesn't help anything. Some commenters seemed to think this proved that white people are in danger. It doesn't. In the middle of riots white people are sometimes harmed. That's true for all riots unfortunately. You aren't in danger, stop freaking out. The last thing we need is "white schools" (whatever those are, this was a reference in a post I read on a website.)
You are not in any danger because of your race. Calm down. Yes, a black person could break into your home and beat you and suffocate you with a garbage bag. (a horrifying example in the video). So could a white person.
I know there's people talking about how much racial tension there is, but I for one think we're in a pretty good state. BLM is putting the spotlight on issues that deserve the attention. Schools seem to be less and less segregated. People seem to be, in general, trying to understand each other.
Let's not ruin this by resegregating. The last thing anybody wants is to see segregation return. unfortunately, this is starting to happen again in some cases. White people being distrustful of black people and black people being distrustful of white people (some.) Let's just try to get along. Let's try to accept that there are things we can't relate to and know for sure. And even if we haven't dealt with certain things non-whites have dealt with, it's fine. It isn't our fault.
And non-whites, it would be great if you realized that not everything is a race issue. Really, it's not. Might seem insensitive for me, a white person, to say that but I'm just calling out what I see like I've been doing with this whole mytake. Realize that white people do feel awkward in conversations about race.
The reality is, we need to have these conversations at some point. If one side blames the other for everything and the other side blames the other and says they are making stuff up, this will never happen and no one's voice gets heard. We need to work together to solve race issues.
I tried to make this as balanced as possible. I really hope people see this. I apologize if you are offended, but I think being blunt and honest is the best approach. No point in beating around the bush. I called out the issues I saw.
Thank you for reading. Comment below, all opinions are welcome no matter how harsh. These are heated topics.
Let me end this Mytake by saying one other thing. My writing this MyTake will change nothing, but a number of people voicing this opinion might. So if you feel strongly about this I strongly encourage you to publish a Youtube video or write a vlog. Racial harmony is important.