Culture, Education, Miscellaneous, Philosophy, Prejudice, Society — December 28, 2014 at 4:31 pm

Reverse Racism: A Credible Argument?

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Yesterday, I had a discussion with a friend who was upset that he (a white man) had been discriminated against because he “didn’t get scholarship funding for school, but many minorities did because there are special programs set-up to improve their chances to get in for them — but not for him.” He continued on this whole rant of ‘reverse racism’.

Can someone articulate what it is that he’s missing from the big picture and why ‘reverse racism’ isn’t the best argument or relevant cause of his unfortunate circumstance?

 

Following are the replies from our Facebook Fans who bring some very thought provoking discussion to this topic:

 

“Reverse racism is hard to deny but it really does not exist. What your white friend is upset about really is the division of wealth in the white community. Sons and daughters of the rich enjoy all of the advantages. Minorities have enjoyed none or few of the advantages. For the first time in a long while, the middle class white kids are really really feeling the pinch so, when the white kid sees a black kid or an Indian kid or any minority getting a helping hand to try to level the playing field just a tiny bit, he starts blaming them instead of looking to where the problem really lies – with the 1%. If they paid fair taxes, there would be more money for scholarships for kids. If the 1% paid their fair share for ANYTHING, there would be more $ for the 98%. Reverse racism is about feeling helpless and not knowing who or what to blame. We are still really shaky with our “non-racism” so it tends to pop out in full force when we are faced with any stress. Look at what happened after Obama was elected. Blaming the other poor guy beside you is not the answer.” – Heather J.

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“No I don’t get it either. As a hispanic female immigrant, I find it patronizing. If I get a job or a scholarship, I’d want it because whoever feels I’m deserving of it due to qualifications. Some people have an inflated sense of entitlement.” – Alicia W.

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“Makes it hard for the students who’s only recommendation is what they have achieved.” – Evelyn C.

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 “I think what is perceived as equality is where reverse racism comes into play. To achieve equality, especially here in Canada, some minorities have been given special rights to be able to compete for the same opportunities white Canadians already have. When we look into the past, for the majority, it is minority groups which have been persecuted and tormented. We give First Nations rights because we forced them into residential schools. We give Japanese-Canadians rights because we interned them. We are simply giving them the ability to grow as an ethnic group, and allowing individuals to prosper. It isn’t necessarily a case of them being a minority, it’s them having the qualifications, and the drive. Who are we to say that they can’t have the same opportunities as us?” – Courtney N.
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 “As much as I appreciate your sentiment Courtney, I have to say that your wording sheds light on how far we still have to go to eradicate racism in all forms. ‘Giving’ minorities special rights and ‘allowing’ them to prosper, and ‘giving them the ability to grow’- this, to me, infers patriarchy and colonialism, which still exists to this day in our fair country of Canada. No-one should have to be ‘given’ or ‘allowed’ anything from anyone. So long as we pat ourselves on the back for ‘giving’ and ‘allowing’ minorities the same rights the rest of us have, we are perpetuating racism. And while I agree that Indigenous people deserve restitution from our government (as do any minority or other groups who have suffered injustice at the hands of our government), human rights are universal and should be enjoyed by everyone across the board equally, and not because we ‘allow’ them to, and ‘give’ them that right.
Furthermore, while it is important to recognize and respect different cultures, this whole idea about ‘them’ and ‘us’ (this is known as ‘othering’), is another example of racism (ie ‘they’ should have the same rights as ‘us’). We are all equal, and any disparity between ‘us’ and ‘them’ is entirely in our own minds.” – Anna D.F.
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“I think it can happen but everyone seems too over use the discrimination card these days.” – Sally S.E.
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“Your friend is assuming a pre-existing level playing field for all races. in a society where there are institutionalised inequalities based on race, what is called “reverse racism” is both an acknowledgement of this situation and an attempt to level the playing field a bit more. as it is a broad strategy there will always be particular incidents where it may feel like discrimination. your cartoon also says it beautifully.” – Steven E.
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“I think the point of it is equality. minorities or not everyone shoulf have equal opporrunity. that means there shouldnt be stuff set up so minorities get in easier. it should be equal opporrunity no matter race, gender, or sexual orientation.” – Jessi C.
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“White is a race. There is racism, against and from all races, but reverse racism is a fallacy.” – Thia S.D.
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“Blaming all Germans for what Hitler did in the 1930s and 40s would be a horrible miscarriage of justice, and almost no one on the planet would do that. But, blaming all white folks for what slave owners did long before any of us was born? That’s still fine.” – Justin M.K.
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“I think your friend does not understand ALL of the advantages he has been born with. Think about it: he is the right sex and color in the US. White males already have an advantage over minorities and females and that is statistically true. As a female minority it has been difficult to make my way in this world. At times the playing field needs to be more leveled. Minority programs are just one of the ways we attempt to recognize inequality and create equity.” – Tania D.
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“No such thing as reverse racism. Hate is hate. Racism towards blacks, whites, Asians, Latinos, or w/e is sickening no matter who’s doing the hating.” – Marshall P.
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“What Tania and Heather said. In being a minority female, I notice I have to do twice as well to get a job that would only require a freaking HS diploma(which would mean I need a Bachelor of Science or Arts).” – Monica S.
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“He may be overestimating his worth and value, some white males have a sense of entitlement.. that is unrealistic. sometimes you don’t win ( or get in) because you don’t deserve to.” – Lisa A.
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“Racism is racism, there is no “reverse” racism.” – Martha L.
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“There is no such thing! It’s either racism or it isn’t.” – Jyll W.
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“I feel like there is a lot of this stuff going on in UK, because of the way certain minorities have been treated in the past (and by the way, nobody denies what have happened), it is ever so much easier to get away with certain things while being in said minorities. Go figure why am I using such generalising terms. I’ve seen several cases where given minorities were being treated quite preferentially, though of course it is mostly denied because acknowledgement would look bad. Personally, I think we should all be treated the same, regardless of our ethnic origin or faith.” – Iwo D.
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“I think that middle class white males are somewhat at a disadvantage. With that said, I know why we have the special scholarships we do and I’m not against them right now. I look forward to the day that we ignore race, gender, nationality, etc and become brothers and sisters looking out for mother Earth and each other. Sadly, I don’t think it will happen in my lifetime.” – Joshua D.
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 “Orwellian doublespeak, enough said…” – Martin P.
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 “Racism : a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race …its not reverse racism its straight up racism!” – Tony C.
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“Oh I think this is another situation of don’t hate the player, hate the game. Look at the cartoon. Your college education is something people are going to ‘profit from’. If you are not profitable, they do not care about you. That is the actual breakdown here. If you have not been so severely discriminated against, ie. slavery and genocide have not been enacted upon you and generations of your ancestors, then the govt doesn’t ‘owe’ you a small pittance such as helping pay your tuition. If you don’t have money yourself or money from your wealthy parents or a talent with which the university can make money OFF of you, then get a job and pay for it. OR… you could see the real problem of profit-based education, and do something about that to change it.” – Coti L.
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 “Totally exists, at my grad school they take in a ton of int’l students simply be/c they get paid up front, no student loans, cash in their pockets. Business wise it’s smart, and i get it! However, as an American graduate student, I should never have to sit in a class I’m paying $2,500 for to listen to a lecture to these students who don’t understand that vertical is up and down and horizontal goes across….come on man, funk that!” – Holly M.
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“The fact that race is a sociological categorization made up by people because they love to put every into neat little categories to make themselves feel better always annoys me. Race doesn’t exist, it’s made up. The problem is, when the ego is bruised, or threatened, race was one of the easiest things to use as an argument. By the way, dividing those who are poor or disenfranchised by race was one of the most effective methods used by those in power to stay in power.” – Sasha H.
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 “IMO, there is no such thing as reverse racism. My definition of racism is; making a judgement about a person based on their race. I believe there should be blind applications, in which the name, gender, age and race of a person is excluded. The ‘panel’ or however the decision is made should look at the qualifications and decide who is best for them, then bring the shortlist in for interviews. And if the panel ends up with all white males, well, at least it is known that they made the decision purely based on the data. I believe it is unfair any other way.” – Alice B.
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“So if you pay thousands for schooling, you are entitled to a better education than those who are so poor they need government assistance? What if 20 years from now they end up being the doctor who operates to save your childs life? Then will it be ok that they got a helping hand?” – An B.
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“The term ‘reverse racism’ is a poor way of justifying plain old RACISM. If there are scholarships available based on race, then it’s wrong, plain and simple.” – Micheal C.
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 “Reverse racism is just another buzz word dreamed up by the Right. You are either racist or you are not.” – Luke F.
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 “It is sometimes termed positive discrimination. An example here in Tasmania is the active bullying of non-indigenous academic staff at the uni’s indigenous department in order to effectively ensure that all academic positions are filled by indigenous people over non-indigenous, regardless if the merits of qualification. I wouldn’t scream reverse racism, especially not in the situation of tailored grant and scholarship programs for minorities, as they need more if a helping hand in some circumstances. I feel the rare cases where minorities discriminate against others really undermines efforts towards social equality, and promotes the us and them mentality that we should all be striving to overcome. No more barriers built in faith, ethnicity, sex or sexuality, etc. we are all just people trying to do the best we can with what we have.” – Kristy Alger
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