Home Featured The Idiocy of Reverse Racism and Why Al Sharpton Won’t STFU

The Idiocy of Reverse Racism and Why Al Sharpton Won’t STFU

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United States of Politically Correct America

Only Idiots Can Be Reverse Racist

Reverse racism doesn’t exist. Now before I assume anyone who uses the term ‘reverse racism’ is an idiot (I’m being facetious. I have totally already assumed you’re an idiot.), I will first assume they don’t know the definition of racism. Today, let’s clearly establish the definition for our discussion so everyone is on the same page or at least we’re reading from the same book – which, as we learned before, does not mean it will not be misinterpreted by those lacking the reading comprehension of a 5th grader.

Merriam Webster Online Dictionary: Racism – noun.

1. 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.



2. Racial prejudice or discrimination.

Ok, now that we’re all misinterpreting the same page of the same book, let’s institute some basic parameters. Based on the above definition, reverse racism can only exist if some but not all of the following apply:

  • Only one race can be racist. This is wrong but like most things in life, you are entitled to your opinion. Some believe that racism cannot exist without power. I disagree because power is subjective. Is it based on wealth, position, population, etc? Either way, all of those things can be gained and removed, so I’m not sure power is an inherent characteristic. It is often a factor, whether it be perceived or genuine, but not the sole cause. In other words, there are those with wealth, position, and numbers in their favor who are not racist. In my opinion, it takes another step: will or in the face of racism, indifference.
  • One race is superior to all others. This would make definition #1 applicable. In theory, anyone who discriminates against this race is being a reverse racist. However, this doesn’t make sense, because the belief that one race is superior to all others is itself a racist belief. Thus, not only are you racist, you’re belief in reverse racism is now oxymoronic. More importantly, if you believe your race or the members of your race are superior, then how can anyone be racist towards you when you have already stated your supposed superiority? You cannot have your racist cake and eat it too, my friend.
  • As an added bonus, if America wasn’t so woefully ignorant of the rest of the world, we would all know that racism, discrimination, sexism and more occur beyond the four borders of the continental United States. Yet, I have only heard the inaccurate term ‘reverse racism’ used here in America. The public school system has failed us, again.
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As I said above, you are free to have your own opinions – even if they are incorrect. That’s one of the many beauties of being an American. However, I thought you should know how stupid you look to others while stating your inaccurate opinion in public. Fortunately for you, it is often spewed from behind the cloak of anonymity, because you’re afraid to stand behind your own words. I only somewhat blame you. PC America makes it impossible to have intelligent discussion about race, sex, religion or anything that might make anyone anywhere uncomfortable anymore. In this vacuum of intelligent debate, we’re left with the ignorant rants of men and women who troll the comment sections of pretty much every website, ever. SBM is not immune.

In closing, does racism exist? Yes, obviously. But, it is a trait afforded, unfortunately, to all races. There is no need to reverse that which is accessible to all and exercised by many people of varying skin melanin already. While I wouldn’t recommend arguing with anyone on-line, because, much like real life, when arguing with an idiot people from a distance might not be able to tell you two apart, please don’t use any variation of the term ‘reverse racism.’ If you believe they’re racist, just call them a racist and call it a day. Otherwise, you will definitely look like two idiots; especially if you use this idiotic term and neither party corrects the other, because then you are two idiots.

Moving on.

This Al Sharpton Guy

Do you seriously believe we want a dude with a perm representing us? (Kaczmarek/AP)

Thanks to the helpful folks over at CNN, I was “educated” on the fact that some people are tired of hearing about the Trayvon Martin case. Later that day CNN provided in depth analysis proving water still wet.

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That sucks, because I’m totally about to talk about the Trayvon Martin case right now, so if you’re one of those people, I thank you for reading to this point, but please skip this section and go directly to the comments to talk about the first half of this write-up. Your patronage is appreciated. Much obliged, WisdomIsMisery.

How can I put this nicely? The media is a joke – and not even a funny one. It’s interesting how the media has focused almost entirely on the racial aspect of the Trayvon Martin case. Obviously, there are racial undertones, only a fool or FoxNews would debate otherwise, but they have taken the undertone and made it the headliner. I’ve already ranted about this, so I won’t repeat myself.

I will simply add that it’s disappointing that so many people have readily jumped on this bandwagon of red meat. For awhile, I thought America was deteriorating in race relations based on the hate-filled comments left on pretty much any Trayvon Martin story (among any other story that has to deal with race). Then, I realized two things: 1) Had anything really changed before or after this case or were more people simply vocalizing what they already thought anyway? 2) What is the likely demographic (race, income, education) of people who have the time to sit around all day spewing venomous hate about another sex, race, or religion while the rest of us work?

You can answer these questions yourself. My answers aren’t important. However, one question that I saw any number of people ask in these comment threads that doesn’t make sense is some variation of the phrase, “Why won’t Al Sharpton shut up?

Let’s be clear, I don’t like Al Sharpton myself. At this point in his career, I feel he is a grand stander; speaks only when it serves his own agenda – whatever that may be, although it seems to revolve around keeping his name in the news; is a lightning rod for making questionably racist issues completely about race – right, wrong, or indifferent. That said, I understand perfectly well why Al Sharpton speaks on the select occasions he chooses to speak out. It goes largely unspoken but we all know why. Al Sharpton speaks because if he didn’t, who would? If the media fairly covered all stories, not just the ones about race, sex, or stereotypes, we wouldn’t need to have this debate. We all know it’s true. As a Newsweek journalist whose name escapes me said, “The news doesn’t cover all the planes that land safely.” Good news, as far as the media is concerned, is not news.

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Regardless of that fact, the origin of the question seems flawed. Instead of asking why Al Sharpton won’t shut up, why aren’t you asking why your elected (or in Al Sharpton’s case, self-appointed) officials aren’t speaking up? I find it vain to compare stories of tragedy to other stories of tragedy – like many commenters do – to find relative parallels. In fact, it actually says more about you and less about the story if you can only relate to tragedies that personally affect you. A tragedy is a tragedy, period; whereas, an eye for an eye merely leaves us blind.

Despite your opinions about Reverend Sharpton, whatever they may be, you cannot deny that he speaks his mind on issues he feels relevant to speak on. You can’t support the first amendment – the right to free speech – only when you agree with the speech made. It should either apply to all or none. Therefore, rather than trying to quiet Sharpton, shouldn’t you look for representatives to speak for causes you find important? You can also hold those already in a position where they are supposed to speak for your interests accountable. Further, and I don’t know if you’ve considered this, but there is nothing stopping this representative from being you.

Maybe it’s easier to be an armchair social media activist, logging in under various pseudonyms, and bitching about all that ails the world without making any meaningful effort to change that which ails you. That’ cool. Just do me one favor. Please don’t call anyone a ‘reverse racist.’

Comment(34)

  1. "WIM has written 69 posts on SBM."

    Tee hee. Moving on.

    We are in agreement. You're either racist or you're not. A lot of black people are racist as hell, as are a lot of other groups of people. The idea of reverse racism has never made any sense to me, not that I ever bothered to dissect it.

    As for Sharpton, kudos on him for speaking out, but I can see how people can easily get tired of him. This is without me watching tv and experiencing the overload that others appear to be. However, keeping things like this at the forefront of people's minds is more important than feelings about the man himself.

  2. While I don't believe that only one race can be racist, I disagree with your statement that racism can be devoid of power. Prejudice happens all the time to all people based on race, ethnicity, weight, height and so on and so forth. Real institional/systemic racism, however, requires power. In America, most of that power and wealth was created and sustained at the expense of people of colour (yes I spell it with a u, sue me I'm Canadian). Glass ceilings and barriers in employment, executive positions, and education are real but not impenetrable.

    That being said, your point is not lost on me. Reverse racism is an idiotic term and anyone still using it should cease and desist. Al Sharpton, as opportunistic as he may seem, does work that many digitial -activists wouldn't do on their best day. I respect him for that if for nothing else.

  3. I pay attention to the news, media, and frankly, I don't see Al Sharpton very much. I think a lot of people are trippin. It's suddenly trendy for blacks, whites and probably others alike to bash on Sharpton and Jesse Jackson, although these people are poorly educated on who these people are, and what they've actually done. Both Revs have extremely bad PR right now. You hit it the nail on the head though– Sharpton speaks because who will? Of course this is changing, but for a while, he and a select few really were the only strong black voices out there advocating for us and these little prepubescent ass b*tches out here need to respect that.

    1. Its definitely not "suddenly trendy". People have been taking shots at Sharpton and Jackson for as long as i've been alive! But like WIM said, if he doesn't do what he's doing, who will? For as long as i've heard people talking slick about both men, its almost always followed up with "but at least he's doing something"
      My recent post Bewbies

    2. I know I'm a white person with privilege, but Sharpton only annoys me because he comes off as racist to me. I once watched an episode of Dr. Phil where Dr. Phil was agreeing with people that droopy pants is indecent. However, when Sharpton said that criticizing people with droopy pants is racist, Dr. Phil changed his tune and supported Sharpton. I think Dr. Phil's original point was a valid point and he should have stuck to his guns instead of pulling the race card.

      I also think too many people have white shame and are afraid of standing up to him. An example of this is Sharpton's tendency to stretch the truth regarding his past. In a college class where I was being taught about speech ethics, this was actually praised in my textbook as a valid story-telling technique from an African American storytelling tradition. I'm not sure how these writers would have reacted if it was a white person. I can't say for sure, but I'm sure it would be different.

      This might sound like I'm bashing Sharpton for his race, but I'm not. People should not be afraid to point out racism wherever it occurs. I think that is a far more effective means of working out the issues within this conversation than allowing racism from either side to continue. I know minorities in the USA do not have the institutional power to discriminate against whites, but the attitude starts in people's minds first. And we don't know if that'll always be true.

  4. "You can’t support the first amendment – the right to free speech – only when you agree with the speech made."

    ^^ Es verdad! I said this about the comments made by Ozzie Guillen. It wasn't the 1st time he'd misspoke re: Castro and I could be 1 of the few who understood what he was saying w/ respect to the language barrier. But still anytime people get sand blasted for speaking up about an unpopular opinion, the hypocrisy of the 1st amendment becomes apparent.

    I don't have an issue w/ Rev. Sharpton. He's no more self-serving than any other lobbyists. But when it comes to issues that are exclusive to the black community, he's beating a dead horse. Nothing he's saying has changed in the last 30 years and it won't be any different when the media melee surrounding Trayvon Martin loses its steam. Sometimes I think he unnecessarily injects himself into certain settings that just aren't his place. So maybe people that's what people are tired of. It's better than Jesse Jackson though
    My recent post 10 Gadgets/Toys I Miss From My Childhood

  5. i complely agree with this post. I said the EXACT same thing. Partly because the whole Travon Martin situation has conjured up this term that is now being used on African Americans. Now we are being accused of being racist and people are saying Sharpton and Jesse are racist etc. etc even Obama. Which i hate because they dont represent me in any way i never asked them to spearhead and be a representative for me. However they are influencial as public figues and i respect that. And im cool with the president. But…who holds all the power and influence in our nation? The majority. That's not Black people. Not even close. We can't be racist. If any of us are ever guilty of anything along that extreme its the term : "Reverse Descrimination" its a pretty clear definition. However, i think many are mad because we can come together no matter what the situation is or what lies ahead. And because people are being percieved to be inciting violence due to what is felt to be an injustice we are "racist" now. Our evil god brothers/sisters are going ALL CAPS with bad grammar and thats all everyone sees.

  6. Reverse discrimination: is a term referring to discrimination against members of a dominant or majority group, including the city or state, or in favor of members of a minority or historically disadvantaged group. Groups may be defined in terms of race, gender, ethnicity, or other factors. This discrimination may seek to redress social inequalities where minority groups have been denied access to the same privileges of the majority group. In such cases it is intended to remove discrimination that minority groups may already face. Reverse discrimination may also be used to highlight the discrimination inherent in affirmative action programs

    1. Reverse discrimination is legitimately used in cases to do with employment and such, but a lot of people use it simply to say that black or other minorities are being racist against white people – i.e. through everyday actions and words. That does not make sense. Also, it's called reverse discrimination and not reverse racism for a reason. It does not speak to the belief of superiority or inferiority of any one group, but rather that one group holds a disproportionate amount of power.

      As far as racism in general is concerned, people are focused on the first definition at the expense of the second which does not require a power play. Believe it or not, some black people treat other groups like the dirt under their shoe. They consistently engage in disrespect, social shunning, acts of ill will, etc., and no one can sit there and try to convince me that because they do not belong to the majority group, it's not racism. Racial prejudice – i.e. "unreasonable feelings, opinions, or attitudes, especially of a hostile nature, regarding a racial, religious, or national group." – is racism, pure and simple. They cannot legitimately cite the excuse of past or current race relations, either. Two wrongs do not a right make.

        1. I agree. And it does not apply to everything. I used it as it because of this line "This discrimination may seek to redress social inequalities where minority groups have been denied access to the same privileges of the majority group." This to me is where a lot of people are upset, especially concerning the Travon Martin death feel this is a social inequality because of the percieved prejudice actions of the shooter to law enforcement, and tying it all up with a blanket self defense law. Now ask yourself this: How often do you think the actions of the few, give a person a broad opnion of the whole group? Ex: All black people wearing hoods are thugs because i was robbed by one. It works both ways. If enough white people treat you badly; police, etc. etc. whats to say the same thing happens there as well? or not. I believe anyone is capable of racism but its often due to an incident or a pattern of them that should not be reflective of the entire group.

  7. I believe; and this is just a theory .. racist people are using that term under the guise of being the voice of reason. Due to the oppression of their words and feelings they can't express themselves openly anymore. Because like what was said in the post there are a lot of people who are not racist within the majority of the population and they wont associate with or approve of people who are.

  8. Reverse racism can exist and does exist. As someone stated up thread it just means that the group that is not in power is racist against the group that is in power. Reverse racism is not one word, it's two. For example, institutionalized racism is still racism. "Institutionalized" is merely qualifying and clarifying exactly what type of racism it is. The same concept applies to reverse racism.

    I'll give you a perfect example of reverse discrimination/racism which is employment. If i'm a Black manager with hiring capabilities and I refuse to hire a white person because, "they always get the job" or "he'll find another job elsewhere, i'm going to give it to the brother" that's reverse racism. That's not cool. I've agreed that white's are in power and because they are in power, i'm going to do something to balance the scale or promote my race over another.

    1. I disagree. What you're describing in your example is racism, period. The only way it could be reverse racism is if you believe only white people can be racist – as I said in the post – then yes, someone could be "reverse" racist against them. But that makes no sense. Actually, in your example, the black person is the person in power, so it honestly makes even less sense.

      There is no such thing as 'reverse racism.' It's an inaccurate nomenclature. As I said in the post, I don't specifically attribute power to racism or vise versa. That is, however, my opinion. You are free to have your own, but here you are arguing opinion as fact. In fact, you are using to related yet different descriptions to drive home your opinion. The commenter above you referenced specifically differentiated between racism and discrimination, which, while accurate, is not what I covered in the post so I didn't bother responding. You're equating two different principles as one philosophy and that, in my opinion, is an inaccurate representation of what racism is; especially since it doesn't align with the very definition I used in the post, which makes no mention of power.

      1. Then there is no such thing as institutionalized racism. I can't agree with that. I see what you're saying, it's all racism. It's just an adjective being added on. It's like saying "it's not a Granny Smith Apple, it's just an apple." Of course, it's an apple, but it's a type of apple. You're trying to preach of my point as if i'm saying it's not racism. It is, it's just the type of racism that it is.

        1. No. I agree there is a such thing as institutionalized racism, because it actually exist. The adjective you're referring to – and we are discussing here – "reverse" racism negates the following term in this instance. Therefore, it can't exist. Institutionalized racism on the other hand specifies where the latter is occurring – within an institution. Unlike the way you described it, reverse racism is not a type of racism like the former.

          For example, if institutionalized racism exist in an institution, where does reverse racism exist? It's not as simple as semantics because one does exist and the other, in my opinion, does not because the very definition renders that particular adjective nonsensical. Thus, I'm not preaching away anything. I'm explaining my viewpoint and why it exist. We can agree to disagree but naturally, I think I'm right or I wouldnt have bothered saying it. lol

          To your Granny Smith Apple example, I would say what you're more accurately saying is tissue versus Kleenex. Kleenex, like the Granny Smith Apple, is a brand. They're both apples and technically both can be used to describe the same object. However, a tissue is not a Kleenex. Kleenex is the brand. Also, Kleenex and Granny Smith apples actually exist and you already know how I feel about 'reverse racism.'

          To a broader point about power, if you told the average white person they're in a position of power they would look at you like you're crazy – and they would be right. Power is subjective. On the grand scheme of things, as someone mentioned before, power is relative to wealth, which yes a number of (mostly) white people (as a race) had a head start on building and securing. Still, not every single white person benefits just like not every single black person suffers as a result of this dynamic.

          As is evidenced by society at large, white people are subjected to being ostracized by the same factors that hold us back that holds them back; especially, when it comes to acquiring wealth (which most people, rightfully so, equate to power). Given that most all people of every race are interested in self preservation, this means a poor white person, while possibly more likely to acquire wealth than a black person given a myriad of different factors, will still likely not rise to the level of wealth and income of a person born into wealth regardless of their racial background. Wealth is itself both hard to attain and hard to get rid of (wealth not being equated to rich). Therefore, many of the barriers that affect black people affect everyone because it's more a discussion of economics and classicism than race or racism of any kind. I'll admit, blacks tend to be more disproportionately affected, but that is mainly attributed to the fact that we often start lower and have more barriers to overcome in the first place – family, income, education, etc.

          If we're all swimming upstream (middle class), we all struggle. Aside from that, if one of us is swimming upstream from further back with more obstacles in the way, then naturally we stand less chance of reaching the same goal or status over the same passage of time.

          Conversely, given that I, for example, was raised in an upper middle class family, I am really in no position to look at a white person (or anyone) who was not afforded such a lifestyle and try to "preach" to them about how they come from a position of power. Technically, they could say the same thing to me.

          Referring back to the fish analogy, most of us, regardless of race, will spend our whole lives swimming against the current simply trying to survive. Those truly in power, the wealthy, aren't even aware of the struggles of those in the river below as they sit leisurely swimming around in the lake of excess at the top of the mountain – that lake by the way, if racism exist there, really doesn't have the type of detrimental affect it has on those below. Additionally, those people have a common interest uniting them – keeping as much wealth for themselves as possible.

        2. Understand your prospective, but I got to let you know bro, Granny Smith is a type of apple and not a brand. My uncle has a apple orchard in the Catskills Mountain and grows different varities including Granny Smith also known as Green Delicious. Perhaps you meant the dessert and baked goods enterprise, Mrs. Smith.

  9. #1. Reverse Racism does NOT exist. Totally agree with WIM. You are either racist…or you aren't.

    #2. I'm not sure if my dislike for Al is about him or his hair! I just can't take a man with hair like that seriously, I'm sorry. I guess that means…its most def the hair, lol.

  10. Good post, WIM. Agree 100% here. For those that subscribe to the thought that "reverse" racism exists that's fine. Whatever reason you need to qualify the racism is really beyond me. It's almost implying one is worse than the other or trying to prove some sort of hypocrisy in order to validate one's statements. At the end of the day whatever the situation (black against white…white against black…etc, etc..) the definition is the same…if you feel it necessary to add additional names in front of the word that defines it based on situation to make you feel…better?….then fine. Whatever helps ya sleep *shrugs*

  11. I approve this post 🙂 Reverse racism is an idiotic term which tries to lend credence to the idea that affirmative action is a form of racism. This is when the term is typically used.

    Like several others, I differentiate racism from racial prejudice. When I looked up the definition for a blog post, I used the first definition because I feel it more accurately describes what racism truly is, which is why I also don't feel that other minorities can really be considered racist against whites who are usually the ones who use this term, "reverse racism." We might express animosity towards white people because of our history or based on our experiences with them, but this is not racism. I don't think our animosity comes from thinking that we're better than them, but more so because we KNOW many of them think they're better than us.

    Someone said some Black people are racist as hell, but I don't agree.

    Since we live in a eurocentric society, it is not readily apparent how Blacks or any other minorities can be considered racist against white people them being the "dominant culture." Maybe they're prejudice, but aren't most people prejudice to some degree?
    My recent post Lessons I Learned From “Boomerang”

  12. "Merriam Webster Online Dictionary: Racism – noun."

    Thank you for this. I never understood the supposed logic of reverse racism or that power is needed to be racist. Racism is judging someone based on race; neither who is racist against whom nor power comes into the equation.

    Reverse racism is a misnomer. It's as dumb as saying driving south is "reverse driving", as if the word driving implies a direction.

    "Institutional" is an adjective that modifies the noun, meaning a particular type of racism, not all racism. To argue otherwise is to confuse a set and a subset.

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  15. Great post in general. I agree with most of what's written here, but Racism without power is simply prejudice. I recently just learned this from a class and thought I'd share. For racism to exist there has to be a particular race in a position pf some form of power.

    1. I think a lot of people have white guilt but the people who are accused of this, are not the ones who usually have it. The guilt often manifests itself in defensiveness and people who aren't willing to acknowledge the hardships of minorities and they are often the ones accusing others of white guilt, and using terms like reverse racism and race card. The wildly misused term "race card" prevents all meaningful discussion about race from happening. As far as attitude starting in people's minds— it takes all involved to create progress. Hate for white people won't help anything, but white people ignoring the issues that minorities have to face so that they can sleep better at night also won't help anything either.

  16. This is a briliant post. I was beginning to think I was the only one who realized that this term makes absolutely no sense. It implies that anything that exists outside of the person's perspective is "reverse".

    "Hey, you hate me! That's reverse hate! You can't hate me because that's all backward and stuff!" – Cletus From the Used Car Lot

  17. Reverse Racism ? I don’t know who coined the term but there’s no such thing . All races discriminate ,red ,yellow , brown, black and white . You can live the life of a victim and claim you can’t reach your full potental because the man is keeping you down . Which by the way might be true but the man is trying to keep everyone down . It’s hard ships and times of scarceness that brings the best out of all of us . I know what it’s like to be hungrey , and to not have the best clothes to wear . I know what it’s like to be hated for the color of my skin , but I harbour no grudges against any man .

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