Before I begin, I want to be clear about one thing. This is not my opinion on all white people. When I use the term ‘white people’, I am referring to a group of white people who perpetuate the habits that I wish to address. It is a term used loosely and I do not intend for it to encapsulate my feelings towards an entire race.

As a woman of colour, one thing I struggle to sit with is white people wanting sympathy in the face of anti-white comments. A wave of open anti-white opinions has washed over Twitter and other platforms, airing people’s concerns towards white people, some of whom can’t deal with it. Whilst it is easy to say that this is unfair and unnecessary, here is why anti-white ‘racism’ places itself at the bottom of my list of concerns.

First and foremost, being Indian, I have dealt with blatant racism through my lifetime. Yes, in the 21st Century, people have told me they don’t want to sit next to me because I’m brown. I have seen first-hand someone claim there should be a colour chart in the UK. I’ve been humiliated because of having an Indian name and these are just some of many examples of racism I have had to face, not to mention the situations so many of my friends have been in. These have been moments of vulnerability and self-doubt, but the one thing I will never subject myself to is the one thing white people in the face of colourism tend to exploit: self-pity.

Here is my issue: white people have never had to feel the full consequences of racism.

There has never been a significant moment in history in which white people have been physically or constitutionally disadvantaged by another race because of their skin colour. There has never been a defined time when white people have experienced perpetual adversity simply because they’re white. Therefore, they have never been in a rightful position to feel disadvantaged due to their race.

White people sometimes find it hard to accept minority discourse about them because they have not had to feel their loss of power. Clay Shirky encapsulated this perfectly in one quotation: “When you’re accustomed to privilege, equality feels like oppression.” In reality, equality doesn’t have to be best summarised by the theoretical empowerment of minorities. In this sense, we are still comparing the importance of coloured people to the standards of white people. It scares white people because the norm they are used to becomes shaken. White people want equality on their terms and that perpetuates their superiority.

If someone is racist towards me, I might think ‘What’s wrong with me compared to a white person?’. If a white person receives a controversial comment for being white, they might think ‘What’s wrong with me?’.

Surely, being white shouldn’t be a bad thing if it never has been in a society governed by a large party of white, upper-class individuals. When they feel as if they’re losing control of their avoidance of discrimination, all hell breaks loose. Society is suddenly collapsing and apparently the perpetual nature of actual racism is non-existent. Suddenly, the only ‘racism’ that matters is anti-white ‘racism’.

A commonly used phrase used to justify the self-pity some white people feel is ‘nobody deserves to be hated for their race’. Of course nobody does, but it happens. The difference between the historic racism of white people and anti-white ‘racism’ is this: white people were racist due to mythical reasons. Anti-white ‘racism’, on the other hand, is motivated by the history and present nature of white people’s injustice towards coloured people. Being coloured, I have learned to deal with the injustice I have faced as a result of the subliminal muting of multicultural expression in society. Being coloured, dealing with racism becomes part of the culture. Racism is something we are used to. Yet, white people have never had to deal with this intrinsic quality. It is a shock to the system, and the lack of experience and ever-present ignorance becomes clear. Whether white people like it or not, this is the true nature of equality. The norm has never been equality for all races. In fact, there is more equality among minorities, and this is why white people feel evermore isolated. They come to learn that they do not understand this feeling of being attacked for their skin colour. They come to learn that they do not understand the minority discourse concerning an inevitable distaste for white people.

I am apathetic about anti-white ‘racism’ because white people have no need to feel as though they are a minority. It is a mockery of real racism to suggest that anti-white ‘racism’ or ‘reverse racism’ is legitimate. Some white people can’t stand to have their attention taken away and wish to perpetuate their social security. What I want to see is white people accept the situation. I want to see more white people who aren’t ignorant. I want white people to educate themselves on minority issues and minority opinions. I want white people to stop feeling as though they are entitled to protection from discrimination. I want there to come a day when white people stop making arguments for why they can say the ‘n’ word. I want there to come a day when white people don’t think they can ask where I ‘actually come from’. Minorities owe nothing to white people and that’s just the way it is. White people will remain in a privileged position as long as they refuse to stop using it to their advantage. The moment white people stop complaining that people who have grown up with the effects of colonisation, discrimination and racism have negative feelings towards them is the moment I will believe in equality. White people accept that white people have negative feelings towards minorities as anti-colour discourse has been embedded into normality. Now it’s time for white people to accept that they aren’t protected. Their vulnerability will be their asset.

Dear white people, it’s time to stop being sad that people won’t like you because of your skin colour, welcome to the club.


Featured image: Wikimedia Commons

Categories: Race and Identity