Monday, January 30, 2012

Why Reverse Isms Don't Exist

This is why things are not equal and this is why you can't just tell people to get over it, do something about it, not be angry about it or treat everybody the same.

This is why reverse racism, sexism, heterophobia doesn't exist.

A member of a group with less power cannot affect a group with more power.

Similar parallels can be made with sexism, women as a whole do not have the ability to exercise power over men, but men do. Globally, men are in the most decision making positions.

Queer people don't have the ability to exercise power over straight people, they don't have decision making power, when queer people want rights, they have to appeal to the straight or straight acting dominant structure. Don't you think if Queer People could just band together and have all the rights that we wouldn't just do that? It's not that we haven't thought about it.

Differently abled people don't have the power to exercise dominion over 'Able-bodied' people. This is why so few places are accessible. It isn't an accident, able bodied people didn't think about different bodies, mothers with strollers, seniors, the chronically ill. And even though they would all like to have all places completely accessible to them and work hard to do so even while managing negotiating an oppressive world and violent institutions, they can't change everything because built into the system they have no power.

Poor people don't want to be cash-poor, cash-poor people don't want to hate rich people, cash-poor people are working really hard, just as hard and often harder than rich people, but capitalism requires that a lot of people be poor for it to function. This isn't an accident, it is intentional, it was designed that way to keep a few people really rich and dominating everyone else. And the biggest lie is that they say it is our fault, that the reason why we are in these positions is because we are lazy, sinful, angry, ugly. And then a lot of us believe it, we internalize it and the people in power believe it with ease because it helps them sleep at night after they have millions off of us. They dress up as us for Halloween, they make caricatures out of us, they buy our music and keep us out of their clubs. Lawd Jesus!

And it could all change if people who have power and privilege would give some up and stop arguing about how much you have. We learn this in kindergarten, if you cut me a quarter of the cake, keep 3/4's for yourself and then shit on it, don't be mad when I don't want to eat it or cry when I give it back. Yes it is different from not feeding me at all, but I ain't proud of you for acting right.

If we could actually acknowledge who was making decisions and the ways they got there, if we could start acknowledging and talking about what is really happening, if only 3 racist things happened to me in a day, I would consider racism dead.

When you suggest that it isn't hard or we aren't working hard enough or that everyone is equal or that we are being or not being fair, when we know for a fact and it is clear and self-evident that it is not equal, what is happening to us is violent and we are working our assess off every damn day to survive -  this is oppression in its finest. If you have privilege in this power structure and someone does you the service of telling you about it, be grateful that you found it, angry that it is happening, and committed to doing something about it.


  1. Well written argument. I was searching to see if there is such a concept which suggests phobia/discrimination against privileged people. I found some writings and also yours. By seeing the title in search results, I thought it is written by someone who is not queer, black, and female complaining about being discriminated against such a person. But I suddenly discovered a piece of well structured writing arguing that there is no such a phenomenon called reverse ism. Thank you. What I have witnessed in my life has been the ruthlessness of neo-liberals, neo-conservatives which is utilised in its best form to exploit, marginalise and control the "Others".

  2. I've witnessed the reverse 'ism' from my own people. Just because I share both DNA, does not entitle anyone, let alone blacks, to discriminate me if I choose to live in harmony with both sides. I've been told "Why do I act so white ?" ***because I am A+ student and I paid for my own tuition in medical university while my parents live in government housing.

    Don't say it doesn't exist, it does, but in a "accepted" way by the black community- my own community.

  3. ^ What you're experiencing is colourism, not racism -which is ironic in the case of your post, because colourism is actually a symptom of.... Racism! Yup! It's when oppressed groups discriminate against eachother because of the influences of racism. It goes way back and really it's an iceberg on it's own...

    Also she's completely right, reverse-isms do not exist. Period. Racism is prejudice plus the power to institutionalize and perpetuate that prejiduce. In short, Prejudice+power.