What the Left gets Right: "reverse racism" isn't a thing

What the Left gets Right: "reverse racism" isn't a thing
A white envelope compared to a "white" person's (peach) hand.

If you've attempted to make sense of anti-racism and how to behave these days as a white person so as not to be accused of racism, you've probably come across the term "reverse racism" (as well as tied yourself in knots trying to avoid something you were set up to be by definition). As in, "there's no such thing as reverse racism." I agree that there is no such thing as reverse racism, but not for the reasons one might think.

Radical Leftists (including my former self) essentially mean by the claim that there is no such thing as reverse racism that, if you're white, you can't accuse a person of color for being racist against you because the definition of racism, which I first heard in a college class in 2004, is "prejudice plus power." So, by definition, 1) people of color cannot ever be racist and 2) only white people can be racist because only white people have power in society, apparently. This is the argument I was taught to make whenever a white person - especially a white man - complained of "reverse racism," even when he was clearly discriminated against in the name of "diversity hiring" or "diversity quotas" in university student bodies.

I agree that there's no such thing as reverse racism, and that's because I think there can only be racism. If you're discriminated against because of your skin color, whatever it is, you've experienced racism full stop. I don't believe only white people can be racist because it's an arbitrary (and self-serving) claim that power has to be involved in order for someone to be racist, or that people of color can't be racist. But even if I did, the people who have the power in current society aren't really white people anymore. Not if we are lambasted for capitalizing White. Not if we are hammering into our children's skulls that whiteness is bad and needs to be eliminated. Not if we've got Black and Brown academics getting promoted (rather than fired) for using genocidal and eliminationist language against white people.

And not if society on the whole is permitting this kind of language--remember how I said last month that language matters? Dehumanizing language turns into dehumanizing actions (another of the Radical Left's claims that I agree with); and right now, we are witnessing the rapid and systematic use of deeply dehumanizing language being used about white people in mandatory work trainings, K-university classes, the arts, and more. And any pushback is shutdown as "racist," or "centering ourselves." I'm (not) sorry, but we are not going to end racism by getting white people to hate themselves. We are not going to end racism by disappearing white people. And we surely are not going to end racism by practicing racism--in this case, by arbitrarily claiming that your ability to be racist is based on the color of your skin. After all, if it's okay to be Black, it's okay to be white - and this is a Black guy saying so (not that it should matter).