Racism Files

Racism Files FAQ

July 21, 2015
From a December 2014 Ferguson solidarity protest in Madrid. Image by Keziyah Lewis.

1. What the hell is Racism Files?
It’s a collection of news articles, think pieces, videos, personal experiences, etc, of racism that happens in countries other than the US, plus my commentary.

2. What’s the point?

Too many people believe that the US is either the ONLY racist country, or the country with the MOST racism. This is absolutely not true. The difference is that in the USA, we talk more openly about racism, and we’re generally not afraid to admit when there is a problem. Things aren’t perfect here, but at least we try. It seems that people in general think that racism doesn’t happen in other countries, but it does. To think that European colonization hasn’t had an effect on former colonies’ concept of race and skin color is absolutely absurd. All over the world people buy skin lightening products so they can be light enough to get a partner or pass an interview. All over the world, darker skinned people are systematically discriminated against. All over the world, white tourists are praised like they are celebrities, while black tourists are attributed with negative stereotypes. Of course, I’m generalizing, but there is truth to what I’m saying. That’s why I’m starting this series here on the blog, to show people that racism isn’t just an American thing.

3. Are you trying to discourage people from traveling?

No, not at all. But I think people should be informed/prepared before they go somewhere, don’t you? Lately, with all the horrible racial police brutality in the US, I’ve heard black people talk about wanting to move to other countries where they’ll feel safe. I get that. But black people are hated all over the world. The only reason why we’d be safer in other countries is because of a lack of guns.

4. Before talking about racism in other countries, you should talk about racism in your own.

No kidding. Look at my writing. I write about racism. I’m a black person from the United States. Trust me, I’m well aware that racism is pervasive here. The point of this series isn’t to say that the US is better than other places. Just that racism is a world wide phenomenon and that white supremacy has done serious damage on all corners of the planet.

5. You’re racist for bringing up racism.

No, and you’re silly. As Jon Stewart once said, you can’t “he who smelt it dealt it” racism. If someone says that it’s raining, that doesn’t mean that they caused the rain.

6. Do you hate white people?

No, I hate white supremacy. I hate that I grew up hating my skin color/hair/facial features. I hate that a police officer in my country can kill me at any time and just get away with it. I hate that I’m 3x more likely to go to prison than a white woman. I hate that, if charged with the same crime as a white woman, I will get a longer sentence. I hate that blackness is only celebrated when pieces of black culture and black beauty are adopted by white people. I hate that I got made fun of for having big lips, but suddenly Kylie Jenner plumps hers up and now full lips are cool. I hate even though there is a black family in the white house, people all over the world still cannot believe that a black tourist can be American or western. I hate that my ancestors were stolen, chained, packed into ships, and brought over to this hemisphere to be sold as property. I hate that people don’t understand that slavery has everything to do with how messed up things are today. I hate that we’re told to get over it. I hate knowing that as a black woman, I will be subject to both racial and sexist harassment online. I hate that a presidential candidate actually said that Mexican immigrants are rapists, and he still gets to run. I hate that a white man can walk into a historical black church and shoot 9 people to death and people will continue to fly the Confederate flag with pride. I hate that I grew up on land that was stolen from Native Americans.

These are just some of the things I hate. These things happen because of white supremacy. If you are white, you personally benefit from this system, even if you are not racist yourself. Even if your ancestors didn’t own slaves. Even if you’re poor or have other conditions that aren’t privileges. White privilege is a thing.

 

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