Wednesday, 29 January 2014

"Reverse Racism" and False Equivalence

It's been a while, so I thought I'd share this with you.

So, someone kept writing comments on this video of mine (which discussed the topic of racism) about the Black Panther Party and the crime problems in South Africa (particularly those aimed at white people), and how this is PROOF of how racism against white people is totally a thing. All I had said about this “reverse racism” in the video was that those spouting how racism against white people was “totally a thing" should go look up the words false equivalence.

Anyway, he kept replying to most of my posts and said I shouldn’t be “taking things so personally” (I wasn’t taking anything personally, btw, just explaining various things to racist people & overly-defensive white boys), and kept bringing up the BPP and the situation in SA like he was trying to convert me or something. So, I decided to finally address his 2 examples, and I’d like to share my reply with you as it took a bit of time to write and I have seen arguments similar to his elsewhere.

No? Its not taking it personally, it’s purely deciding to explain things to those that choose not to listen & point out small extreme groups like the BPP.
Also, I know about South Africa. My mum’s friend (who actually lives there) was visiting someone (another white family) when they got robbed & she had a gun pointed at her. There is a LOT of crime directed at white people in SA right now, it’s bloody scary, but I’m pretty sure white people would not be targeted like this if it weren’t for the years of abuse at the hands of previous white colonists; segregation, apartheid, theft of land, restrictions on voting… None of those things excuse what certain people are doing, but for them it is a kind of “retaliation”. It is stupid & wrong & misguided & messed up in its approach, but they’re not just doing it because these people are “different”: they do it because they feel that those people represent the oppression they have faced & they are angry at things still being hugely unequal, like unequal wealth distribution (e.g. only two of South Africa’s 14 richest people of 2013 are black, despite black people making up 80% of the population). Also, factors that increase a country’s general crime rate include: “high levels of inequality, poverty, unemployment, social exclusion and marginalisation" (note the highlighted words); basically, what is happening in SA is likely caused by (and is basically an extreme and violent backlash to) white privilege.
Your argument fails because both things you have pointed out would not exist if it weren’t for the racism of white people. They are a direct result of white racism against black people. Discrimination based on race has created lot of groups of upset and righteously-angry people, but some get so angry that they attack anyone that represents the people that made life hard for them; that is “racism” of a sort, lumping people together based on race, but not the same dehumanising and restricting racism that is faced by POC. 
You cannot just throw in 2 examples to go “Seeeee!!! Racism against white people!!! They’re JUST AS BAD.” without looking at why those examples might exist in the first place.

So yeah, false equivalence.


  1. If you really want to examine problem in Africa or SA in particular. You need to grasp the concept of tribalism. It is a historical problem with political power, and wealth distribution. The Afrikaners are tribe who control The wealth in SA, dipite being a minority. Because thy are white it becomes a racial issue as well. Racism is more of a European construct, but problems in Africa are more deeply rooted in tribalism.

    1. Really interesting - thanks for the input! It is definitely more of a "us and them", a "haves & have-nots" thing than a "black & white" thing.