Aamer Rahman feels your pain.
The Australian comic knows that “reverse racism” is making life really hard for a lot of folks. Think about it: People of color shouldn’t be allowed to make jokes about white people, then turn around and call white people racist. That’s hypocrisy! That’s racist… but in reverse!
Lucky for you, Rahman has a solution. (Hint: It involves “reverse racism” not actually being a thing.)
Rahman hits the nail on the head. Without getting too sociological, people who cry “reverse racism” need to realize that racism – as in, actual racism – requires a power dynamic in order to work. According to Tim Wise, racial jokes and slurs toward white folks are less potent because whites hold institutional power over everyone else. This is true throughout history. And since people of color hold little sway in defining the terms of white existence, it’s abundantly clear that racial slurs and jokes directed at whites are no more than that: slurs and jokes. They carry little weight, because there’s no actual power behind them.
So the next time you’re tempted to call someone a “reverse racist,” do the world a favor: don’t. Like Rahman makes clear, there’s only one kind of racism that exists. And its name, appropriately, is “racism.”