Sunday, April 6, 2008

Problem Term of the Day: Reverse Racism

I for one find the term "reverse racism" very problematic, and I think it can confuse/derail topics in which it is used (abused).

For one, I think the wording is misleading on how and why "reverse" racism occurs and the circumstances that help cause it. The word 'reverse' gives it a sense of something that has stopped moving in one direction and has begun to move in the completely opposite direction. In alleged acts of reverse racism this is not the case. The act of racism has certainly not ceased, and "reverse racist" actions are normally responding to the just as active "original racist" occurrences that has prompted the event. I believe so-called "reverse racist" situations will quickly die out around the same time as "original racist" situations do.

It also gives the impression that the thoughts and emotions of people who do reverse racist things are the same as those who do racist things, which is not the case. The emotional hangups and anger issues are coming from two separate places. I am not saying that one of either one of those situations are better than the other, but they should be treated as things that has different causes and different cures.

Another common mis-use is that reverse racism is just as pervasive and destructive as the original. It has the potential to, in theory, but in reality that is just not the case. Based on pure numbers alone that doesn't really work, and almost nothing of reverse racism as been normalized nor institutionalized in society, and it never will. *thoughtful* If that ever occurred it will probably just become racism again.

There is also a secondary issue with some in the use of 'racism' in the term because it conflicts with the form of racism that is defined as "prejudice + power", of which a vast majority of those normally called on "reverse racism" tactics simply do not have.

This term should be renamed, : D I have a few ideas:

Recoil Racism
Response Racism
Backwash Racism
Inferiority Complex Racism (actually this term is also problematic and has . . maybe even a better potential for malicious use, but I still think it more accurate than 'reverse')
Defense Racism
Disillusionment Racism
"OMG Hush!", or Exasperation Racism
"Well It Wasn't As If You Were Giving The Best Example" Racism

*sigh* And sometimes it manages to be absolutely nothing other than "What People Just Don't Want to Hear" *snort* Racism.

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