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Is it OK to be racist against white people?

Using the Merriam-Webster definition of racism,

1 : a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race

You CAN be racist against white people but is it OK?
Is it OK to tell an entire race they need to atone for the actions of their ancestors?
Is it OK to tell an entire race they are racist simply because of their race?
Is it OK to blame an entire race on the actions of 2 people?
Is it OK to purposely tell your kids to not trust an entire race?

Sadly I doubt I'll get many honest answers because it's not PC to you think racism is OK as long as those your racist against are white. But hope springs eternal.

  • 13 votes
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MamaMOB 5 Apr 30

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The question you ask is a false dichotomy that misses the complexity of the issue. There is a difference between racist attitudes and systemic oppression. People of color are institutionally oppressed in the United States. This means that it is harder for minorities to get jobs than white people. It means minorities are more likely to be found guilty of crimes and are sentenced more harshly. It means that minorities are more likely to be denied housing in desirable areas and forced to live in areas with higher crime and fewer resources. It means that minority children are more likely to be suspended from school - even as young as preschool - further widening the gap in education quality between white and minority students, and fueling the preschool-to-prison pipeline. I could go on and on. Does this apply to every black/Latino/Middle Eastern/etc., person? Of course not. But data does not lie. People of color are statistically more likely to face these barriers and more. And and even the poorest, most marginalized white populations still hold a level of privilege over minorities.

It is absolutely not okay to be treated badly for something you have no control over. But I wonder if it's possible that what you are perceiving as racism against white people is actually frustration about the barriers listed above and anger at white people who accept the privilege that their skin color affords them without ever engaging in any type of reflection about how they are impacted by this, or who try to "whitesplain" why racism no longer exists rather than listening to the actual lived experiences of people of color.

If you are so inclined, I highly recommend reading some of Peggy McIntosh's work on the subject, and completing the Invisible Knapsack questionnaire for yourself. I'll include the link for you. Hope you are having a wonderful day. 🙂


A very big discussion indeed it is. It’s beyond the subject of this group, I think.

Really good stuff in your comment.

Love your reply.


White privilege. I see this far too often and your questions are yet another example.

This is a non-sequitor, even if white privilege is a real thing which I highly doubt, does that somehow justify racism towards those of a lighter skin tone?

I’m definitely interested to hear your answer to this because from what I can tell from people who have dismissed questions such as these with a response like yours is that answer is yes.

Either that or they claim it’s it impossible to be racist towards white people since racism is defined as “prejudice + power” which is a terrible definition for racism since under that definition, groups like neo-nazis and the klu klux klan are not racist since they hold no institutional power.

I also realize that the typical identity politician will be quick to point out the fact that the positions of power in this country are held by white people, to which I say “yes, but are they kkk members or Nazis?” Who know maybe some indeed are but more than likely not the vast majority

What privilege do I have by simply asking this question? What privilege do I have at all? You're going to have to point out the actual privileges in my life for me to believe them. You know nothing about my life other than the fact that I'm white. You don't know if I was raised Rich or poor if I was raised by good parents or bad parents. But you assume that I'm privileged simply because of the color of my skin. That's what's called racism.

@Wavefunction show me where people of color hurt you. Were you ever denied a job based soley on your skin color? Housing? Do you tell your male children how to behave if they get pulled over by the police? Do have an a friend, relative that was shot to death at a routine traffic stop? Did your grandmother eat at a different table in a diner? Drink from a different water fountain? The list is endless. Not to have experienced any of these things..white privilege.
If one person in power is a racist, that's one too many.
Hitler was one man.

First of all, whether or not a person of color has ever hurt me is irrelevant to the discussion at hand. But since we are in the realm of personal anecdotes, I actually have been targeted because of my skin color: I was walking home one day only to be accosted by 6 thugs. Luckily I was much bigger than them (well bigger than most people) and it was easy enough to fight them off. Afterwards I told my friends about what happened they wanted to find these thugs and beat them up despite the fact I had successfully defended myself. These are the same friends who saved from the tribalistic mentality that “all people like this are criminals” you want to know why? Because my friends who came to my aid were black, my attackers were black. It was because of my awesome friends who I trust with my life, that I finally understood how someone could become racist , how to prevent it, and how to peel someone away from a belief system like that.

Now back to the discussion at hand, You still have yet to show how your response refutes OPs premise. Now if your claim is that “racism can’t be directed towards a member where they are the majority of population and hold most of the power; thus, the answer to OPs original question is no” , then I would ask is your definition of racism the use of institutional power wielded by individuals whose intent is to suppress people? If so fair enough as there are examples of this occuring (just look at the housing market and certain property value managing techniques).

However given the same claim, if your definition of racism is the colloquial definition (I’m fairly certain that is the one OP gave but I’d have to check), then you’re response is a non-sequitor since the definition has nothing to do with exercise of power, but rather more to do with a set of beliefs that lead to behaviors on the part of an individual. I take the later definition since it includes nazis and the kkk (both of which no longer hold institutional power, but are most assuredly racist)

Also as a side note, my grandmother grew up during the Great Depression and from a family that was rather poor so I don’t imagine they did much dinning out. Everyone has problems... if that’s how we’re defining privilege, then we all have western privilege because we don’t have to worry about living in a war zone where some isis terrorist might kidnap us and set us on fire. We are also in the top 10 (or maybe even 1) of the world’s wealth... even the poorest of us are just by virtue of social programs that are often nonexistent in places like Syria due to civil war or Venezuela due to the failed ideology of socialism.

I am incredibly lucky to live in an amazing nation, sure we definitely have our problems, and I’m not going to sit here and pull the “if u don’t like murca, you can hit ooout”. I’m just saying this to let you know that I am very aware of how lucky I and my friends are despite our 1st world problems.


It may not be racist, but I can understand why a black American would not trust white people. I have no idea what being black in America would be like. I am so awash in white privilege I can't even detect it.

Yeah. I was reading this interview of a hospice doctor, and she mentioned that African Americans are much less open to discussing hospice care with her, and she couldn’t understand why. I was like, really? You can’t think of any historical reason why black folks might be mistrustful of white folks suggestin unknown medical ideas? Cough cough. Tuskegee. To name one of many.

@Jenmcjen black children in the ER are less likely to be given medication for pain because our children are thought to have a higher threshold for pain. Physicians don't believe black women having c sections !

@JAEMPRESS O. M. G. That’s fucked up.

hmmm... your statement is a total generalization. There's plenty of really wonderful white people and I see no reason why black people can't learn to trust white people. I see friendship and trust all the time across race, religion non believing and color lines. My son is considered white although I'm not N European stock. Standing up for him at his wedding will be three young men all nonbelievers, one white, one Chilean, one African American and my son's Jewish uncle. The African American man's family simply adore my son. There's plenty of room for growth and change on both all sides.

@JAEMPRESS no question bias plays in decisions made in all arenas: medically, legally, in education, politics, you name it. Pain medication is in flux lately though anyway, for everyone, because of the the narcotics epidemic. Have you run into this particular situation: untreated pain at ER for your children? I ask out of concern as a nurse.

@MagRat don't need one more article, wanted a response from Jaempress. Thanks, though

@MagRat Not disputing the content of your article. Like I said, I wanted to engage with our fellow member.


It's not ok to be racist towards anyone regardless of colour.


This is the second time I have had to write this response.

It is DISINGENUOUS at best to use your hand picked definition of RACISM and follow up with this question.
BLACK people may be prejudiced or discriminatory but NEVER RACIST!
RACE and RACISM are social constructs ROOTED in SUPREMACY and BOLSTERED by RULES and LAWS made specifically to EMPOWER WHITE PEOPLE.
Before any of us can have an educated discussion we should read the extensive body of work on what exactly is RACISM, the history of SLAVERY and the VESTIGES of slavery. More important for discussion is an UNDERSTANDING of JIM CROW and reading Michelle ALEXANDER'S book THE NEW JIM CROW...then and only then is this discussion worthy or valuable.

Unfortunately due to misuses of the term, the definition doe now include the option for looking down on Whites based on race. Historically speaking you are absolutely correct. Racism is the use of power against another race due to prejudice and since minorities do not have the power to prevent Whites from holding jobs or arrest them for being White than racism does not exist. Racism is not meant to be about hating a race but about suppressing a race and without that power it is prejudice not racist. In my opinion it really sucks that the dictionaries adjust to use instead of making people use the term properly. Words do change meaning though and racism has had it's meaning altered, therefor making racism towards Whites ONE of the possible definitions. #1 (any race can believe theirs is superior to another)

Definition of racism
1 : a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race
2 a : a doctrine or political program based on the assumption of racism and designed to execute its principles
b : a political or social system founded on racism
3 : racial prejudice or discrimination

Please consider making a post about this subject and Michelle Alexander’s position.

So I think what you call racism is what I would call institutional opression motivated by racist beliefs. I can understand why someone would just call that racist because well it’s much shorter. It also offers me some insight to why some people make the claim “white people are all racist” and why some define racism as “power + prejudice”. Thank you for your post.

@ArturoS I shall

@antitheism and i would suggest to you again that in the absence of power to institute regulations and laws to bolster supremacy racism cannot exist. Black people are powerless to institute laws, to redline districts, to sllow extra judicial killings, to rig elections, to underfund schools, to overfund prisions

doesnt matter how many times you say it, you are wrong, you don't get to cherry pick definitions to make you feel/look better. Learn the difference between systemic racism, and good old fashioned racism. Until you do so, you just seem ignorant.


He who fights with monsters should be careful lest he thereby become a monster. Nietzsche.


Personally questions like this and “why can’t there be a” And “why can’t I say ’nigga’?” Are why I hate white people. ?


Latest DNA research proves there are no races, just varying colors of one race, human. So stop with the labeling!

You are correct in your statement, race is a social construct.

@SallyMc nope, MacTavish is it! Only 1 race, human, sort of like varieties of lettuce, or corn.

@SallyMc Prove race by DNA. You may get what color their skin is but not race, race is much more than skin color although society tries to make it out to be less.

@MacTavish you cannot/will not get skin color from DNA! You will get "area of origin" (your ancestors lived here only!

@SallyMc you Cannot agree or disagree with FACTS....YOU CAN FOOLISHLY DENY THEM.......oh, unless you live in in drumpland, or that book, "1984".

@SallyMc wow...not only do you ignore Facts (just Google it!) You cannot read/comprehend either.....i am "feeding the OP"......when I have been in total opposition with every post. Wow.

@AnneWimsey @MacTavish you cannot/will not get skin color from DNA! You will get "area of origin" (your ancestors lived here only!

July 1, 2009
November 1, 2014
October 17, 2017
It is possible to determine skin coloration from DNA as I thought.
SallyMc, your documentation ma'am.


The best statement about race I ever read was in a comic novel by Max Schulman called "Anyone Got A Match", where one of the characters said, "The world won't ever be completely at peace until we discover there is only one race, the human race."

It's a great premise to go on. But I think one race will only end racism. It won't end hate for so many other reasons. One race doesn't equate to Peace.


It's not ok to be racist to anyone. And the "atonement of ancestors" nonsense implies that people alive today are responsible for a bloodline they didn't get to choose and dead people they had no control over. It's an individual's behavior and theirs alone that determines treatment.


I’m an indigenous man and I detest racism, but we should call out privilege, which is rooted in racism. Love to all, but white privilege is real and we need to acknowledge and deal with it 👊🏽

LCLC Level 3 July 14, 2018

Funny ....never even heard that term until it was pushed out there by the left. More attempts to shame and suppress free speech.

@Mikie1977 Actually it has nothing to do with suppressing free speech. The freedom of speech keeps the government from censoring you. But what you say openly or in public forum is completely open to criticism, and if you believe in the bad ideologies, people have every right to fight against you and tell you to leave.


There is no institutional racism against white people, in America. There is a long history of open, blatant, and also institutionalized racism against non-whites. I recommend you do some reading on how we treated slaves. It was far more horrifying than what we learn about in school. And if there is no reasonable way of making reparations, the very least our country can do is formally apologize. This may not be our crime, as individuals, but it is absolutely our nation's crime.


It certainly seems that you have a very clear idea about what people should think. I wonder how you can know what constitutes someone else's 'honest' answer. Is this an honest question, or an attempted 'gottcha'?


Simple, it is never OK to be racist. We are all the same race.

Gohan Level 7 May 4, 2018

haha, where are you from? The Wonderlands?

@Algernon If that's what you want to call the real world, sure.

@Gohan the real world is a world made of races among other things. The fact that you don't like humanity to be divided into races, among any other possible divisions you can think of, doesn't make races any less real.

@Algernon If you want to be racist, do it, just don't do it at the expense of anyone else's freedom or life. Cast away the old ways and embrace a world free of hate. Hate isn't needed. Division isn't needed.

@Gohan -- And should he continue along these lines, he isn't needed. I know, that was snarky, but I've been reading his input and the bile has been pooling.


IMO there's only one race - 'the human race'. Class was invented by man; just like GOD.

you constantly hear about racism but the class system is far more prevalent and widespread as is sexism

Races are not an opinion, they are scientific facts.

@Algernon lmao, scientific fact is there is only one race. Are you actively trying to be this dumb, or is it due to bad genetics?


It's not okay to be racist. Period.

Deb57 Level 8 May 1, 2018

I forgot it's also not ok to blame people for the sins of their ancestors. Just like original sin is complete BS. Remember children are not racist until their parents teach it to them. When I was a young child I wanted to send my leftovers to Africa I never saw black children I saw hungry children. I couldn't understand why we had plenty of food and they didn't. To be that naive again.


The answer is no, but that is not why you asked. It is more of an indictment against minorities for ever feeling this way due to years of pro-white racism by law and practice. Racism is wrong, period, whether by an initial party or as a backlash.


There is a recurrent theme in this conversation and I am grateful to MamaMOB for raising the question.
IF white folks are agreeing that they have done nothing to warrant dislike, disdain or are not to be held accountable, PLEASE explain what millions of BLACK AND INDIGENOUS PEOPLE that lived and are now living in North America did to WARRANT their treatment.....

Nothing. But your question holds a logical fallacy. I just can’t remember what it’s called. But saying, well you did it first is nothing t really a reason to hate people you don’t know.

@JAEMPRESS Nope not me. Don’t disagree with any of that. Just pointing out that the particular argument here did not follow logic. Your facts are undeniable.

@NotConvinced if you are not responsible and no other person is responsible who will fix this?? Is it the burden of the great , great , great grandchildren of slaves to fix this dumpster fire that threatens to consume their very souls?

@NotConvinced, @Jenmcjen what should the logic be...break it down and clarify.. please

@JAEMPRESS Okay I looked it up. It’s the “tu quoque” fallacy, or the “you too” fallacy. I don’t know how to put a link here from my phone but if you google it you’ll see what I mean. Also my intention may have been lost by sounding critical because tone cannot be read. Because my point was only this: the history of racism and the way POC have to live today is deplorable, and when people explain that I would rather they do so in an unassailable way. Therefore if your logic is fallacious, I would like to point that out so your truth can be presented in—fuck I sound like a total ass. All I mean is, make the right argument so nobody can argue with you.

@JAEMPRESS No one living is responsible, that is simply fact. But it's everyones job, mine, your, his, hers, to make it better. However no one ever takes abuse and continues to help, and alienating the majority will never serve your interests. I apologize if this seems dismissive, I don't mean it that way, im just pragmatic. All turning the racism around does is begin a exponentially increasing backlash reverberation.

@MagRat All 'white privilege' is is majority privilege. The majority always have a easier existence then the minority., it's that way in every group, from the highschool clique to a nation.

@MagRat I don't have the time, nor the inclination to watch some rando podcast because you demand it. Thats now how this works. You have already discredited yourself as anyone with anything of value to add to this conversation. Tagging me multiple times in a sad attempt at attention and recognition is frankly, annoying.

@Jenmcjen that is not my job! It is very clear to me. White people study for years and are lettered in all manner of fucking subjects. They can figure this out!!!!


I understand the frustration, and I wish more on the Left realized how what they are saying comes across. While it may be true that white people statistically have it better economically, that shouldn't mean that it's okay for the loudest voices in public American culture to be shutting us up so often, or putting us down for something almost no living individual in our group actually has anything to do with.

Hi @MagRat,

I'd be curious to have an honest conversation about this polarizing topic in a sensible manner with someone with a different, but passionate, perspective on the matter.

Would you be interested in beginning a dialogue on this topic privately (via the messenger here on Agnostic)?



first of all, there is no such thing as pc. it's just a phrase concocted by people who can't understand why other people would be nice to still other people without some ulterior motive... as if everyone would casually use the "n" word unless someone was around to tell them not to. it's a little bit like being good because there's a god. or to put it more succinctly, fuck pc.

second of all, not everything you mentioned is racist. let's go through that list.

You CAN be racist against white people but is it OK?

racism is not okay.

Is it OK to tell an entire race they need to atone for the actions of their ancestors?

no, it wouldn't be, but it might be appropriate to tell the powers that be (and guess what race that mostly represents, right?) that something needs to be done to 1. stop the actions that are STILL CONTINUING even if in a slightly different form and 2. give some kind of compensation -- not atonement, but compensation -- for even the past actions, if they were dreadful and had long-lasting consequences. we are STILL feeling the consequences of the slavery of kidnapped africans. "well, i didn't personally do it, so fuck you" is not appropriate.

Is it OK to tell an entire race they are racist simply because of their race?

no, but who's doing that? if you think that's what protesting against racism is, then you don't understand the situation at all. asking that question implies that thought.

Is it OK to blame an entire race on the actions of 2 people?

which two people? i don't understand who would be doing this. this doesn't relate to any reality of which i am aware, and i DO pay close attention. asking this question implies that this is an actual issue.

Is it OK to purposely tell your kids to not trust an entire race?

no, but it IS okay to purposely tell your kids how to survive an untrustworthy system that is skewed toward an entire other race. it would not be okay NOT to do so because the kids might be harmed or killed otherwise. i have heard repeatedly from black parents that they had to sit their kids down and explain how not to be shot by white cops. should they have to do that? of course not! but they DO have to do that! so it's not just okay, it's necessary! and it's not the same thing as telling kids not to trust a whole race.


@genessa I applaud you.

@michaelinlivonia got sources for those suspicious-sounding stats?


@michaelinlivonia take advantage of free education? here are more questions about that. 1. did you know that black kids are more likely than white kids to be suspended from school even for the same reasons? if i were continually suspended from school i might drop out too. 2. do the stats mention WHY the kids drop out? that could make a difference. (sometimes the kids are needed at home.) 3. sometimes the "free" education doesn't include fees the family can't afford, uniforms, etc. sometimes the "free" education includes being bullied. 4. re single parents -- you do know that a good deal of that has to do with the unfairly skewed incarceration of black men? it's not because black people are more likely to divorce, for example. black men are incarcerated for crimes white men either get probation for, or get less time for. instant single mom family. there's more but it's nap time for me.


@michaelinlivonia black people are incarcerated as criminals whether they are criminals or not, and incarcerated for minor crimes that do not call for incarceration. your argument has big, big holes in it. your experience is valid... for you, but small samples don't count for much outside of biographical interest. i am not making excuses. i am bringing up legitimate issues. how about we stop considering black people who smoke marijuana dangerous criminals and giving white rapists a pass?



Racism is wrong period. No ifs, ands or buts.


We are all genetically why be racist?

YES.THIS. One race...HUMAN.


No. Racism is destructive no matter whom is targeted.
It's destructive to the individual who feels that way and, generally, far more to the recipients.
Simple fact is that we are all related. We differ more as individuals than between different "races".

That's a debunked fallacy. It's even got a name: the Levontin's fallacy, from a time passed by where Genetics were still at its infancy.


Loved that! Thanks for posting!

Yessss this..ALL OF THIS!!!

this comment is for no one in particular: black and brown people have also invaded, persecuted, raped and pillaged and enslaved others not to mention their own people. It's in the DNA of the Human Species.

@crazycurlz true, just no particular group was so successful at enacting it en masse that we still live in systems largely built by their practice of oppression quite like England France Spain Portugal n Italy.

@Wurlitzer I don't know how this is measured. many tribal groups (arab, african, native american) and I think if you look back in history...the Spartans, Islamic tribes, the hittites, whoever they were, ghanges khan. I just think it's dangerous to attribute negative 'war-like' qualities to the recent predominant white, N European culture when in truth all human species have been and are capable of demonic behavior. I also think the level of white hate is congruous to their relative wealth and power. It's all speculative but my belief is that the species AS A WHOLE needs some heavy self-reflection.

@crazycurlz it’s measured by the fact that the US is still running shit all over the World and a great deal of the earth was colonized by us or the euro powers that created us. The other groups you point to did their damage largely amongst themselves and their immediate neighbors, not all over the world and continuing to this day. Genghis khan is the only one who had a reach even close. White people arent inherently more evil than anyone else, we just spread our evil out the most broadly and recently over space n time. As a result, that’s what we are left to deal with predominately. The other most oppressive cultures left in the world currently like Islamic states and North Korea were largely radicalized by us. So... there’s also that.

@Wurlitzer I don't disagree that's where we're currently. BUT totally disagree that the Islamic states and N Korea were largely radicalized by us. I think that's naive. The Islamic state can claim adherents numbers grow when we go in but we aren't the root cause and I think that's dangerous thinking.

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