Have you experienced reverse discrimination

There is no such thing as reverse racism

My best friend and I have one of those things. she is White and I'm black, but since one night out when we were both 18, I've been calling her brownie and she's calling me cheesecake. These are our mutual nicknames to this day, after Corona we even want to have them tattooed on us. In our clique, however, these nicknames are not particularly popular. Above all, I am looked at almost indignantly: In my texts I repeatedly denounce racism in everyday life - and give my white friend a nickname that ironically alludes to the color of her skin. This is racism against whites, is the charge. There it was again, the charge of reverse, or reversive, racism. This card is always drawn as soon as one white Person even smells a hint of injustice towards white people. Behind this is the need to show that black people are not that bad after all. Also white after all, suffer from this or that problem, everything is somehow relative, everything is a matter of interpretation.

To get straight to the point: "Reverse racism" does not exist. Of course, there are times when whites are discriminated against or disadvantaged. And of course there are black people or people of color who don't like white people, who have prejudices, who generalize, stereotype. None of this is good. But none of that is racism. Anyone who claims such a thing obviously does not know what racism is, namely an ideology that has existed for centuries, according to which people with certain external characteristics are worth less than others. Racism has an individual expression, which shows in interpersonal contact, in social interaction; In addition, racism is also anchored at the institutional level.

My assumption: Behind the talk of "reverse racism" lies the need not to want to deal with one's own privileges

Most read this week:

In our white majority society, racism is deeply interwoven with our economic system, with state structures, with the cultural landscape; with our history, with colonization and National Socialism, of course. The consequences: Black people are still discriminated against when looking for accommodation or at work, and they experience police brutality and poverty. Sure, white people can experience such things too. Just not to that extent, and not as a result of a logic inherent in the system.

My assumption: Behind the talk of "reverse racism" lies the need not to want to deal with one's own privileges. I experienced that half a year ago at a workshop in Cologne. The topic was afro hair, it should be about care tips, but also talk about experiences of exclusion that black people experience due to their own hair structure.

The event was designed as a safe space, i.e. a space in which blacks should be able to express themselves as free from discrimination and racism as possible, and to that white therefore had no access. Although the event was announced that way, it was received white Cologne couple - and were not allowed in. Of course, it bothered the man to suddenly stand in front of a locked door in a world where he has almost everywhere access. But instead of thinking about why such safe spaces are still necessary, he couldn't think of anything better than accusing the organizers of racism and portraying themselves as victims. He also turned to me with his complaint (we had previously been in contact on another matter), although I had nothing to do with the workshop; probably in the hope that I would agree with him. When I didn't, he went so far as to contact a number of my employers and customers and to blacken me as a racist with them. I found it terrifying, but also telling how much time it was worth for him to prove that he of all people was an old man whiter Man, being affected by racism. And how unable he was to look outside the box of his privileges at those who are actually discriminated against on a day-to-day basis.

So again for the record: Developing an event only for black people is not racism, but protection. To design a magazine only for black people? Also no racism, but the effort to catch up on something that it is for white People have existed for centuries. A quota at universities or at companies so that more black people get a place to study or a job at all? Again, no racism, but an attempt to take a tiny bit of action against the structural racism in our working world.

In truth it is like this: As soon as an event or a situation Whiteness does not focus, there is a risk that the accusation of "reverse racism" will arise. Because that not everything revolves around them white Not used to people.


White: It is written in italics because White does not just mean a person's skin tone, but a dominant position of power in society that is associated with privileges.

: Is capitalized as it, as well as White, does not mean the skin tone of a person, but is a self-designation that describes the political and social positioning of a person. The black subject is always socio-politically and structurally subordinate. Black includes all people (groups) of African origin.

People of Color
: Is a self-designation for a wide variety of people (groups) who identify themselves as non-White define. These can be very heterogeneous and use different self-names, for example:

Asian: Mostly means people with East Asian heritage.
Desi: Is a self-designation used by people with South Asian heritage.
Brown: Mostly refers to people with Southeast Asian heritage.
Latinx: Is a collective term for people with a South / Central American background. The ending x tries to break the binary (male / female) of the Spanish language.