We’re loving this dose of True Tea – your questions, Kat Blaque’s “brutal honesty.”
In this episode, Kat answers a viewer’s question about whether or not black people can be racist. This viewer certainly isn’t the only one with this question – maybe you’ve also wondered if, for example, a black person saying “honky” holds the same weight as a white person saying the n-word.
To get to the answer, Kat breaks down what racism really is, how it differs from prejudice, and why she says it’d actually be “pretty sweet” if racism were as simple as not liking someone based on the color of their skin.
But there’s actually much more to it than that. Here’s the truth about what you’re missing if you think black people can be racist against white people.
The Editors at Everyday Feminism
Click for the Transcript
True Tea: Your questions, my brutal honesty.
Hey guys, it’s Kat Blaque, and it’s time for your weekly dose of True Tea. If you want more True Tea and you want to get it every single week, be sure to subscribe to my channel so you can get True Tea every single Sunday. It’s a lovely time. It’s a lovely way for you to just wind down at the end of your week and then go into Monday and have it ruined all over again.
Let’s jump right into today’s e-mail.
“In what situations do you think an African American can be racist? I’ve been following a lot of your social media, and I would really like to fully understand your viewpoints. Thanks.”
First and foremost, I think that we need to make a distinction between racism and prejudice, right?
Because I think that a lot of us – especially if we grew up in the 90s – have this view of racism where it’s always this prejudice that you have based on skin tone. Every time I have a conversation with a white person about this, they always end up doing this thing where they screenshot the definition of racism, and they’re like, “Well, here’s what racism is!” and duh duh duh duh dah.
Let me just say this: If racism were simply just someone not liking me because I’m black, that would be pretty sweet, to be honest with you. If racism were only “Hey, you’re black; I don’t like you,” that’s cool. I would be, “Whatever,” because to me, it’s really easy for me to dismiss somebody because of something I can’t help. And that, I wouldn’t change – my melanin on fleek. You know what I mean?
But that’s not racism. Racism is so much more than that. Racism is a system. I’ve already talked about this. Racism is a system. Racism is an ideology. The ideology, in America at least, is one of white supremacy.
And what do I mean by that?
A lot of people, they think of racism, and they think of KKK members burning crosses on your front yard. That is, of course, racism, but racism is so much more than that.
To me, racism is segregation. Racism is something like slavery that was allowed to happen.
Racism is the redlining of school districts that keep black and brown people in impoverished schools and impoverished areas. Racism is systemic. And when I’m having conversations about racism, we’re not talking about that one time this white kid called me a bad name.
For me, when I have conversations about racism, I’m talking about forced sterilization, rape, murder, genocide – all of these things. I’m not talking about, “Oh, my gosh! This white person was mean to me.”
That’s just not what it is. Black people can absolutely be prejudiced. But they have not held the power in this country to actually systemically oppress a white person. But every time I have this conversation, a lot of times, it’s related to the usage of slurs.
There are a lot of people—I talk about this on my LifeStream—but when I was driving my taxi driver, on the way home from Ohio, for some reason felt like it was a normal thing to have a conversation with me about racism. He didn’t know who I was; I know he didn’t know me. But he really wanted to talk about this.
What he was talking about was: Black people can’t expect to not be called the “N” word if they keep calling white people “cracker” or “honky” or something like that.
I didn’t really want to give this man too much. I wanted to be like, “Sir, do you know who I am?” Like, “I don’t know if you—this is—I am not the one to have this conversation with.”
But he really, really, really wanted to have it. He kept going and going and going.
To me, the difference between that is there’s a longer history with the “N” word. The “N” word has meant something so much more than just this word to throw at black people.
There were signs that said “No niggers allowed” that actually made it a law, that were put there by law that stated black people could not be here. Could not be here.
Racism, to me, is the actual prevention of black people and people of color from pursuing prosperity in this country. You’re really not prevented from pursuing prosperity because a black person called you a honky.
It’s not a thing. It’s not real. There’s no system that’s built up against white people to say, “Well, because you’re white, you can’t have access to this, this, and this, and this.”
Historically speaking, you can’t really say that about people of color. You can’t say that in general. You can’t say that.
You can’t say that it’s all the same and everything is good now because there are still systems that are working against people of color. We are still looked at with more suspicion than our white counterparts. We are still looked at as having a higher threshold of pain than our white counterparts.
There’s a reason why, when a black girl gets dragged in school, there’s so many people who rush to act like her having a phone in her hand is a valid reason for having that degree of assault.
And they wouldn’t do the same thing if it was a white woman. They wouldn’t do the same if it was a white girl. They would not.
Because we view black people under a certain scope. That is very much a reflection of the way racism has materialized in this country.
It’s the reason why black girls were sterilized. It’s the reason why black women are the second group after indigenous women to experience the most sexual assault. There are reasons for this.
A lot of times when I have conversations with people who want to even present the idea that black people can be racist to me, they act like we live in this post-racial society where everything is good and everything is equal.
Of course, being a black person, I know that’s not true. I know that doesn’t work. I know that’s not where we live at. It’d be amazing if that were the truth!
But it’s not. At what point can a black person be racist?
To me, the point where a black person can be racist is when we have the financial, the social capital to actually be able to oppress white people.
Of course, I would never want that! I don’t believe in doing what white people have historically done to black people. I don’t believe in that.
I don’t agree with that. I would never fight for that. That’s never something that I would be okay with. I wouldn’t want to do that to somebody.
But that’s when racism will become true, when there’s a system of black supremacy where a white person is actually oppressed because somebody called them a “honky.” That’s when we can actually start talking about black people being racist.
Black people can be hella prejudice. I remember being so upset with my family when they would talk shit about white people at family gatherings. I really would.
But you know what? It’s not the same. It’s not the same.
It seems—superficially, it seems the same. But when we look at history, when black people got together and talked shit about white people, what happened?
Nothing. We talk, right? When white people do the same, historically, what’s happened?
They’ve enslaved us. They’ve raped us. They’ve murdered us. They’ve lynched us. And got away with it. The getting away with it part is the biggest part of this.
They did all that and still got away with it because that was consistent with the way that society viewed black people. So it’s not the same thing.
I feel like we need to understand that if we’re going to have more critical conversations about racism. That’s how I feel.
Anyway, on that note, if you like this mug, you can get this mug and so much more in my Society6 store. The link is always in the description box below. And if you like this video and you want me to answer your question, send me your question or shortened list and video to [email protected]
And as per usual, always remember and never forget that you are beautiful and you are loved! Bye!
If you like this video, you can support my work by becoming a monthly Patreon patron.
To learn more about this topic, check out:
- Why Reverse Oppression Simply Cannot Exist (No Matter What Merriam-Webster Says)
- Why ‘Two Wrongs Don’t Make a Right’ Doesn’t Apply to Racism
Kat Blaque is a Contributing Vlogger for Everyday Feminism. She’s also a children’s illustrator and thrift store shopper. Check out Kat’s website and YouTube channel, and follow Kat on Twitter @. Watch her videos here!