(CBS Charlotte) — Racism is an issue that continues to persist in our country because after centuries of slavery and oppression amongst the African-American population, it is deeply ingrained in American history.
And while most of us are familiar with slavery and oppression in American history, according to a study conducted by Tufts University’s School of Arts and Sciences and Harvard Business School, some white Americans believe that they are the victims of reverse racism.
The study confirms that African-Americans and white Americans believe that racism against African-Americans has decreased over the last 60 years, but white people in the study group believe that they are racially targeted more than black people. According to the study, on average, whites rated anti-white bias as more prevalent in the 2000s than anti-black bias — by more than a full point on the 10-point scale.
Did I miss something here? If I wasn’t an active member of society, I might believe this study to be true — oh wait, no I wouldn’t.
It’s important to note that racism against white Americans is rare. Is it possible that other factors exist that were not brought to light by this study?
Indeed. White Americans can not truly call something racism, unless they know without a question of a doubt that they are being racially targeted. Furthermore, how often do you hear on the news that a white American was targeted for being white? Racism is when a person is discriminated against purely on the basis of their skin color. Discrimination can be based on other things, such as a persons gender, sex, income, etc.
In contrast, even in 2013, African-Americans are still victims of racial profiling and racism. I have personally witnessed such occurrences on many occasions. A few months ago, I was talking with an African-American homeless man in Uptown Charlotte. A Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Officer targeted the homeless man and began following us around. Once we were out of the officers sight, he turned his police lights on, turned around, and drove up to us and asked if I was in danger.
I was irritated by the police officer, to say the least. I knew as soon as he asked the question, that the homeless man that I was speaking with was the victim of racial profiling. The CMPD officer falsely assumed that I was “in danger” because I was a white woman, talking to a black man. After the police officer reluctantly drove away, I asked the homeless man how often he was the victim of racial profiling. His response was disheartening, “every day.” Moreover, the homeless man was so accepting of being a victim of racial profiling. In his eyes, it was okay for the CMPD to profile him because he is black and homeless. But, in my eyes, this isn’t okay — and as culturally diverse as the city of Charlotte is, African-Americans are still targeted because of their skin color. Now ask yourself, have you ever truly witnessed reverse racism or reverse racial profiling? Have you ever seen a police officer approach a white man who was conversing with a black woman? I sure haven’t!
On a national level, statistically, African-Americans have far less opportunities handed to them, they generate less income than white Americans, own less homes, and have a much higher chance of living in poverty than non-black Americans. In spite of this, I still have never witnessed an African-American racially targeting a white American for being “more privileged” than they are. While I’m sure that there are some black Americans who may not particularly care for white Americans, I cannot fathom that racism against whites is more prevalent than racism against blacks. Additionally, if African-Americans were to racially target white Americans, they lack a system of organized support behind them. However, white Americans who are racist or participate in racially fueled acts of violence, can do so knowing that the KKK will support their “efforts.”
The day that President Barack Obama was elected President of the United States should have been a turning point for our nation. After all, Obama had to break through several barriers and overcome adversity to rise to the top. But, he did so with sheer guts and determination, and despite whether you agree with the way he runs our country or not, he paved the way for other black Americans to believe that they can one day become the President of the United States. Even in his second term, Obama still receives around 30 death threats each day, and many of these threats are fueled by racism.
Before I sat down to write this article, I thought about how one of my co-workers, who is African-American, would be perceived if she wrote this article. Undoubtedly, she’d be called a “racist.” To me, that’s a clear indication that our society still needs to confront the stereotypes and history that surrounds us.
-Nichole Jaworski, CBS Charlotte