Worldwide controversy was caused due to the recent Twitter hashtag #WhiteProverbs. When Twitter user, @Selintifada, started the hashtag, her intention was to get her followers to share their own experiences of some of the things that they’ve heard white people say about other races.
“I was poking fun at the fact that these things are said and they’re so ridiculous and they’re so racist,” the Asian girl said.
Her followers were quick to participate:
@ellesturgeon: “I’m not racist, it’s just that stereotypes exist for a reason!” #whiteproverbs
@SirNigelington: #whiteproverbs you’re smart for a <add ethnic minority>
@AhmedKadry: “I’m tired of all these people coming to our country and stealing what’s ours”. You mean colonialism? #Whiteproverbs
@SelinitiFada: “Don’t you have an easier nickname?”
@Trinity_child: “How dare you talk about the horrors of slavery. Get over it.”
And lastly, my personal favourite, which I hear far too often: “You’re so articulate. Did you go to a private school?” @SelinitiFada.
Naturally this hashtag immediately interested me. Growing up in an African country, living in a predominantly white neighboured and having many white friends, I, today can relate to many of the tweets on the subject. However, the more I looked at the tweets I couldn’t help but realise that the hashtag doesn’t benefit the relationship between white people and ethnic minorities nor does it have any real purpose other than to mock the ignorance of white people. This is essentially reverse racism. I wasn’t the only one that didn’t fully agree with it.
Twitter user, @Ruwayadamustafah, tweeted: “Generalisations about white people is just as disgusting as anything else. Total fail.”
According to journalist, Brittany Spornhauer , "reverse racism" is defined as a term that describes the outcome of a group of people that try to protect a minority group so aggressively that it actually leads to hypocrisy.
I must agree that generalisations about white people are disgusting but one must admit that it is common and it is something that appears to be more acceptable. But why is this reverse racism okay?
Trendy topic starter, @Selintinifada, explains why she thinks it’s okay and why she won’t apologise for starting the hashtag.
“White people didn’t die from generalisations. Black people have. Asian people have,” she says.
Unfortunately this is the mind set of many ethnic minority groups. Though reverse racism is not right, non-whites feel entitled to it because of their past suffering. Because white people have shown such harsh racism in the past towards other races, these races feel like it’s only fair that they have the opportunity to do the same. Non-whites often feel resentment towards white people because of how history has affected our lives today.
Ever heard of the saying “two wrongs don’t make a right”?
In my opinion, racism is something that will always exist as long as people don’t forget about the past. History will always be a part of our present and future if we bring it into our present and future.
In the words of Nelson Mandela himself: “Forget the past”.