Saturday, February 07, 2004

According to a Classmate, I am unqualified to talk about race because I am "White"
I had a long conversation with one of my classmates this week which turned on the question of why there is racism against african americans. My classmate, who I'll call E is black herself, argued that all current racism stems from historical discrimination. In her opinion this racism has caused African Americans to hate white people, a hatred she feels could itself be termed as "racism" (E said not all of her african american classmates share this view, believing instead that african americans are definitively incapable of being racist, an idea both of us found anathema)

My question to her was that if she took it as a given that "white" racism against "blacks" engenders "black" racism against "whites" then wouldn't it be likely that "black" racism against "whites" engenders "white" racism against "blacks?" E's response was that I should be careful not to look at things in such a way since an idea like that coming from a "white" person was likely to offend minorities.

Keep in mind this is one of the more open minded people at Stanford Law School. What does this say about the climate at our institutions? I was shocked at first, but right now I am disgusted. What gives African Americans the exclusive right to determine what is appropriate to talk about with respect to racism? And why do people buy into it?

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