To Those Who Believe In Reverse Racism

If You Believe In Reverse Racism, Please Check Your Privilege

I can't help but cringe at comments claiming "reverse racism" because the people making them clearly don't understand what racism is.

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White people will often hold "reverse racism" as an excuse to avoid racial equality. They seem to think that any advantage given to minority groups somehow discriminates against them. While it is true that prejudice can exist towards all races and cultural groups, the word racism just cannot be used to describe something white people experience. Racism, as we describe it today, is based on centuries of systematic and institutional oppression. A history that includes slavery, lack of voting rights, genocide, violence, and segregation still impacts our views and opinions today. Many Americans claim that that is how it used to be and we've changed as a country since then. What this point fails to recognize is that historical tendencies impact our psychology in a myriad of ways.

With a tradition of demonizing those who are different, it is no surprise that racist tendencies persist today. The institutionalized race hierarchy that has always existed in America and the world leaves traces of prejudice and bias. White people are unlikely to recognize their inherent biases and how they respond to people who look different than themselves. Furthermore, with the few legal sanctions we have regarding equality based on race, the American public often assumes that the work is all done. Written legislation convinces us that we have no more need to improve race relations and that equality under the law means equality in all areas of society.

With violence against black populations, prison imbalances, and even protests based on white supremacy, it is clear that America has to improve racial equality a lot. These systematic inequalities are what constitutes racism, and they create the daily prejudices and biases that various races and ethnicities experience today. White people simply don't have a system such as this working against them. There was no slavery of all whites in America, white people, in fact, controlled the creation of Western culture as we understand it today. History prioritizes the white man's opinion above all else and in terms of obtaining leadership positions and power white cultures have always had the upper hand.

In the quest for equality, inequalities often present themselves. With affirmative action and groups that prioritize support for specific races, it is easy to feel more and more divided as we seek unity. However, what white populations have to understand is that institutionally inferior groups need resources to support them in claiming their equal rights. We need to tip the scales to make leadership positions held by all races and to obtain a country that allows equal opportunity for people of every race.

So the next time you make or overhear a comment about how racism exists against white people, really think about the history that created what we today call racism. Racism isn't a small prejudice or bias, it's a long-held system of oppression. To claim that the same exists against white people is not only untrue, but it fails to recognize the suffering the race hierarchy has caused. Saying that reverse racism exists is proof in it of itself that many still don't understand what racism is or how pervasive it continues to be.

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6 Facts From '13th' That Will Hurt To Read

I've said it once and I'll say it again: Stand Your Ground is racist. Here's proof!
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13th is a documentary from Ava Duvernary (known for directing 'Selma,' the movie about the march by MLK), and it tracks the history from the introduction of the 13th amendment, which states that no one can be owned by another person, to present day with the lens of the rights of black people. It is tied directly into the Black Lives Matter movement and explains how ingrained institutionalized racism has become. It also explains how this all came to be in a riveting, non-scholarly manner. However, the facts presented will shock you, they will horrify you, and if you're like me, they will rip a hole in your heart.

1. The United States has 5% of the world's population and 25% of the world's prison population.

That makes it the highest incarceration rate in the world. 40% of those inmates are black people, and no, that doesn't mean that white people make up the other 60%. Here's another interesting statistic tied into this: If African Americans and Hispanics were arrested at the same rate as whites, the prison population would decrease by nearly 40%.

2. The "exception clause" in the 13th Amendment was there to rebuild the South's economy - through prison slave labor.

After the Civil War, African Americans were arrested in massive groups, often for minor crimes, in order to fill the hole in the South's economy after slavery was abolished. This is the verified reason this clause was included.

3. Birth of a Nation was responsible for the return of the Ku Klux Klan.

The film was incredibly racist and began to introduce the idea that black men were criminals and that the Ku Klux Klan was reborn after their depiction in this film. This film also introduced the KKK ritual of burning crosses, in case you ever wondered where that came from.

4. 1 in 17 white males will go to jail/prison in their lifetime, while for black males the odds are 1 in 3.

Racists will argue that it's because blacks are more violent and therefore more likely to commit crimes. First of all, that's ridiculous. Moreover, it's because black people are more likely to experience discrimination in all aspects of their life, which leads to lower incomes, making them more likely to live in underprivileged neighborhoods where people have to commit crimes to make ends meet. See how its all connected? That's institutionalized racism.

5. Mandatory minimums take discretion away from judges, in turn putting more people of color behind bars.

Mandatory minimums were introduced by Nixon, and they put minimums on time being served for certain crimes. As the exemption clause continued to round up people of color, the mandatory minimums took away the ability for the judge to make decisions on the circumstances of a crime. This means that people of color are sent to prison for years at a time for nonviolent and minor offenses.

6. Laws don't always have morally sound origins.

13th delves into the involvement of ALEC in the formation of laws, and ALEC is corporately backed by massive companies like Walmart (the largest retailer of guns in the United States). I mention Walmart and guns because ALEC is the organization which pushed for the Stand Your Ground Law, which is what was used to justify Trayvon Martin's murder in court. George Zimmerman walked after murdering an unarmed black boy because of a law that was pushed by Walmart to increase the sale of guns.

Cover Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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Dear Marvel, You Really Need TO Do Better With Representation

This is simply a poor attempt at more diversity.

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SPOILER WARNING: This article contains spoilers for the Marvel Cinematic Universe

Avengers "Endgame" hit theaters and shattered records across the world with making an amazing $350 million in North America and an even more stunning $1.2 billion worldwide. In fact, 'Endgame' has already destroyed records set back "Star Wars: The Force Awakens," "Avatar," and even the first part of the movie, 'Infinity War.' Fans went in expecting a mix of emotions and for the most part, the movie definitely delivered. However, there is one thing that some fans are severely disappointed in.

Directors like the Russo Brothers hyped up an "exclusive gay character" and "Marvel's first openly gay character" in the 22 movie franchise. But fans weren't happy with what they received after all of this hype beforehand. While representation is representation sometimes it's simply not good enough. In this movie, Steve Rogers (Captain America) goes to a counseling group with others to deal with such a huge loss in their world and lives. This is where we meet the "exclusive" gay character, who barely even has a name. He's an unnoticeable character if you're not paying attention, has no relevance to the plot, and doesn't make any kind of difference in the movie at all. He talks about how he finally went out on a date, with a guy, and how eventually they both cry while reflecting on their lives after the snap. While they call this "exclusive," we call this pretty close to queerbaiting.

Making a big deal over a background character and parading him around for his sexuality isn't what we would call representation. While it's always cool to see an LGBTQ character on the screen in such a huge series, this character is still just a minor character and has no relevance and is literally never seen again. He is on screen for less than five minutes before we never see this character again. This is what you call representation? A minor background character with no importance whatsoever? No thanks!

What we are looking for is at least someone that has something to do with the plot, not just there to say they've done it and market to the LGBTQ community. Marvel needs to do better when it comes to this. Their big deal over a minor character lost our respect more than it gained because this excitement was only a money grab more than an actual attempt at diversity. When we have characters like Valkyrie, who is Bisexual in the comics, we want to see more major characters gain this diversity. Even Captain Marvel actress Brie Larson agrees, "we gotta move faster" as no person should be excluded from being a superhero for any reason, even sexual orientation.

So Marvel, while you're here breaking box office records, don't forget to do better at giving the LGBTQ community the representation they deserve, and the representation we all want! And until you do, we'll just be here looking over Brie Larson's and Bev Johnson's support of Captain Marvel and Valkyrie!

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