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Racism is absurd but reverse racism is ok?

Published: Monday, November 14, 2011

Updated: Wednesday, November 16, 2011 12:11

BRIttaNY SPORNhaUeR Staff Writer

BrIttany Spornhauer Staff Writer

          The term "reverse racism" may be unfamiliar to some, so to ensure this article is understood to its full extent, the term will be defined prior to any opinion being stated. "Reverse racism" can be 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.

         Although this topic may be considered a controversial one, the issue exists whether people want to admit it or not. Not only does it exist but I have seen this term illustrated in the hallways of Georgia State. As a matter of fact, the purpose of this article is to call attention to this issue and serve as an eye opener to anyone who chooses to read further.

         This term never occurred to me until I experienced it myself. I was unaware there was even a descriptor designated to this topic. However, when I entered college I began to notice different student organizations that were geared toward a specific racial or ethnic group. At first, I did not think twice about the idea. As I looked in to various groups to become affiliated with, I was stunned to see student organizations aimed at only one race or one ethnic background.

         I do not understand how it is ok for a flyer on a bulletin board in Georgia State's hallway to read "1st Annual Black Student Film Festival." Posters such as these really strike a nerve in me, and just for clarity, I have no qualms with any race, ethnic background or religion for that matter. I am a well-rounded individual with a diverse circle of friends. My issue lies within these posters, organizations and overall societal behaviors that are acceptable for a minority group but not acceptable for a group that is the majority. This hypocrisy stems from the fear of possibly offending another race, but instead of ensuring equality and fairness, the aforementioned fear causes a shift in societal norms.

       Referring back to this poster, if this poster was altered slightly in the favor of the race that makes up the majority of the campus, it would most likely be received as racist. I am not aware of any event geared toward only white students, because this  would be offensive.

        This mentality can also be seen through the student organizations that are offered at Georgia State. There are actually more than 300 student organizations on campus that range widely in variety. Although many of the multicultural organizations strive to educate others about their culture and are open to all Georgia State students, some are slightly less inviting.

        For example, the African Students Association "was established to foster and enhance the intellectual and socio-cultural development of its members through educational and socicultural activities," according to the synopsis given on the university's website. If the idea is to promote diversity and enhance intellectual and sociocultural development, why is this organization aimed solely at African American Students? What is even more mind blowing is the organization's "purpose statement" that also appears on the website. The statement explains that the purpose is "To unite all Africans on the Georgia State University campus together and create a powerful force on the campus that educates the Georgia State family on the different cultures found within Africa." There are no statements to be found welcoming all students.

        Another organization, National Council of Negro Women, demonstrates similar ethnocentricity in their synopsis stating, "NCNW Inc; is a non-profit organization which strives to uplift, lead, develop and advocate for women of African descent through programs, socials and community service." Shouldn't this organization just be called, National Council of Women if it is open to all students regardless? However, the organization's description does not state this. Not to mention, if the organization had a name such as, "National Council of Caucasian Women" this would be perceived as racist.

       Although the diverse and multicultured nature of Georgia State would obviously prompt the need to have a wide range of student organizations, I feel that some have gone too far and definitely demonstrate reverse racism, which destroys the moral fibers of the human race.

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31 comments

Anonymous
Fri Jul 5 2013 08:01
I think we as Americans should be able to start, participate or join any group we want whether it be women only, men only, black only, while only, Italians only, Germans only, Germans only, etc. BUT....the one word that will cause such a problem seems to be a "white only" group. For instance, we can not have a "Miss White America" pageant, but it's O.K. to have a "Miss Black America" pageant. I don't have a problem with a black only pageant, I think it's great. All races, nationalities, etc. should be proud of their heritage and who they are and we should all have equal opportunity and rights. BUT....do not exclude the "white" race in these rights. Let's move on and the only way to do that is to treat all the same. There will always be some prejudices in this country and all over the world. It's a fact of life and we all have to deal with it.

Thanks Brittany for writing the article that most are afraid to bring up. Until all persons are confident in themselves and proud of who they are and where they came from, they will always be singled out and sensitive to every word and action even remotely considered racist or discriminatory.

Whomever doesn't see any of this as "reverse discrimination" is in denial. I believe the same ones who don't see it as "reverse discrimination" would see it as "discrimination" if there were any group that stated "white only" in any way, shape or form.

Anonymous
Wed Nov 30 2011 11:15
Reading this article made me embarrassed to be a student attending GSU. Is this article suppose to be taken seriously? Honestly?! Just in the first paragraph alone the author's definition of reverse racism is incorrect. It seems the author finds fault with any student organization with the word "black", "negro" or "african" in the title. This article displays less of a racial resentment than just complete ignorance. An article that is suppose to address a more integrated society ends up being close-minded, irony!
Anonymous
Fri Nov 25 2011 13:03
I agree with what Brittany is saying. She is talking about a very taboo subject, but I think she brings up a very good point. If we're living in a "White Country", then having organizations dedicated to a certain minority group would seem fair and NOT racist. We're so used to thinking in terms of majority vs minority, which is understandable. However, I would love it if we thought in terms of ourselves as a whole so that organizations for different races wouldn't be necessary. This is why I like what this article has to say. It points out how we perceive one another as a distinct other or "them". I say forget racial organizations because they draw imaginary barriers between us and argue how different we are from each other.
Anonymous
Wed Nov 23 2011 16:21
This piece and all the comments that I have seen defending it are using the same rhetoric that Neo-Nazis use to recruit.
Anonymous
Sat Nov 19 2011 16:16
The response from the community shows that this is an important topic that's long been suppressed as too taboo to be open to discussion and debate. It calls for an ongoing series of articles. Perhaps in a follow up article, or series of articles, Brittany can explore the pervasive attitude and culture of "justified racial payback" that's evident in a large number of the comments from her critics and detractors. Let's take a closer look at that and in doing so perhaps ask ourselves a series of related questions: 1) What is the moral basis of the attitude of "justified racial payback" that seems to be the underlying and ongoing justification in the belief that members of certain racial groups can't be racist; 2) What specific curriculum provided by the school is supporting this belief and is that curriculum appropriate if it encourages racial divisiveness, if it encourages animosity toward a particular ethnic group or supports the application of moral double standards when applied to ethnic groups; 3) What's to suggest this will ever improve or change considering these beliefs are largely founded on past events, the school clearly doesn't intend on ever addressing this inflammatory and increasingly suspect curriculum and fosters an environment which suppresses any criticism of its questionable moral basis. A moral basis that has made itself impervious to criticism and debate and as such positive progress and change; 4) What are the long term overall effects on campus race relations as a result of this curriculum considering that former graduates have commented here to the effect of 'I went to GSU, graduated in 1997, and that's exactly how I remember it being back then too.' Well, that was over ten years ago, so what that suggests is ideological entrenchment and a resulting lack of progress or willingness to improve that is being encouraged and facilitated by the institution itself.
Anonymous
Fri Nov 18 2011 22:59
Several commenters including "a former staff writer of The Signal", who expresses her disappoint in Brittany for having an opinion, have taken the liberty to incorrectly infer that since Brittany used two African American organizations as examples, that she was singling out African Americans. This assertion is utterly absurd beyond belief. That's to say that as the writer Brittany can't comment on anything without first providing examples from every ethnic group. If she were to find examples in 9 out of 10 organizations, is her commentary to be dismissed because she could not find an example in the 10th? Would she then be accused of favoritism towards the 10th? This line of thinking is pathetic in its attempts to dismiss the point. She did not explicitly single out African Americans as the source of "reverse racism". Neither was her overarching question/implication directed solely at African Americans, it was directed to the entire community. It addresses the attitudes within the entire community, what is acceptable and what isn't, and as such is entirely appropriate to address without having to appease multiculturalist quotas in everything she comments on..
Anonymous
Thu Nov 17 2011 15:51
rac·ism
noun
1. a belief or doctrine that inherent differences among the various human races determine cultural or individual achievement, usually involving the idea that one's own race is superior and has the right to rule others.
2. a policy, system of government, etc., based upon or fostering such a doctrine; discrimination.
3. hatred or intolerance of another race or other races.

ANYONE posses the power to be racist. There is no race that is so superior or so inferior that they can not be racist. Racism is in someones state of mind just like ignorance which is what all you sound like attacking this girl for her opinion. All you are doing is proving her point

Anonymous
Thu Nov 17 2011 14:43
Why are so many people ignorant? An African Students Association does not exclude anyone. They could not exist as a student organization if they excluded anyone because it would be illegal. Therefore there is no racism applied or implied by an organization called the African Students Association. The writer seems to be intimated merely by the sight of the world African or Black, titles hold little water when making controversial statements. The 1st Annual Black Student Film Festival had white participants and white winners. What your article has done is attempt to taint the image of the festival to suit your own personal issues, which you created in your head. What is disturbing is that the signal would publish such insulting things about Black people, this goes to show the lack of respect Blacks still face. Though this was an opinion piece some simple background checks should be made before you disrespect a group of people in such a manner.
Anonymous
Thu Nov 17 2011 13:20
Black people cannot be racist. Racism involves power as the subordinate group, all racial minority groups lack power. Also, we do not mean minority in the statistical sense, but minority as in having less advantage, resource, and opportunity as is in the case during the colonization of african, asian, and latin american nations. What you all mean to say is that black people can be prejudice, which is very true.
Anonymous
Thu Nov 17 2011 10:35
I am sorry but everyone who commenting on here saying Brittany is the ignorant one you need to look at yourselves. She wrote this as an OPINION! And for any of you to say "black people cant be racist" REALLY EVERYONE can be racist! She isnt attacking any group of people just showing that in todays society it is okay to have Black Entertainment Television but if there was ever to be a White Entertainment Television that would be conscidered racist? Everyone no matter what ethnicity you are or what race you are is made equal. No one deserves to be put on a pedistool because of issues that happened YEARS AGO! Dr Martin Luther King fought for EQUAL rights, not for african americans or asians or hispanics etc to be better than any race including caucasion. And the fact that you are tearing this girl for her opinion shows that reverse racisim is real! And if you dont think it is then I would LOVE to GSU make clubs and organizations to support the asian and caucasion etc. Why is only okay to support the african americans and no other race? Here is a thought MAKE THE ORGANIZATIONS OPEN TO ALL RACES AS A WHOLE! I give props to Brittany for stating her opinion and while you guys are all reading this ask yourself "If an african american wrote a column like this would you be this upset"
Anonymous
Wed Nov 16 2011 22:26
My husband is taking a multi-cultural issues class this semester at GSU. As a psychology major, he was really excited to learn about the issues faced by minorities and went in with a totally open mind. The teacher, however, has repeatedly singled him out as the only white male in the class and made him feel unwelcome and judged (to the point where other students have approached him and asked what the teacher has against him). But, because of this idea of "reverse racism" he feels there is no avenue for complaint and will probably earn a lower grade than he deserves. I don't agree with the author in taking offense to groups aimed at specific races or ethnicities, however, in an academic situation such as this, I find it unacceptable and hypocritical.
Anonymous
Wed Nov 16 2011 21:46
As a former staff writer of The Signal, I am incredibly disappointed in Brittany Spornhauer. As soon as you insert a disclaimer, it immediately sets off a red flag stating that whatever comes after it is bound to be hypocritical. And, that it was. This article lacks so much support and research. I still don't know what encouraged you to write this or your thought process behind it. Did you even think about the response this article would get? Was this article written to meet your quota or did the opinions editor approve of this to be published for additional content? Your opinions are your own, but this article shows how small-minded you are. You only targeted African Americans in this article. What about Asians, Hispanics or the other races to support your "reverse racism" claim? There was no empathy for people of other backgrounds in this article or even an attempt to understand their culture and history. The message I got from this article was that you wanted sympathy because you lacked attention.

You should not quit writing because you still have so much learning to do and so much to experience, if you want to become a serious journalist. Just because something is written in quotations doesn't mean you should take it at face value and use it support your views.

Anonymous
Wed Nov 16 2011 18:02
I am not a GSU student or grad, but this article came to my eyes via twitter from a fraternity brother. You lack to understand the point of most of these groups, to uplift a group that has been disadvantaged or held back. That is where the history lies in most of these organizations. You also speak of these organizations as if they will stop you from joining. I attended The University of Georgia, and also happen to be white. During my time I was a member of multiple "black" organizations, including my fraternity. Organizations that won't shun you because of your race, but will embrace you because you believe in what they are fighting for. The problem I see is that you don't even take the time to truly look into these organizations. Whether it's because you are scared of what is different or you hold some guilt in yourself. Racism is so quick to be on the tip of everyones tongue in this country without proper investigation and backing.
Anonymous
Wed Nov 16 2011 18:02
I am not a GSU student or grad, but this article came to my eyes via twitter from a fraternity brother. You lack to understand the point of most of these groups, to uplift a group that has been disadvantaged or held back. That is where the history lies in most of these organizations. You also speak of these organizations as if they will stop you from joining. I attended The University of Georgia, and also happen to be white. During my time I was a member of multiple "black" organizations, including my fraternity. Organizations that won't shun you because of your race, but will embrace you because you believe in what they are fighting for. The problem I see is that you don't even take the time to truly look into these organizations. Whether it's because you are scared of what is different or you hold some guilt in yourself. Racism is so quick to be on the tip of everyones tongue in this country without proper investigation and backing.
Anonymous
Wed Nov 16 2011 18:00
I am not a GSU student or grad, but this article came to my eyes via twitter from a fraternity brother. You lack to understand the point of most of these groups, to uplift a group that has been disadvantaged or held back. That is where the history lies in most of these organizations. You also speak of these organizations as if they will stop you from joining. I attended The University of Georgia, and also happen to be white. During my time I was a member of multiple "black" organizations, including my fraternity. Organizations that won't shun you because of your race, but will embrace you because you believe in what they are fighting for. The problem I see is that you don't even take the time to truly look into these organizations. Whether it's because you are scared of what is different or you hold some guilt in yourself. Racism is so quick to be on the tip of everyones tongue in this country without proper investigation and backing.
Jordan
Wed Nov 16 2011 15:07
It's just funny how she mentioned solely Black organizations and not other minority organizations. This is where her whole argument fails.

Sorry.

Daniel
Wed Nov 16 2011 14:22
This was a very brave article to write -- and I think her points are fairly valid. It seems everyone is ready to move beyond racism except the people who demand to be identified solely by the color of their skin. An "African Students Association" is no less racist than a "White Students Association." They both exclude people based on color of their skin -- thus, both racist. That is a fact and to say otherwise would be incorrect and close-minded.

Anyone who rallies against racism but still uses skin color to quantify people, groups, even organizations at college, clearly is only keeping racism alive. So many of us are past racism; please join us!

Anonymous
Wed Nov 16 2011 13:25
LMAO black people cant be racist... funniest thing Ive heard all day
Anonymous
Wed Nov 16 2011 12:23
I'm a PhD Student in Sociology at the University at Albany and I got my BA in Sociology (Race & Urban Studies) at GSU, I study urban segragetion and race relations, and I am white. I proudly wear my Georgia State Alumni sweater everyday and I am constantly boast that GSU is one of the most diverse campuses in America. I'm not going to lie that this article sent a little cringe of pain in my heart, but on the other hand I can understand your point of view (without agreeing with it). I brought this exact point up in my African American studies class 4 years ago and I was explained things that I simply did not see. But in short, everything in America is accomodating to the consuming majority, which happens to be Whites. Let's face it, White people are freaking scared of anyone who does not look like them (there, I said it), and we have built a society around these feelings. Don't believe me? Check out the residential segregation in North Atlanta and in Southwest Atlanta. Being white in this country has never lacked priviledge, whereas being a racial/ethnic minority always is a challenge one way or another. Even your definition of racism vs. reverse racism seems to imply that racism in general is only applicable to White people, whereas minorities can only engage in "reverse racism." What? Racism is racism.

Someone discussed how this discussion is similar to the man/woman one, and I agree completely. Even with government policies and laws, there are only about 15 women CEOs in Fortune 500 companies. If you look at the most segregated urbans neighborhoods of America today you don't see a whole lot of White people. We (White people) don't have to put "White Women's League of Whatever because its implied (I'm sorry if I've got your blood boiling). Until a Black woman and a White woman truly have an equal opportunity in residendential, professional, and life choices, I will stand by my argument. Until there is true equality for all people we (White people) cannot impose our values on others because that is 1. unfair, and 2. continues the my-white-values-are-best legacy that this country is known for.

Additionally, the argurement seemingly mounts an attack solely on Black organizations. Provide more diverse examples of this "reverse racism" if you are going to attack the lack of diversity. I understand that you may feel unwelcomed to some of these groups, but I can tell you that I (white, middle-class, and straight) have attended African-American studies classes and conferences, chanted for equality with the LGBTQIQ community, and volunteered in communities where I was one of two white people.See equality is not about minorities getting whatever they want, but about minorities getting whatever the majority can get. Before you make your judgements on these Black organizations, I strongly recommend that you get out there and see for yourself. I'm not saying I'm the all-saint of racial equality, but you should interpret race relations based on what you experience, not on what you've merely observed. Your experience may have a significant impact on how you think about racism.

White people have everything
Wed Nov 16 2011 11:45
1) Black people cannot be racist. They can discriminate or be prejudiced, but they CANNOT be racist.
2) How sad is it that college educated people agree with this nonsensical attempt at an article?
3) I wish more white people would check and understand their privilege. The same privilege that allows them to never HAVE to create organizations that acknowledge and cater to them




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