Opinion Racism

Why Only White People Can Be Racist

"The progressives quite fittingly have dusted off the original usage of the word racism and applied it to western peoples today to suppress their desire to defend their nationalities."

Why is it the position of much of progressive culture that only white people can be called racist? This is one of the most pervasive and pernicious issues in our society today and it has a lot of influence on the discourse about racism.

Whoopi Goldberg got herself in trouble by referring to the holocaust as white on white violence, not racism.[1] This shocked a lot of people, many just wrote her off as dumb, uniformed, silly. Maybe she is not the sharpest tool in the shed, after all, none of the women on The View are that intelligent. But what a lot of people missed in the discussion is that from some quarters racism is something only white people can be to non-white people.

Kenan notes, “Racism today is viewed primarily through the lens of “whiteness” and of “white privilege”. It is something that white people dish out. And something from which non-whites suffer (unless you’re an Asian-American, in which case you are deemed to be almost white).” Because Germans and Ashkenazi Jews were all light-skinned, and racism is only something white people can do to non-white people, then from the perspective of this definition of racism how can this be a racial issue?

Whoopi Goldberg fell for the trap of being honest about how many people view racism today[2], but she opined on the wrong issue, one that is just as sensitive as racism itself.

Of course, this whole discussion is confusing for the average person, because for most people racism is the sin of hating your foreign neighbour because of their ethnicity. Most people are not ok with this. This is why people find it utterly confusing that a large segment of the progressive left teaches that only white people can be racist. People know that anyone of any race can potentially hate people of other races. So, they are utterly confused when they hear progressives say that only whites can be racist.

For progressives, racism has to do with power and privilege, and for some progressives, it is only associated with power and privilege. White people in the West collectively hold the power and privilege because of sheer numbers and having been the ones who made the West and this means in everything — including wealth, language barriers, education and more, they have an advantage[3]. Because of this, only white people can be racist, because apparently they hold all the good cards in the deck, and this is used to maintain their power.[4]

So, when someone of another coloured race does something which is hateful of another coloured race, it is not racist because of white power pervading society. When a person of colour does something hateful against a white person, this is because it is a reaction to, or the result of, white power pervading society, and therefore it is not racist. In essence, only white people can be racist. It is the original sin of the white race.

This may appear to be a rather extreme summation of the view of racism found in many circles on the left. But it is not, for instance, this article in Vice titled: Dear White People, Please Stop Pretending Reverse Racism Is Real: It’s literally impossible to be racist to a white person, educates us on why only white people can be racist:

“Simply put, Morgan said reverse racism doesn’t exist and a person who claims otherwise is ‘outing themselves as someone who has little to no experience or knowledge of what racism is.’ Racism is based on a couple of things—historical, systemic oppression and power, Morgan explained. And as far as history goes, white people have never been persecuted for the colour of their skin[5]—so there’s no point comparing their experiences to those of black, brown, and Indigenous folks. ‘It’s slavery, colonialism, theft all kinds of violations on systemic proportions… versus feelings being hurt.’ There’s a difference, he noted, when white people who are in a position of power espouse a hatred of minorities than when it’s done the other way around”[6] (Manisha Krishnan, 2016).  

For those who are obsessed with privilege and power, the genuine and perceived privilege of modern people of European descent is itself a crime. There are likely many on the left who do not see it this way, but for many in that political camp racism is about power and privilege. Others may have a more moderate perspective, that is essentially that all people can be given to racism, but because white people hold the power and the privilege and it is our duty to punch up at those with the power, then we should only really highlight the racism of the white people in society.[7] Practically speaking this perspective has the same application: white people need to give up their positions of power and privilege to those of other skin colours.

You will hear these perspectives commonly referred to as critical race theory, or in the past, you may have heard them referred to as cultural or social Marxism, identity politics, the oppression Olympics, or something else. These are just changing names for the same poisonous ideas that are all designed to guilt the European descended man – and now increasingly woman – into feeling inherently evil. It is common to see them applied to overlapping progressive ideologies like gender theory, feminism and other leftist critical theories. The name changes often, I think it is just best to call them all wicked subversive poison, myself.

But when you understand the origin of the term racist, what it originally meant, and how it was originally used, then you can understand why the progressive says only white people can be racist, because the word racist does not, at least originally, mean what you think it means. NPR informs us, “The Oxford English Dictionary’s first recorded utterance of the word racism was by a man named Richard Henry Pratt in 1902. Pratt was railing against the evils of racial segregation.[8]

Ok, so far, so good. This fits with how most people think anti-racists should think, and condemn racial segregation. Let’s keep reading then to see who these wicked racists were that Pratt was railing against:

“Segregating any class or race of people apart from the rest of the people kills the progress of the segregated people or makes their growth very slow. Association of races and classes is necessary to destroy racism and classism.

Although Pratt might have been the first person to inveigh against racism and its deleterious effects by name, he is much better-remembered for a very different coinage: Kill the Indian…save the man.

“A great general has said that the only good Indian is a dead one,” Pratt said. “In a sense, I agree with the sentiment, but only in this: that all the Indian there is in the race should be dead. Kill the Indian in him, and save the man.”

We’re still living with the after-effects of what Pratt thought and did. His story serves as a useful parable for why discussions of racism remain so deeply contentious even now.”[9]

Shocked? Taken aback? Who was Pratt railing against when he spoke of the evils of racism? The Indians who wanted to remain segregated and maintain their race and culture. As he said, “All the Indian there is in the race should be dead.” Pratt’s view was that those who wanted to preserve their culture had an unhealthy and dangerous racism and that this love for their race, their desire to be separate and maintain their own culture needed to be stamped out of them. His means for achieving this was by creating mandatory “Indian schools” where Indian children were taken to be taught how to read and write like American children, so they could fit into the successful culture around them.

“For his time, Pratt was definitely a progressive,” Snyder said. Indeed, he thought his ideas were the only thing keeping Native peoples from being entirely wiped out by disease and starvation. “That’s one of the dirty little secrets of American progressivism — that [progress] was still shaped around ideas of whiteness.”

Snyder said that Pratt replaced the popular idea that some *groups *were natively inferior to others with the idea that some *cultures *that were the problem, and needed to be corrected or destroyed. In other words, he swapped biological determinism for cultural imperialism.”[10]

To most modern readers, Richard Henry Pratt is the racist because he wanted to wipe Indian culture out, “Kill the Indian in him, and save the man.” This is the epitome of racism today. But the grand irony is those who would call Pratt the racist or refer to his ideas as racism were using a term that he coined to describe a nationalistic trait that needed to be expunged from the Indian peoples; national pride and the desire to retain their language, culture and identity.

The racists were those, on either side, who wanted to preserve Indian culture. Because it is the preservation of unique cultures which is racist. So in part, the term racism was coined to condemn those who would preserve their culture, assert that their race existed and that they wanted it to be preserved. It was a man who was every bit as progressive as today’s progressives that coined the term racism in English.

It is fitting that progressives would say today that only “white” people can be racist because it is those with European heritage that are having their cultures over-ridden and done away with. It is western nations that are told they must celebrate multiculturalism in their borders, and downplay their own culture. It is those with European heritage that are concerned about the changes in their nations, and the decline of their peoples, it is those with European heritage that have begun to notice that just like the native Indian before them, they are being replaced and their culture, nations, and way of life is under assault.

The progressives quite fittingly have dusted off the original usage of the word racism and applied it to western peoples today to suppress their desire to defend their nationalities.

What did the word originally denote? A people who were not happy about losing their culture, national identity, and way of life. It makes sense for the progressive to then say only white people can be racist because it is only those of European heritage who are not supposed to defend their culture. Every bit of “race” in the westerner must be stamped out so that he does not reassert himself and his desire for his people to be preserved. What’s worse is how many westerners loathe their own people and culture.

The idea of white nationalism makes no sense to an Aussie like me, because I am not French, I am not Dutch, I am not German, I am not Swedish. I am Australian and of British heritage on both sides of my family, with a little bit of Slavic Russian mixed in. But for those with the West of European heritage, whatever it is, it is now their kids who are being retrained in schools to forget their national identity and history, it is now their culture which is called bland or neutral, the value of other cultures is now lifted above their own culture, and it is their heritage nations which they see being transformed around them in new multicultural Babylons. And it is when they say, “Hang on a minute–” that they are immediately called racist, just like the original victims of that term in early 20th century America.

So, why can only white people be racist according to the progressive leftist? Because it is traditional western culture that is being replaced, and all the other cultures that are being used to replace it need to be granted favoured status. To achieve this one of the most powerful rhetorical words possible, “racist,” has to be turned on those who don’t hate anyone really, but just love their people and their way of life. They need to be called the most deplorable of things, so that they will be disincentivized from lifting up their hands to say, “Hang on a minut–” as a people.

Reject the term racism. Don’t be ashamed of saying I don’t want my society to change, and if we want it to change we will do it ourselves. If you are Christian, note progressivism and multiculturalism has coincided with the decline of Christianity in the West. This should not be unexpected.

Multiculturalism killed the national religion of Israel, introducing all kinds of different cults and competitive belief systems, relativising society, and diluting true belief in God. God warned his people that this is the result of importing the religions that inevitably come from multiculturalism. You end up getting a society where a Christian Prime Minister will play down his own faith but openly celebrate the prayers of faiths that were once at war with our entire way of life.[11]  

This is not about hating people. Progressives say that those who want to preserve their culture and national identity are racists. That is the VERY origin of the word. But really those who want to preserve their culture and identity are just good citizens, honourable subjects, and people who love their nation.

Jesus loved his nation, Paul loved his nation, David loved his nation, Moses loved his nation (even when they angered him immensely with their grumbling, he advocated for them to be saved from destruction). One of the hallmarks of righteous people in the Bible is that they love their people. Why on earth would we accept anyone calling us racist for that? Laugh it off. Only a wicked man hates his own people because it is fashionable.   


[1] Malik Kenan, 2021,  “Whoopi Goldberg’s Holocaust remarks drew on a misguided idea of racism”, The Guardian

[2] Whoopi was not uninformed, she was speaking to the common way racism is defined in sectors of the left today, Kenan also notes, “So deep does the elision of racism and whiteness run that even the ADL, a leading Jewish organisation, defined racism as “the marginalization and/or oppression of people of color based on a socially constructed racial hierarchy that privileges white people”. In the wake of the Goldberg controversy, the ADL changed to an “interim” definition. In a mea culpa blog post, Greenblatt acknowledged that its own understanding of racism had been “so narrow” that it had “alienated many people who did not see their own experience encompassed in this definition, including many in the Jewish community”.

[3] Just like a Chinese man in China, or an Indian in India, but they ignore this fact.

[4] When progressives who say they advocate for equality say those who are in positions of favour and power, hold the privilege and the power and use it to maintain their privilege and power, this gives you a strong clue about what they really want. Not equality. They want the privilege and power, because they believe such things are their means of maintaining dominance over those they disagree with or disapprove of. Handing such people power and influence is the height of foolishness, because they do not believe it is to be used to serve the people, but to privilege and give favour to their identity group, whichever group that happens to be.

[5] The Turkish empire favoured taking white people as slaves, especially young white girls and boys, does this count? Or this because of white privilege as well? “Much attention and condemnation has been directed towards the tragedy of the African  slave trade , which took place between the 16th and the 19th centuries. However, another equally despicable trade in Barbary slaves was taking place around the same time in the Mediterranean. It is estimated that up to 1.25 million Europeans were enslaved by  Barbary corsairs and their lives were just as pitiful as their African counterparts. They have come to be known as the white slaves of Barbary.

[6] Manisha Krishnan, 2016, Dear White People, Please Stop Pretending Reverse Racism Is Real: It’s literally impossible to be racist to a white person.

[7] I once had a prominent leftist academic explain to me why a poor white kid born into a 3rd generation welfare home was more privileged than a Saudi Prince, because it was simply the colour of his skin that gave him that privilege. It mattered not how much privilege the Saud Prince had, or that he and his family could dictate how much Aussies on welfare pay for petrol, he didn’t live here, so it wasn’t relevant. Such a bankrupt worldview.

[8] Gene Demby, 2014, The Ugly Fascinating History of the Word Racism, NPR

[9] Ibid.

[10] Ibid.

[11] https://buset-online.com/message-from-the-prime-minister-ramadan-2022/#