I read this interesting article (in German):
, and translated it into English:
The racism in our society suggests a very different level of criticism or not at all, depending on the direction from which it comes.
The uncomfortable truth is that the white race is the most violent and oppressive natural force on earth. ”Munroe Bergdorf makes no secret out of her dislike of a certain ethnic group. Racism is ”not learned”, she says further, but ”inherited” and ”passed by privileges”. Bergdorf’s comments were aired last week in a video clip at the British BBC.
Munroe Bergdorf, 30, according to her own statement a ”transgender mixed race person”, is a British model. In August, the cosmetics company L’Oréal named her ”face of the new diversity” in the course of her ”Diversity Initiative” and ended her cooperation four days later, after Bergdorf posting racist comments on whites.
In the BBC clip Bergdorf repeats these statements almost with the same phrases, but the public broadcasting corporation does not seem to have any problem with providing the model with a platform for commentaries that, if they would have come from a white celebrity they would no doubt have fallen under hate-speech, the statements due to which she was dismissed by a private company. But there was no great outcry. Apart from a few furious Twitter comments, no mentionable indignation took place. As a ”transgender mixed race person”, you are obviously allowed to do something that others are not allowed to do: to slander an ethnic group altogether.
The example of the well-known US rapper Talib Kweli Greene shows that racism in our society, depending on the direction from which it comes from, is met with a different amount of criticism. Greene recently insulted the conservative journalist Ben Shapiro on Twitter as a ”white boy”. ”White boy” is like ”black boy” a skin-coloured insult. When Shapiro confronted him on Twitter with what he had written, Greene wrote: ”What is the problem, white boy? You mean ‘white boy’ is racist? Wow. You’re more stupid than I thought. But Shapiro should not dare to call him” black boy”, since that is racist. Because white people could not really be victims of racism. The big outcry over Greene’s remarks, which more than a million followed on Twitter, did not happen.
Yusra Khogali, co-founder of the Black Lives-Matter movement Toronto, has already stood out with a row of extreme, racist comments. According to a blog in the Huffington Post of 8.2.2017, she once publicly said that whites are sub-human because of their white skin. As the blog author James Di Fiore writes, she supported her assertion that whites do not have a high proportion of melanin, which prevents them from absorbing light and thus also the sense of moral clarity. In February 2016, she even tweeted: ”Please, Allah give me the strength to not curse / kill these men and white people today. Please. Please. Please.” According to Canadian newspaper Toronto Sun, she wrote on her Facebook page about whites as people with “recessive, genetic defects ”. Apart from the Toronto Sun journalist, who demanded Khogalis’s resignation from the Black Lives Matter movement in his Huff blog and some angry reactions in the social media, the political and media outrage did also here not take place.
That different yardsticks hold for Khogali, Greene and Bergdorf and that this moral inconsistency seems to be anchored in parts of society, shows also the US-Blog Rabbe.ca. under the title ”White people have no right to criticize Yusra Khogali’s anger,” the author explains that people who suffer from the ”racism problem of the system” cannot be held responsible for their angry utterances – these activists have only one ”Commitment to their movement”.
It is certainly so that because of the history whites should be more sensitive, more sensitized in dealing with ethnic minorities. The hostility with which their relatives sometimes still struggle today are real. Abuses exist. Racism exists. And it is important to draw attention to it. To speak in public about it. Raise the awareness of society. No one should be defamed because of his or her gender.
But this does not change the fact that racism is racism no matter what group it comes from. Historical discrimination or current grievances are not a justification for further racism, nor for racist comments. Those who are now silent, who are otherwise fast with pointing at injustices, as long as it serves the ”right” purpose – media, politics, celebrities, activists and opinion makers – are obviously now the ones looking away. To make up for past injustice with a kind of over-compensation, is the wrong way to solve the problem.
Munroe Bergdorf will have suffered injustices, her frustration, her anger is understandable. But by doing exactly what she blames others for – pointing her finger towards a whole specific group, again and again, without making a distinction between actual racists and others, she forces the public to choose one side. In doing so, she influence people to again put more weight on the skin-color rather than simply perceive it as an attribute such as hair-color – and thus the categorizing of people in groups is more likely to increase.
The result: Burgeoning rage over the unequal moral compasses, rage among the accused and a society that is becomes more and more divided. This too is part of the uncomfortable truth.