General Article Can white people experience racism?

Topic Selected: Racism Book Volume: 376

In its most simplistic definition, racism is prejudice or discrimination directed at someone of a different race – based on the belief that your own race is superior.

By Natalie Morris

Taking this definition at its word, then, would suggest that it is possible for a person of any race to experience racism if someone treats them badly for this reason – even white people.

But this definition of racism leaves out one crucial element: The power structures that uphold and perpetuate racism.

Racism doesn’t exist in a vacuum. It exists within a hierarchical structure with power at its core. Racism only works because one group has power and other groups do not.

And it is white people who – historically, and in the West at least – hold the power when it comes to racial divides, thanks to centuries of Eurocentric beliefs and structures that continue to privilege and centre whiteness.

Think about it in terms of the effects

If an ethnic minority person treats a white person badly because of inh...

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