Absolutely. Racism is about sociology, groups of people, and power structures. Prejudice and bias are about psychology and individual human actions and reactions.

We often missuse those words casually and it’s good of you to remind us what they actually mean.

On a side note it’s interesting to observe the behavior of people in microclimates that are different from the general United States.

For example, I lived in Detroit for many years. I don’t mean the White suburbs surrounding Detroit like many people mean when they say they come from Detroit.

I lived in Detroit proper, where almost all my neighbors were black, where almost all the shopkeepers I did business with on a daily basis were black, and where the city power structure that I worked with (as a business person) was overwhelmingly represented by Black people.

What’s interesting is that while I sometimes ran into people who were biased or prejudiced against me, that wasn’t my common everyday experience at all. Most of my neighbors and business associates treated me very kindly and fairly.

And even though as a White person I was in a very small minority, I never felt that anyone was trying to rig power structures against me, even though I’m sure people could easily have done that.

Now the analogy is incomplete, of course, because Detroit still lies in the middle of Michigan and is part of a much larger structure that is inherently racist against Black people. While City officials hold some power, their power is limited and challengeable.

I guess my point is that even given the opportunity to enforce racist structures against me if they had wanted to, I never encountered systemic opposition from any powerful Black people in Detroit.

Just from my own limited personal experience, not only can Black people not be racist in the United States (as you point out so well), the Black people I have known haven’t even tried to be when they found power concentrated in their hands.

Something to think about maybe.

Written by

Writer. Runner. Marine. Airman. Former LGBTQ and HIV activist. Former ActUpNY and Queer Nation. Polyglot. Middle-aged, uppity faggot. jamesfinnwrites@gmail.com

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