Estimated reading time: 9 minute(s)
Black people of course cannot be racist towards white people, but can racist attitudes take place towards other People of Color (POC)?
When you have been conditioned to hate everything that is not white, you internalize racist behaviors that plague POC.
When you have been conditioned for so long to think a certain way about yourself and others, you turn into a copy of your oppressors.
Internalized racism is when conscious or subconscious acceptance of stereotypes about POC takes place. It is racist attitudes towards ethnic groups, even if it’s your own people. It is the product of self hatred, and the ingrained toxicity of white supremacy. We start adopting the oppressor’s mindset, and become other than ourselves.
Cases of this would be skin bleaching, black people calling dark skinned women ugly, or even East Asian people wearing blackface. Internalized racism reflects the stereotypes and overall racism placed on POC for centuries. It’s accepted by those who might even be affected by it. Internalized racism turns People of Color into Crackers of Color.
Remember when Azealia Banks went on Twitter and started throwing racial slurs at Zayn Malik not too long ago? That was a case of internalizing stereotypes of middle eastern people, and using that oppressive language as fuel for her comebacks.
When you see a self hating black person go on and on about how ugly black people are, it is such a sad thing to see. They’re literally black too! But because they have internalized the stereotype that black people are ugly, they truly believe it. They would be the “Uncle Toms/Ruckus” the “Negropeans” and “Sell outs”; and are happy with their thinking. Those who are filled up with internalized racism get labeled with these names in the black community.
However, victims of internalized racism sometimes are just honestly misguided and need to be taught to love themselves again. These victims can be as young as 3 years old. When children can hate their skin, their hair, their eye shape, or their entire culture, that’s how you know they’re suffering from a white supremacist disease.
There must be a self check of internalized racism. If you’re living in a poisonous environment, it’s good to check yourself and identify any symptoms that the poison is in your system. What stereotypes of your own people, or others, do you laugh at? Make mockery of? What stereotypes do you take as how that group truly is (negatively)? Do you make fun of people’s accents? Their unique names? Their countries?
We have an entire system oppressing us, but the oppressed have been conditioned to become just as bad as the oppressors. The poison had gotten into our bloodstreams, thus, we show signs of bigotry against our own people and others.
Knowledge and acceptance of self is key to help cure internalized racism. When you learn to love yourself first, that’s when the racial prejudice against your own cease to exist. Remind members of your race that they are beautiful.If you hear or see anyone make fun of “Asian eyes” for instance, or say racial slurs, tell them to stop. We are already fighting an enemy, we don’t need a worse one: Ourselves.
(Follow Nzinga Muhammad on Twitter @QueenNzinga13)