Can black people be racist? This is not for me to answer, but something that I have wondered about. In trying to find a definitive answer to this question I have become more confused. I think it depends on how you define “racism”. In the Pendle Hill Pamphlet that we all received in the mail during COVID isolation, author/scholar/activist Harold D. Weaver, Jr. says, “No”. According to Dr. Weaver, racism = power & discrimination/prejudice. Power is a key component of the equation and in his view, only the dominant, power wielding group (whites) can act on their negative feelings about people of the subordinated groups in a manner that effects racism.

On the other hand, Dr. Ibram X. Kendi says, “Yes”. Again, it seems to boil down to power, and Dr. Kendi says when a black person is in a policy making position and defends policies that hurt black people, he or she is acting in a racist manner. The bottom line for me is that this is not a significantly important question. Arguments can be found to support either point of view. I can leave this debate to black scholar/activists and focus queries inward to consider what policies and behaviors I may be acting on that disadvantage others. That’s enough to keep me busy.

Any race questions/answers that you have uncovered and want to share? We’d love to hear from you!

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