Today I would like to discuss how a victim mentality relates to the anti-racism movements. On the whole, I believe the movement is a good cause as we should live in a world without harmful old colonial era ideologies. Such ideologies include eugenics, the ideology of White Supremacy, colourism and subsequent internalised racism. Unfortunately ideologies of old continue to flourish especially geo-politically.
Colonial oppression tactics affect the modern day world including; Francophone African Countries contributing $500 billion to the French Treasury yearly, building £700,000 prison in Nigeria, American drone attacks on civilians in Syria, multinationals avoiding tax and sanctions on Venezuela which according to this article ”rubbed salt on the wound”. These are the issues which need to be fixed on the world stage. Individuals such as politicians should question governments and multinational corporations appalling treatment of developing nations which were plundered during the colonial era. The issues above should be focussed on by both the western media and anti-racism movements. One country which is hardly mentioned – Brazil has appalling treatment of its non-white population with statistics to show a much deeper problem than that of the United States.
I discussed my thoughts on White privilege here, I’m certainly of the impression this term does nothing but confuse some white people, invoke guilt on some while others may accept it as reality. Focusing on pointing out White privilege to say children, as they did in this experiment does not do anything to dismantle the power structure. In my opinion it feeds it as you install in many people a victim mentality. Stating White privilege again and again especially to non-white Children only teaches them to be aware of their lesser status.
This is another discussion point the anti-racism movement and the media state, the need to diversify television programmes. Examples are; James bonds, doctor who, this article from 4 years ago and the obsession that the Oscars is too white. For the first 2 points of media representation there is no way I can agree with unnaturally planting a Black actor into programming that have historically always been dominated by a White lead actor. To change their race may turn loyal viewers away. This doesn’t mean the viewers are racist, but the viewer can see race politics being pushed into their show that they use for escapism. As for the Oscars being ”too White” how about instead of exhibiting a victim mentality creating another academy awards?
Cultural appropriation is another term used by the anti-racism movement. Cultural appropriation is described as follows by Wikipedia…
Cultural appropriation is the adoption of an element or elements of one culture or identity by members of another culture or identity.
There are example of individuals who may use aspects of another culture as a caricature which can be offensive to those groups being depicted, but by definition cultural appropriation doesn’t sound like a big enough issue for the ”anti-racist movement” to tackle.
So how does all this invoke a victim mentality within non-whites?
From my perspective the anti-racism agenda doesn’t empower individuals, but tends to focus on how wrong the world is and why we should feel hard done by as the examples I gave above. These messages don’t dismantle racism but enforces it as it keeps people divided and bitter. Solutions should be used more and looking towards the establishment to change is never a good idea. Its akin to asking your abuser to stop abusing you when instead of punching you, he may instead decide to verbally insult you.
Both is wrong.
Non-whites are in a position of privilege living in developed nations such as; France, UK, US, Canada etc because they have the resources available at their fingertips to break free of the abuse of racism to better challenge the people who wish to divide us, oppress us and victimise us. Organisations should change their approach in the battle to tackle racism by empowering disadvantaged groups to use self-agency. This self-agency can fuel the African diaspora among other groups in developed nations to start businesses, develop media, educational institutions and political lobby groups.
At the end of the day unity and empowerment is the only way to fight any ”ism”.