There is an argument that people can only be racist if they happen to share the same perceived race as people in power. The equation for the argument is, “Racism = power + prejudice.” It’s counter-argued that that definition of racism is racist in itself, and most people prefer to go by the dictionary definitions which are:
2a : a doctrine or political program based on the assumption of racism and designed to execute its principles
b : a political or social system founded on racism
3: racial prejudice or discrimination
However, a white supremacist group who now lives in Ethiopia, under the logic they welcome of racism = power + prejudice, can reportedly, in their own words, say whatever they want and it not be considered racism in Ethiopia, which is a country in Africa that was never colonized by a European power. “Since people who are of African decent are in power here and most people here are of African decent, we can say any white supremacist material we want and we are absolved of racism,” said a spokesperson for the Ethiopian White Power movement. “This is a great way to use mental gymnastics as an excuse to be racist and horrible to people here in Ethiopia,” she continued. With a simple change in geography, she’s no longer racist even if she spreads the same white supremacist message. Incredible.
When we asked a local affirmative action advocate about this new definition of racism not found in the dictionary, they confirmed that only people who share the same perceived race as most people in power can be racist, and they told me to look it up in the dictionary. “Since I’m black, I can’t be racist, and it’s a great feeling for it to be physically impossible for me to be racist. This helps in situations where black owned businesses get an automatic 5% discount of government contracts like in St. Louis, when people hire black people like me which gives me more of a systemic advantage, and that works out pretty well for me; I don’t understand why everyone wouldn’t want me to get preferential treatment by the government because of my perceived race.” When I explained the situation with the Ethiopian White Power movement, and that there are places where black people of African decent are in power, she looked shocked and she started talking about how, “..evil white people are.” Her racism knows no bounds. For reference, as of writing, it’s still illegal in Liberia for anyone who isn’t African and black to be a citizen of Liberia. Also, the 5% discount based on race that St. Louis offers may be in violation of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.