Sunday, May 31, 2020

The use of the phrase "anti-black racism"

I have been trying my best to understand why the phrase "anti-black racism" (or "anti-Black racism") has taken over from just common garden-variety "racism" in recent years. It has always seemed to me like a bit of a redundant phrase ("redundant" in terms of the use of three words instead of one that works perfectly well).
I found an article specifically addressing this issue, but I'm still not much wiser. As far as I can tell, the crux of the matter is that black people have historically had a worse experience of racism than other races, which is probably quite true, and so they feel the need for a more specific phrase.
But I can't help but think that Asian people, Indian/Pakistani people, Middle Eastern people, who have also suffered more than their share of racism, must feel somewhat sidelined by this recent semantic development. Do we really have to reference "anti-Chinese racism", "anti-Arabic racism", etc? "Anti-Cambodian racism", maybe? Isn't the effect, the experience, of racism the same for them all?
I have to say, I still don't really get it, and I'm still not sure that it is a positive development. I can't help but think that creating unnecessary divisions in this way will result in the movement as a whole being weakened.

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