Anonymous asked you:
Why is there no such thing as white people being oppressed? In England historically, depending on who was in power, many many white people were oppressed, e.g. Irish and Scottish people, as well as Catholics and Protestants at different times. How can you justify erasing all of their experiences by saying white people were never oppressed?
(This is copied and pasted from a previous post, so that’s why it addresses Jews as well)
Irish, Jewish and Scottish people have been oppressed at some point or another by those in power. However, the point that you’re missing is that they were oppressed because of religion or ethnicity i.e. the country that they came from, not because they were white. White oppression doesn’t exist. In all the cases you mentioned and any more you can think of, the white people being oppressed were being oppressed by other white people. So, not racial oppression.
This would be like me saying that because I’m a white woman (I’m not, but for argument’s sake) it’s not fair to say that I never experienced oppression because I do, from sexism. However, racial oppression and gender oppression are two entirely different things. It is possible to be racially oppressed but not oppressed for your gender, it is possible to be oppressed for your gender but not racially oppressed, and likewise it is possible to be oppressed because of your ethnicity/religion but not because of your race.
Just as a side note: many Jews (I’m tackling WWII here, not any periods before that because my knowledge is scarce) killed by the Nazis were not white.
There are two possible arguments regarding WWII: if you consider ‘Jewish’ to be a race, then the Jews were racially oppressed. Race is a social construct, and the Nazis had completely different ideas about what made a person ‘white’ than we do. They considered anyone Jewish to be non-white, no matter how light their skin-tone. Therefore, although many Jews were white according to us, Hitler and the Nazis were the white people in their own eyes, and the Jews were not.
Others say that ‘Jewish’ is not a race but a religion. Fine, then, in that case, the Jews were killed because of their religion.
Either way, they were oppressed either for 1.) religion or 2.) racially- BUT the Nazis’ definitions of white was not the same as ours and so they were not white people being oppressed, they were non-white people being oppressed.
Even if you think that we should use what we would consider white (i.e. many of the Jews were), you still don’t win, because in that case it would be white people oppressing white people and not racial. In this case, too, you would be ignoring the thousands of Jewish PoC who suffered during the war.
There are literally no incidences in history of white people being oppressed by others simply because they were white. There are many instances where people were oppressed for their ethnicity or their religion, and those people just happened to be white. But it was not racial oppression. Saying that white people never experienced oppression for being white, therefore, is not erasing their experiences because although they DID experience oppresion, it was not BECAUSE they were white. It was because of something else, and, coincidentally, they were also white.
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