Popular Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie appeared on BBC program Newsnight, and has sparked debates on if a black person can indeed be racist.
In a debate with the Editor-In-Chief of American Spectator, Robert Emmett Tyrell Jr., Adichie had claimed that Donald Trump was racist, a statement Tyrell had rejected.
In response to Tyrell’s rejection, the award-winning author said: “I am sorry… But if you are a white man, you don’t get to define what racism is.”
Tyrell had tried to explain that racism was a Marxist concept, but that according to Adichie, he couldn’t even “open my mouth here because I am a white male.”
First off, what is racism?
According to Google, it is “prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against someone of a different race based on the belief that one’s own race is superior.”
Following this definition, it is impossible for anybody who isn’t white to be racist. If anybody who isn’t white treats a person from another race unfairly, it is simply termed prejudice. A group which is already subjugated cannot be racist, only prejudicial.
Many people however disagree with this, being of the opinion that any discrimination racially counts as racism, a superiority complex being present or not.
Watching the video, there’s a hint of arrogance and condescension in Ms. Adichie’s voice as she constantly tells him why he can’t define racism because he’s white. To the second school of thought, that statement comes off as being racist.
On social media, some supported her stance, while there was also some opposing views. See some comments below!
Just to be clear, Chimamanda saying a white male cannot talk about racism is utter nonsense.
— Dr. Dipo Awojide (@OgbeniDipo) November 12, 2016
Lmao, the amusing part of that interview was that chimamanda was addressing racism with racism. Inceptionracism ???
— Khalifa. (@Yemzine) November 12, 2016
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie shading this white dude who’s claiming Trump’s not racist is all of us right now. pic.twitter.com/eFvFIMk8XL
— Tahir A. Duckett (@TahirDuckett) November 11, 2016
Isn’t what Chimamanda Adichie said in itself racist? Or at least prejudice and -ve stereotype? Is racism only a construct of white & black??
— Juliet ‘Kego (@julietkego) November 12, 2016
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is absolutely brilliant. Sorry, not sorry.
— Adaobi Onyeakagbu (@The_Ardah) November 12, 2016
What do you think of Ms. Adichie’s comments? Could a black person really be racist?