Do I benefit from anti-Black racism?

There’s been a connection I have on LinkedIn who frequently says that they are both the target of racism and benefit from anti-Black racism. That has me thinking: Do I benefit from anti-Black racism? Warnings below for brief mentions of police brutality, ableism, fatphobia and antisemitism.

Some Black folks do benefit from anti-Black racism. Conservative rich Black folks, Black folks who make a living grifting racists, basically anyone Black who aligns themselves with anti-Black racism can benefit from this. However, Black folks who do this are always the first to take the brunt when things go wrong. When folks are called out for antisemitism for example, it’s frequently antisemitic Black folks called out first while other antisemitic folks look for ways to avoid criticism to be directed at them. When a Black cop does police brutality, they are punished swiftly, far more harshly than anyone else, often don’t get protections that other cops do, and are effectively blacklisted from the field.

Whenever Black folks align themselves with anti-Black racism, they can make a lot of money from it, but their position is more precarious than anyone else doing that. Additionally, anti-Black racists don’t stop being racist to them just because they’re endorsing anti-Black racism. They still deal with anti-Black racism on a continuous basis. If they ever try to push back against this, they basically forfeit the benefits they had and get extremely high levels of anti-Black racism, which is why so many keep on doubling down until they lose their benefits due to either going too extreme for big companies or they do a minor pushback on something that would cause them to lose them to lose a bunch of benefits and the pushback itself causes the collapse of benefits.

Going back to the main question: Do I benefit from anti-Black racism despite frequently calling out anti-Black racism and trying my best to not align myself with it? I do, though in limited ways. First, Western eurocentric academia heavily encourages aligning yourself with anti-Black racism. The field I am going into has a long history with that sort of thinking. Though I plan for my dissertation to break this sort of thinking, the fact of the matter is that I will still be in an institution that benefits from anti-Black racism. Second, my high level of education has folks often make much rosier assumptions about me than Black folks with less education than me and I have to pushback on this racist and ableist assumption. The reason for the specification in ableism is because they often assume a lack of ability and make derogatory comments about disability. Third, my thinness is often weaponized against fat Black queer people and I am seen as “more likeable” because of fatphobia. Lastly within academia, some folks might try to force me in situations where I would benefit further from anti-Black racism.

Does this benefit offset the antiblackness I deal with? No! The benefit I get is limited and quickly goes away since I call out racism rather than aligning myself with it. Anyways, this was interesting to think about.

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