A lot of times, white people call things or people racist as a joke or a generic insult. For instance:
- In response to someone expressing a preference for white shoes over black shoes
- In response to someone saying something that offends them for some unrelated reason
However, there are people of a different ethnicity who do that too… Yet this gives the impression it’s only white people who should stop…
Everyone should stop. But there is a reason that I mentioned white people specifically.
In the US, and I’m sure in other places as well, it’s really common for white people to base their self-image on seeing themselves as Good People Who Aren’t Racist. That racism comes from bad people, but we’re ~not that kind of people~.
Or, in other words: many, many white people care much more about seeing themselves as not-racist than they do about not doing racist things. This is considered normal and socially acceptable.
And it’s a problem, because our culture is founded on centuries of racist violence. (It’s also founded on many other things, many of them good and important. But racism is a major element, and that matters). Seeing yourself as above being racist doesn’t undo that. It takes actual work. Telling jokes like that trivializes the work that is needed.