Can a white person be a victim of racism?

(Photo: Getty/iStock)

It seems such a trivial story. The kind of story that only the most vacuous gossip tabloids would be interested in. A famous footballer allegedly gets drunk, throws up in the back of a cab, the police are called, and the footballer allegedly abuses an officer. Now the Chelsea footballer has been charged with 'racially aggravated harassment' of a police officer in London. What's the big deal? And why should we care about any of it?

The footballer in question is the Australian women's captain, Sam Kerr. She is a bit of a hero in her own country and one of the most famous female footballers in the world. The alleged incident occurred in January 2023 but has only come to light in the past week, due to the Sun newspaper reporting it.

At first some people here in Australia were horrified – could our superstar be racist? That must be impossible – she is a woman! She is gay! She is a woman of colour! And she has impeccable progressive views – at least in public! But has she turned out to be a closet racist?

Then came the news about what it is she is supposed to have said to the officer - allegedly "stupid white b******". It wasn't just a sense of relief, it was almost hysterical joy that erupted on social media. Suddenly the phrase was being used all over the place with pictures of white male politicians being attached to it.

And therein lies the seriousness of what is an otherwise silly and trivial story. It demonstrates the contradictions, inconsistencies and confusion within our culture caused by identity politics – especially identity politics fuelled by critical race theory. Because in critical race theory, white people are always racist and can never be the victims of racism. Those of us simpletons who just understood racism as discriminating against someone because of their race or skin colour are way behind the curve on this.

As the Guardian, the Sydney Morning Herald, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation and numerous online commentators told us, "to call someone 'white' cannot be racist" because you cannot be racist against white people. Apparently to accuse someone of racism who attacks another because of their white skin colour is to 'gaslight' the real victims of racism. The Guardian is worried that our doctrine of racism is not pure enough: "Racism is no longer the ideology that accompanies racial capitalist systems of colonialism, slavery and imperialism; it becomes a matter of individual morality."

So, there you have it. Racism wasn't really about individual morality. It all has to do with capitalism, colonialism, slavery and imperialism, which clearly are things that white people alone do. The progressives have drunk so deep at the well of critical race ideology that they seem unaware of the history of the human race. Red and yellow, black and white, may all be precious in Jesus' sight, but we also have all at some time or other engaged in slavery, imperialism and colonialism. I've even met some Chinese, African and Arab capitalists!

The term slave comes from the white Slavs because so many of them were taken into slavery by Arab and African traders. No race or nation can be free from the charge of slavery. But there is only one Empire which got rid of it at great cost and that was the British Empire whose conscience had been stirred by Christianity.

The transatlantic slave trade was horrific – and is rightly to be repented of - but equally we must note the role that the British played in getting rid of slavery in many countries of the world. Kerr's own country, Australia, has never had slavery – despite it being one of those capitalist, imperialist colonies. Dare I suggest that this was because it was one of those capitalist imperialist colonies?

Nonetheless, according to the crypto-Marxist critical race theory which has infected the upper echelons of our society, successful people of colour like Prime Minister Rishi Sunak or Business and Trade Secretary Kemi Badenoch are just disregarded as 'Uncle Toms' and tools in the hands of the white oppressors.

Another example of this 'doublethink' comes from a case in south Australia about a woman accused of verbally attacking someone because they were white. The judge ruled that being white per se was not descriptive of any particular ethnic, national or racial group and was not a term of abuse because white people are the dominant people historically and culturally within Australia and were therefore not in any sense an oppressed group.

Just think how inane that remark is and what it would mean if taken to its logical conclusion (although logic does seem to have disappeared from much of modern society – probably because it is seen as a tool of Western colonialism!). Black, brown and yellow skin colours are all indicative of race but white, it seems, isn't - although there is apparently still a white race which oppresses people. Go figure.

Although white people are apparently not an ethnic, national or racial group, they are still the dominant culture in Australia where 90.2 per cent of the population are white so according to this logic they cannot be oppressed. Try telling that to the white working class poor. And does this mean that if I go to a country like Nigeria or China that it cannot be racist if I use racial slurs against the majority black or Chinese population because they are dominant?

Despite all the theory and the jargon there is a double standard at play here. Let's return to Kerr's alleged abuse and just substitute the word 'white' in "stupid white b******" to 'black' and then imagine how the Guardian, Chelsea and the BBC would have handled it. This suggests there is somehow a 'right' kind of racism.

Another recent incident in London is further evidence of just how far down the rabbit hole our society has gone in this craziness when a West End theatre decided to host black-only nights. Black American playwright Jeremy O'Harris told the BBC this was so that black people could "feel safe" in the theatre.

Imagine if I were a playwright and advocated that only white people would be allowed into my theatre on certain nights! The Prime Minister's office was right to say that "clearly restricting audiences on the basis of race would be wrong and divisive".

In this brave new world, where skin colour trumps everything, we are simply magnifying racism, increasing division by race, and reinventing apartheid when we adopt this insane ideology.

The Church should be able to provide the answer for this but, sadly, much of the Church has also swallowed wholesale the critical race theory doctrines. The Church of England for example is only speeding its inevitable oblivion by spending lots of money on hiring 'deconstructing whiteness' staff!

There is a biblical answer to all this and it's simple.There is only one race – the human race. To discriminate on the basis of colour is clearly a sin. To divide the body of Christ on that basis is worse because it negates the witness of the Church. It is in the true church that you see the true unity of humanity – where all the barriers are broken down and we are all 'one in Christ Jesus' (Galatians 3:28).

I once stood at my church door and noted that we had an African, Chinese, Indian and a European on door duty. It wasn't planned or rostered that way, it just happened and I was so thankful because while the world talks about who is really black, a person of colour, or a racist, the Church of Jesus Christ in many parts of the world just gets on with creating that multitude that no one can count – from every nation, tribe, people and language (Revelation 7:9).

David Robertson is the minister of Scots Kirk Presbyterian Church in Newcastle, New South Wales. He blogs at The Wee Flea.