You should hear Tim Wise go on about this (or read one of his books). Serious shit.
No, racism includes every human being on the planet. And the fact that you’re distinguishing between “whites” and “non-whites” is in itself racist.
If there was a Caucasian girl in an area where Caucasian was not the majority, and she was being bullied for being Caucasian, would you tell her that they’re not being racist? That she should suck it up because she’s privileged because she’s white? No, you most likely wouldn’t.
I agree, an African American girl making fun of you in middle school isn’t racism. But you cannot exclude Caucasians from racism, because that’s racist.
So, I’d say not quite.
Racism as a term is definitely not exclusive of all “human beings,” however, it isn’t necessarily inclusive given a particular society. The problem is that you choose a situation that has flaws. A Caucasian girl in an area where Caucasians are not the majority, where she is being bullied for being Caucasian? Sure, that kind of sounds more like racism. Except that doesn’t really happen, and even if she was being bullied on grounds of her being Caucasian, that bullying doesn’t run deep enough to compare to racism as we know it in our society today.
If that did happen and there was enough history and oppression and sociological pressure to justify it being outright called racism, then I would absolutely agree that little white girl is a victim of racism. But if all of those conditions are not true, this is garden-variety discrimination, the same way you might be bullied for having big ears, wiry hair, or an annoying laugh. Should you suck it up? No. Is it fine for you to bullied? Absolutely not. But is it racism? Fuck no.
This is racism: decades of oppression within a particular society (and we can treat America pretty ubiquitously here given shared history, shared laws and justice system, and shared attitudes and portrayals in the media). When your average black woman goes to the store and needs assistance but consistently won’t get it given many different black women in many different scenarios (while your average white woman both gets preferential treatment AND is the catalyst for fair treatment, if any, given to anyone i.e. the white woman decides to help the black woman [i.e. watch The Help—seriously, wtf?]), which, by the way, we HAVE done studies on, that is racism. That black woman is not thinking “Oh these guys are just isolated cases of discrimination based off of the color of my skin and maybe they have some negative views but they are not widespread flaws that will undermine me within the system.” She is instead thinking “This is the way my society is and the connotations that are involved with the color of my skin due to centuries of how people like me are portrayed through television and media and laws, and the economic setbacks we’ve been put through because of the economics in terms of eligibility for loans (and, in later decades, stability of loans) as well as our educational disadvantages and whether or not we’ve been compensated over the years, and I feel fear and pain as well as overall decreased self-worth because this permeates every part of my life.” That is racism as we know it empirically.
Find me a white person in the western world who suffers from that. If the day ever comes that our scientific and sociological studies show that in normal every-day-life situations all white people are disadvantaged (be it applying for a job or asking for road-side assistance) because racism against whites has become fully internalized within both whites and non-whites alike, and where treatment of whites in legislature and social situations and by financial corporations and employers is markedly unequal to the treatment of non-whites in a negative sense, to the point where people born into the color of skin called “white” are being instilled with a sense of inequality and suffering by the social trends alone (before even personal experiences kick in), then, yes, we will have observed racism against white people.
Until then, it is safe to say that racism as we have observed it, especially in the western world and in all cases, is only defined by powerful enough experiences in our particular society as the experiences of non-whites. Most other experiences can be lumped into general distasteful discrimination (or, where it truly happens, some forms of reverse-discrimination, though most of those are laughable excuses for real discrimination). In order to call it racism, it has be as strong as oppression and continuing exploitation of an entire race of people, not simple personal experiences (which will never ache or hurt as much as personal experiences combined with an entire social exploitation that cannot, in any way shape or form, be evaded or succeeded).
So, no, this does not exclude Caucasians from racism fundamentally. (And, of course, in the past, in certain societies, treatment of white people [even by other white people] have, before, qualified as racism). What it does say is that we can define racism by what’s happened in our modern society to call a particular thing racism, and this is something that Caucasians here have not (and probably will never) experience, and if they do, we’ll be able to apply the same term to them in a fair and comparable manner. Bullying of a Caucasian girl in a non-Caucasian environment, though, could never be more than pure discrimination/bullying/hate or “generally isolated discrimination,” because that girl is not suffering from as widespread and heavily ingrained an experience socially, politically, etc. as the non-whites do.
I have yet to converse with an anthro/soc major or with a Professor teaching and studying issues of racism and of affirmative action who believes otherwise, or who even has any evidence to believe otherwise.
Here’s someone who says it way, way better than I do, the entire point of the difference between systematic experiences and non-systematic ones: Link
P.S. Tori if you’d like to converse at greater length, feel free to responsd here or to message me, and I’d love to recommend links on journals, studies, and readings (or receive some from you) to spark further discourse.