There’s nothing more telling about whether or not someone is a racist than when you bring up racism and they tell you it’s racist to do so. That’s been the rule since time immemorial, and it’s also exactly what cornered racists do — try and turn the accusation around on someone, even if they’re only asking about it.
You’ve heard it a million times: “Democrats are the REAL racists! Lincoln freed the slaves! Democrats just want your votes!”
It’s pointless to do another history lesson for them, because no matter how many times you explain the shift from southern Democrats to Dixiecrats to Republicans — even if you offer up Strom Thurmond, an actual Dixiecrat-turned-Republican, as an example — they can’t ever imagine themselves being racists.
In fact, it seems like most white people have mentally constructed this “racism golem” that hates all nonwhites. Maybe it has swastikas on it, but it’s definitely well-versed in racial slurs. It is a ham-handed monster, doling out hate, discord, and pain without regard to the specific hue of brown, red, or yellow its laser-focused racism beam is aimed at.
Of course, this golem looks nothing like them. They are not racists, after all. How could they be racist? They speak some Spanish. They have a couple of black friends who sometimes enjoy an off-color joke. No, these whites are definitely not racist, because racism looks one way, and what they do doesn’t look like that.
Couple this with the lack of humility in considering whether your opinion might be wrong that is seemingly assigned to all conservative white people at birth, and you end up with Unintentional Racism. It can sound pretty mean to others, but most whites aren’t even aware of it.
They say things like:
“I’m not racist, but…”
“I don’t see color”
“I jewed him down to $20”
“ALL lives matter”
Yes, you are a racist if you say those things. No, you are not Hitler. You’re just a product of years of white conditioning that dictates that racists are Bad People and you are a Good Person, and that therefore nothing you say should be construed as racist, because you don’t mean it that way, because you are a Good Person.
Does that sound like any Presidents you know? Because this is what the thing I’m talking about sounds like in practice, and Donald Trump just did it today, directly to the face of a black reporter from PBS:
Featured image via screen capture