How dare you call me what I transparently am.
Something I’ve noticed in recent times is the increasing sensitivity of the racist’s feelings. Who amongst us knew the pontificating bigot had such delicate, tender sensibilities? When you call them out for what they are, their feelings are hurt. Truly, I have seen this response from the racist crescendo over the past few years to the point where it now seems to me that the worst possible thing you can call a racist is…a racist.
Allow me to summarise: “Surely you understand the only racists who ever lived were paid up KKK members or officially Nazis, or officially Neo-Nazis? Furthermore, I grew up in the last part of the 20th Century in a multicultural, secular society therefore I am automatically immune from holding any of these prejudices. Consequently, what I’m saying is just common sense, just observations! What’s that? My common sense observations are ignorant and informed by my experience of white supremacy and privilege? Excuse me? What did you just call me? RACIST?!?! WHAT?!?!”
How dare you contradict my feelings with your elitist facts.
We in the West who are now adults were all educated in pretty much the same way around this issue. All of us were taught Holocaust studies and what can happen if the racists are left to operate unchecked. Most of all, we were all taught that being racist is bad and wrong.
However, some of us grew up in households where long-held prejudice continued on unabated. Some of us inherited those prejudices, actually quite a few of us from what I can see. This behaviour exists on a continuum, with varying degrees of virulence. When you insist that the only real racists are the legitimately deranged ones, or the now-dead ones, you necessarily excuse all types of bad (racist) behaviour.
And the world is changing rapidly, and globalisation has winners and losers, and political correctness (which is just not being awful) stymies legitimate discussion…Mmm hmm, yes, yes, racists I hear your excuses.
To which I say: some people just like their prejudice; they find it comforting, they want to feel innately superior. Especially, they hate being made to confront the consequences of their attitudes and behaviour. Most especially, they don’t want to feel bad. These people are very in their feelings! They feel that climate change is a scam, they feel like immigrants are taking their jobs and they feel like Fundamental Islamic Terrorism is the biggest threat to them. Facts don’t matter, statistics make no difference to the argument and the truth just doesn’t jibe with their feelings. In addition, how dare you make them feel bad by contradicting their feelings with your elitist facts. How dare you call their feelings out as fearful prejudice and scape-goaty racism.
My feelings are very important!
People who scape-goat others for their own political ends- whether it’s Farage in Britain, Hanson in Australia or Trump in the USA insist they’re not racist in an attempt to neutralise their critics. Of course they do. Everyone knows that being a racist is wrong and bad and when you’re trying to build a political movement you can’t be wrong or bad. Ipso facto, you can’t be racist. Even when you’re using tactics that proved spectacularly successful for a party whose name rhymes with Fartzy.
When you call Mexican immigrants rapists and drug dealers, or when you call for all Muslim immigration to Australia to be halted, or when you openly advocate for discrimination to be legal in the work-place, you are being racist. But people who respond to these messages and share these fears don’t want to think of themselves as racists; consequently you end up with sophistry and semantic nonsense.
Firstly – Donald Trump: “I am the least racist person” , secondly – Senator Hanson said she was misunderstood and was not a racist and thirdly – Farage: “I’ve had enough of people insinuating that UKIP is racist”. All this semantic twisting and pretzeling so people who are having their prejudices indulged and stoked don’t have to feel bad!
In conclusion, it seems to me there’s a very easy answer to all of this; please allow me to lay it out. If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, if it dives down and waggles its little racist feet like a duck…then it’s a duck.
So you don’t like being called a duck? It hurts your feelings to be called a duck? The answer is simple: STOP QUACKING.