Five kinds of racist and how to deal with them.

Racism comes in many shapes and sizes – all of them ugly. Racists have always walked among us, hiding in plain shite, but before 2016 it was generally considered “not okay” to be racist as fuck… Wasn’t it?

Fast-forward a few years though, and it seems that ‘being a racist piece of shit’ is well and truly de rigueur.

The tiny-fisted tangerine in the White House is openly and brazenly racist – and unapologetic about being so. The roughly human-shaped, wiggy-Bungle, currently residing at No.10 is also a seasoned racist – unashamedly so.

They’re not even trying to hide it. Instead, they drum up support from drifts of Gammon by claiming victimhood. It’s an entirely deliberate and particularly shitty tactic. It appeals, in no small part, to that particular demographic of whiny man-babies who feel like they’ve had a rough deal because they can’t act like total arseholes any more.

“These days, you can’t even say things that are legitimately and obviously racist, without some lefty do-gooder accusing you of saying things that are legitimately and obviously racist. It’s PC gone mad!”

Anyway, with racists everywhere, here are five types of racist that you might encounter (and how you can deal with them).

1 – Out and out Nazis

Punch ’em in the face. Next.

2 – “Some of my best friends are black”

Also known as the Piers Special, this one usually comes right after ‘Definitely not Racist, Gary’ has finished up reeling off his list of sweeping and most definitely racist generalisations.

You know the drill. Between mouthfuls of his lamb dopiaza, Gary will be banging on about how the neighbourhood’s gone to shit since all the ‘asians’ moved in, or some other crapola.

Good grief.

And then, in a totally not at all predictable way, Gary will utter his stock phrase, “I’m not a racist – some of my best friends are black.”

First off, this will almost always be demonstrably false. What Gary actually means is that he was on a school football team with a black kid, or someone he knows from work has a particularly intense tan. But let’s give him the benefit of the doubt and assume that he does, in fact, have an ethnic friend.

I wonder if it’s the sort of friend who gets invited to Gary’s wedding, or has met his parents, or comes round with his kids at weekends or family get-togethers.

The point is, the fact that Gary is using his funny-tinged friends as props to defend the racist crap he’s just come out with, is a problem. Gary needs to be pulled up on his racist crap and not just by the group of people his racism is aimed at.

If you have no people of colour in your circle of friends, ask yourself why that is. Maybe it’s just geography and opportunity. But maybe it’s your unconscious bias guiding your interactions without you knowing. Explore that. Tell Gary to explore that too.

And while we’re here, you can legitimately replace “my best friends” with “my son/daughter/mixed-race grandchild,” and so on, and the same applies. If you’re using your dark relatives as props to help you deny the existence of a system that disadvantages them, then that’s something you need to take a good, hard look at.

3 – “I’m colourblind, I just don’t see race”

This is a tough one, because the people who say stuff like this generally mean well. It’s not racism as such here, more just a refusal to acknowledge an inherently racist society.

And the problem with that is that it just serves to perpetuate an inherently racist society. So I guess it is totally racist after all. Yay!

Insisting that they don’t see colour, and that “it makes no difference whether someone is black, white, brown, yellow (*side eyes camera 2) or green (*world’s biggest eye roll)”, is just not helpful. It’s also blatantly untrue.

How can you not see colour – unless you’re literally colourblind… or, you know, blind? Of course you see colour, you silly sod.

Oh, do piss off!

Insisting that you’re not racist because you judge people on their character might seem like the woke thing to do, but it’s basically ignoring and denying the lived experiences of people who are systematically on the receiving end of discrimination.

People who insist that they’re colourblind either don’t see the injustice and prejudice that disproportionately impacts upon people of colour, or they choose not to because confronting their own unearned privilege makes them uncomfortable.

Well fuck ’em. They might well wish that we could all sit together under a rainbow, making daisy chains, and singing Kum-Ba-Yah, but that fuzzy feeling of togetherness will die away pretty quickly when D’Wayne reaches for a flower too quickly and gets shot in the fucking face.

The ‘colourblind’ need do a full 180. They should be challenged to see differences, rather than trying to pretend they aren’t there, but to actually learn more about those differences and embrace them, value them. Basically just fucking listen to other people. That’s the path to enlightenment right there.

4 – I’m so sorry (that you’re offended).

Barbara here is racist. But Barbara doesn’t want people to know it. There’s still a hint of shame because Barbara knows that her racist shit isn’t acceptable.

Barbara has certainly become emboldened in recent years and has probably told someone in a Tesco Express that she “voted leave so people like you would have to go home.”

But by and large, Barbara is private racist (racist for money, any old music will do – sorry).

Barbara almost definitely has a large collection of golliwogs.

The thing about Barbara is that her racism isn’t her fault. It’s your fault for being offended. You shouldn’t be so sensitive. It’s just the language that she grew up with.

Barbara’s house.

Barbara was taught that sticks and stones may break her bones but names will never hurt her. Barbara doesn’t see why you’re making such a fuss over nothing. When someone pulls Barbara up, she will say sorry (that you’re offended).

Barbara needs to be told exactly why her apology is bullshit. She needs to be educated on the history of the words and phrases that she insists on using. And then if she persists, Barbara needs to not pass go, not collect £200, and head straight to the fucking bin.

You don’t need people like Barbara in your life. If she listens, nods understandingly, and then continues with her racist shit because actually you’re the one with the problem, then seriously, just tell Barbara to get in the sea.

Stop hanging round with her. Unfriend her on Facebook. Show her with actions that she and her toxic fuckery are entirely unwelcome anywhere near you.

5 – Islam isn’t a race, so how am I being racist?

Ah, the familiar war-cry of the Wetherspoons-dwelling, bunting-clad ‘Tommeh’-knacker who thinks he’s outsmarted you with his primary-school logic.

The problem here is that ‘Daz’ is technically right. Islam isn’t a race. But a little push-back will have Daz unraveling faster than a primark jumper. For example, I wonder if Daz can point to an example of a race?

Maybe he’ll offer “the blacks” as a solution to this new conundrum. “The blacks are definitely a race!” he’ll cry as he chomps on his Brexit-flavoured pork pie.

Well… nope. In the USA, I’d be considered black. In South Africa, my ‘mixedness’ means that I would be classified as ‘coloured’, with ‘black’ being reserved for those with African ancestry only. Now if my ‘race’ can be determined by cultural and social norms (rather than by my biological make-up), then it is socially constructed and not actually a real thing (by the way, if you extrapolate here, there are all sorts of lessons you could learn!).

Now who on earth might want to propogate the myth that specific characteristics are related to biologically determined race? That intelligence, work ethic, aggression, and even brain size might differ according to that race? That some races are superior to others?

FUCKING RACISTS, THAT’S WHO!

But it’s all bullshit. There is NO EVIDENCE AT ALL of a relationship between what might be considered racial characteristics and any type of behaviour. None. None at all. Daz might try White people or Asians, or any other unfeasibly broad category as an example of a race, but he’d just encounter the same problem.

Anyway, here’s why Daz is a racist prick. First, Islam may well not be a race, but Muslims are overwhelmingly brown and black, of Asian and African descent. So targeting Islam is a disproportionate attack against people of colour and it is obviously so.

But more than that, what we’re talking about here is Cultural Racism – the idea that certain beliefs and customs associated with Western culture, are superior to others. It’s the frankly baffling idea that White Christians are utterly benign and in no way resposible for some of the worst atrocities in history, while brown Muslims are evil incarnate just because they have also been responsible for some pretty questionable shit.

You could question Daz about all of this. You could try and get him to explain what underpins his beliefs that White, Western ‘culture’ (Taylor Swift?) is superior. You could point to evidence that undermines any and every argument he might come up with. But honestly, trying to get Daz to change his tiny mind would be like trying to steer your car down a country lane by farting out of the windows.

Best just to not fucking bother and do something else instead.

____________________

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6 thoughts on “Five kinds of racist and how to deal with them.

  1. You make some very interesting points and I agree with all except your comments regarding Islam.
    You do no differentiate between the numerous sects of Islam and failing to do so means you are prepared to include Sufism and Wahhabism in the same generalisation – this is either blatant ignorance, poor research or a removal of facts to make your point. Islam is not a race albeit the majority of its adherents are as you describe however, they themselves are of differing races and you also fail to recognise the ‘white’ members of the faith. This is a dangerous game to play.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. POC standing up for their rights irritates racists. If we lay low, we’re spared. If we speak up, it all comes out. Probably why it seems it has risen recently.

    “I’m colourblind” doesn’t personally tell me much. Maybe they don’t recognise race issues, or maybe they really respect everyone regardless of skin colour AND they recognise they have unconscious bias AND recognise institutional racism, etc. In the context of institutions such as the police, even in the best case scenario of only unconscious bias, there still needs to be recognition of it and a way to eliminate it. Simply discarding it as “police are told not to target people by their skin colour” doesn’t cut it.

    It’s gross generalisation to associate Brexit with racism. It’s now fashionable to make statements like “Not all X are Y but all Y are X”. I wonder how many Remain voters would support broadening the concept of EU further and having a high or middle income African country join the Shengen zone. I expect a big pause followed by numerous buts and ifs which wouldn’t be the case if Australia was to join. Wetherspoons bashing is another gross generalisation. Perhaps the intention was to be funny but I doubt it helps in a sensitive issue like this one. Would be considered bad if someone associated black people with fried chicken for example.

    Completely behind you on #1.

    Like

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