As a general rule when a black person or persons tell me something is racist or bordering on racist, particularly people I respect like ABL and TNC, I don’t argue. If I disagreed with them initially or just didn’t notice the racist aspect of something, what I try to do is just be quiet for a minute. Then I try to figure out what it is that made me not recognize something as racist. I’d say a lot of it has to do with the fact that I am a middle-aged white guy from a state with a small minority population, and I just don’t have the same experiences. Like I have said before, it wasn’t until ABL came on board here and I started seeing some of the truly awful things people write (and I promptly delete out of the spam filter so no one else, especially ABL, will see them), that I ever really thought about these things.
And why would I? I’m a white guy, I’ve never said any of those things or thought them, and they’ve never been directed at me. I mean, we all recognize the overtly racist crap- the fried chicken and watermelon jokes, the pictures of Obama with a bone through his nose, the slurs (the n-bomb comes to mind), etc. And since I don’t live in a very cosmopolitan area, I don’t have a lot of black friends- where I am is pretty damned Mayberry white. So I don’t notice these things, and I don’t have a history of dealing with the more subtle aspects of racism.
Having said all that, even my pasty fish-belly white self can recognize that what Michael Moore said was racist- “I went into the polls voting for the black guy, and what I got was the white guy…” That doesn’t mean he is racist, but it sure as hell does mean he made a racist remark. I don’t even know why this is controversial it is so obvious. What exactly was Michael Moore expecting from “the black guy?” Let’s flash back to the 2008 election and watch this little video from my state:
All that bullshit about “someone they know” or “someone who can recite the Pledge of Allegiance” or the other stuff you all rightly recognized as them saying “I WON’T VOTE FOR A BLACK PRESIDENT.” How, exactly, is what Moore said any fundamentally different from Republicans whipping up fear about Obama in 2008 because we don’t want rule by a “black President.” It’s the same god damned thing, just Moore wanted “the Black President” and all the people the Republicans wanted to scare didn’t want “the black President.” It’s the flip side of the same damned coin.
The fact that there have now been two threads, and some of you still don’t seem to get it, makes me wonder something that is itself bordering on racist, mainly- “WTF IS WRONG WITH ALL YOU WHITE PEOPLE?”
And I’m done talking about this crap. I’m seriously sick and tired of some of you who every time ABL posts something, you go ballistic and start calling her a race-baiter. It’s absurd, and ABL isn’t the one who looks stupid. Sure, she is over-the-top and in-your-face, and she’ll admit to it, but maybe you should just take a moment, shut the fuck up and be quiet, and think about why she is interpreting things through a different lens than you are. Or, if issues of race are so unsettling to you, you just scroll past her posts and continue to convince yourself we live in a post-racial America, and you won’t have to trouble your pretty little head with the kind of ugly crap that good people like ABL, TNC, and your President and his wife and beautiful daughters go through every day. It’ll be easier that way. You can tell yourself “I’m not racist, so therefore it doesn’t exist.” It will keep you from grappling with things. It will keep you from saying “Wow. You know, I never knew that something I used to say or do could be perceived as racist.” You’ll not have to deal with the fact that good people can still say stupid ugly things, even when they don’t mean to. You’ll never have to think about the fact that maybe you’ve been doing something or saying something hurtful or ugly without even meaning to, because your intentions are as pure as the Virgin Mary. You can just keep on rolling on, and mutter to yourself about all those hyper-sensitive black people.