Monday, April 09, 2012

quote for the day

Placing the burden of racism on its observer is the natural, cynical result of decades of conservative dog-whistle racism. Commentators throw out deliberately "ambiguous" statements intended to motivate racists willing to read into them what they want to hear. They make repeated references to Obama and watermelons. They talk about "strapping young bucks" with t-bone steaks. Then, when black or liberal commentators denounce those statements, conservative pundits label them as the racists. After all, you'd have to be a racist to think there was racist commentary there; the only people who think about racism are racists. You have to be importing your own racial hangups to the exchange: you altered the outcome of the reaction when your gaze introduced a racial force to the social reaction.

This is largely how the American right wing created "reverse racism".
"Mobutu Sese Seko", founder of the blog Et tu, Mr. Destructo?, from the article "The Dog Whistle Has Sounded: How the Right Talks About ‘Thugs’ Like Trayvon Martin".

more follows:
In the realm of Limbaughean physics, racism is something generated by race hustlers. These rabble rousers alter the dynamic of natural social interactions by injecting wacky racism particles into a totally innocuous discussion about the natural laziness of young black people who just want to own guns and steal buckets of Popeye's fried chicken. A noble white truth teller merely means to pull back the curtain on the inequities demanded by an indolent black class, and when he's called racist, it's someone else's fault for noticing it. People then victimize that noble soul for telling a hard truth, like Jesus.

In any physical exchange, this reversal of causation or responsibility would inspire laughter and contempt. If, to take a random example, some radio-show-hosting triple-chinned drug-addicted serial-divorcé and bloviator stabbed you repeatedly in the stomach, and you complained that you had "lots of knife-holes" in you, nobody could reasonably claim that you were a "stabbing hustler" who was "condemning mere knife enthusiasts" in a cynical ploy to" gain sympathy via stabbism." But this is the state of right-wing racism in America: it exists only on its moment of detection. Until then, it's merely an amorphous cloud of words. The people who are targeted by it are the real racists, because they have the insufferable gall to notice it and then divisively, unrepentantly point it out. They are malcontents operating without the privilege to speak freely.
Man, I wish I could have summed it up as succinctly.

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