Thursday, December 1, 2016

Don't Call Me Racist

Totally, Absolutely Not Racist. Also: Not Real.
If anything is clear--has always been clear--and has never stopped being clear--calling people racist doesn't make them change. It sure doesn't make them any less racist and, depending on where you draw the lines, the charge might not be valid anyway.

The Omnivore is sure that there are a few conservatives he knows reading this with a growing leery feeling: He's going to call me racist.

You're right. The Omnivore is going to call you racist.

But Hasn't It Been Overused So Much It's Lost Its Power?

You wish. If those words come out of your mouth or off your fingers, that's a good clue that you are, in fact, racist. Being called racist is incredibly powerful--which is why it annoys you so much. It's why Trump voters (some) were quick to claim that's why Hillary lost--because she called everyone racist!

If that were true then the reason Obama won was because people called him a Sekret Muslim Tyrant--what's that? Oh, he was? Yeah, well, if that's you--same chain of logic makes you racist. If all that nonsense wasn't why he kept winning then, no, it's not why Hillary lost either.

Calling people racist is still super annoying--especially when it is true--and it's going to keep happening. Brietbart just lost Kellogg as an advertiser--because they're racist.

Brietbart, the non-safe-place tough as nails real-man website is full of a million articles complaining about Kellogg. There's even a boycott! The Omnivore is old enough to remember when that was something liberals did.

Okay--So, You're Gonna Call Me Racist?

Yep. Well, kinda.

This Should Be Good

That's what you think.

Is This In Like The "Everyone's Racist" Kinda Way?

Nope. The Omnivore did that a few articles ago. This is a more direct way--the bad way--the "I'm not a racist and I hate it when people call me that" way. So let's do it.

What do you think about flying the Confederate Flag? The Confederate Flag (sigh, okay, The Confederate Battle Flag) was (one of) the symbols of the rebellious Southern States that fought a war to keep the racist institution of slavery on-going.

Nuh-Uh--It Was About Overreaching Federal Power and Economics

Georgia: First paragraph, second sentence - "For the last ten years we have had numerous and serious causes of complaint against our non-slave-holding confederate States with reference to the subject of African slavery. They have endeavored to weaken our security, to disturb our domestic peace and tranquility, and persistently refused to comply with their express constitutional obligations to us in reference to that property, and by the use of their power in the Federal Government have striven to deprive us of an equal enjoyment of the common Territories of the Republic. "

Guess it wasn't "economic anxiety" after all?

Back to the Confederate Flag. While the symbolism of the Civil War is a pretty deep study in its own right, the Confederate Flag came back into American culture in 1961 when George Wallace raised it over the Capitol Dome in Montgomery Alabama. Wallace, who ran for president--and won several states--ran explicitly on "Segregation now, segregation tomorrow and segregation forever."

We all agree segregation was pretty racist, right?

The Confederate Flag became associated with Wallace and the segregation movement. That's how it came back into American life. Of course not everyone knows this--the Duke boys weren't racists--so what's the problem?

The problem is that black people bloody well knew it. It mattered to them--and it mattered to the South Will Rise Again crowd. The Dukes of Hazard was Hollywood. The real lynchings happened in the south.

Even If I Grant That The Confederate Flag Might Be Racist--Then What? I Don't Fly It

Of course you don't. Statistically speaking if you read The Omnivore you don't--and wouldn't--fly the Confederate Flag. But that's how bubbles work. So here's the actual question we've been angling towards: What would you tell your buddy who does have the Confederate Flag on his truck, who is complaining that people keep calling him racist?

Since this is hypothetical, let's dispense with the "I wouldn't say shit" reality of the situation. No, your buddy is complaining--he's not a racist--no more racist than you are, anyway--which is dead zero--he just loves his southern heritage and rebel soul. Black people are free to fly it alongside him. Right?



Here's what you wouldn't say: "Dude, look--the symbol has some baggage to black people who were, yeah, slaves. So look: even though it means something different to you, it's not hard to see how it might legitimately offend people who know its actual history and have skin (color) in the game."

That's what you wouldn't say--because that would reflect badly on you.

Huh? What The Heck?

We'll get there. What you might actually say--or say in this hypothetical imaginary scenario--is "Fuck them--they don't know you. You're not racist. Your intentions are not racist. Go ahead and fly it with pride. Southern pride."

Closer? Yeah--The Omnivore knows. Your hypo-buddy is, for real, hypothetically actually not racist--says you--and says The Omnivore--so he can get away with doing anything--even things that might be legitimately perceived as racist--such as using racist symbols--or racist language--or whatever--because he's not racist.

Is that right? Is that cool? After all, blacks can call each other the n-word because they're not racist. So why not a non-racist white person? It's because they're reverse racist. Right? Right? Alt-Right?

So here's the deal: the reason that telling your buddy to cool it with the racist symbolism because it legitimately makes him look like maybe a racist--which isn't good both because it's bad for him and it's good for actual racists who also fly the flag because they want segregation now, segregation in the future, and segregation forever--because if you were self-reflective enough to realize that you'd also realize that there's a buncha things in that spectrum that you do.

What kinds of things? Oh . . . well, which party is pretty cool with flying the Confederate Flag. Let's start there. It's the Democrats, right?

Sorry--was that too aggressive--okay, which Presidential Candidate had Confederate Flags sold with his name on them? Like, did they do that with Hillary? Nope. It's the candidate you voted for, right?

Sorry--don't mean to offend here.

How about the Alt-Right? The Alt-Right comes from Spencer who is a full-bore Nazi. He coined the term. Breitbart's chief, Stephen Bannon called Brietbart the platform of the Alt-Right. He said it--not The Omnivore. Bannon is in the White House.

You're cool with it--but that's because you definitely won't click over and spend some time reading Radix Journal--but if you do and confound The Omnivore--you will quickly raise your Star Trek mental shields and decry it as a fringe movement (there were only 200 Nazis at the convention, you'll say--ignoring strenuously, that prior to Trump the Nazis could not even muster that in Washington DC).

And then you will certainly and vigorously not draw lines between the Alt Right and Brietbart, which you read (and if you don't, you watch nothing but Fox News which pioneered the Brietbart model).

Don't strain yourself--The Omnivore already knows all this. And you know it too: nothing is going to change your mind. Certainly not being called racist.

But the fact is that you do some--or maybe a lot--of this stuff. Stuff that is dripping with racist signifiers and stuff that gives social strength and credibility to the actual wannabe Goebbels of the world who do plan to use the social credibility you've lent them to raise their stature and power and are savvy enough to use you to do it.

But None Of This Means I Actually Am Racist!

Oh? Well, right--no--it doesn't. It just means you aren't in a good position to actually tell. See, everything--every chain of thought here--begins with the axiom that "Since I am not racist it is okay to [ X ]." And if someone should call you racist, well, you doth protest--a lot. Too much? The Omnivore can't say.

But think about this: if you are aiding the alt-Right, while being in denial about it (admit it, you haven't studied the alt-right--not because they're not important--but because you might learn something uncomfortable)--if you are happy to defend legitimately racist signifiers (and either haven't thought about it too much--or have avoided learning something about it--because you might learn something unpleasant)--isn't it possible that your avoidance strategy would lead you to avoid any self-reflection because you might learn you're racist?

Nope. Didn't think so.

1 comment:

  1. The first step of growth is to admit you have a problem.

    I'm racist. I'm trying to figure out how to fix that.