PSA, a Note on Political Discourse

I am going to spell this out for everyone.  I will be as simple and direct as possible.  Print it out, paste it next to your computer, and refer to it often.  Some of us need this.

1)Making fun of, or disliking, a black president is NOT racist.

Making fun of, or disliking, a black president because of his skin color IS racist.

Examples:  The president has big ears, and Cheshire grin; those are fair game.  Disliking the President’s policy is not racist; go for it.  A composite photo of all the portraits of presidents from Washington to “W”, followed by a black square and two eye balls ala Scooby Doo, is not fair game.  That is a joke not possible without his skin color, hence a joke about his skin.

2)White America has a long and well documented history of calling black people monkeys or gorillas, insinuating, or outright declaring, that black people are sub human, animalistic, and less intelligent.  Because of this historical fact, calling George W Bush a monkey is not the same thing as calling Obama a monkey.

If you are unaware of this historical fact due to youth or cultural isolation, you are not automatically a racist.  You may be ignorant of historical facts and unaware of others in a way that leads to inherent insensitivity, but those things are not automatically racist.  Should you make a mistake in this regard, or witness someone else doing so, the correct response is apology, not defense.

Example via metaphor:  If I mistakenly punch you in the nose, my primary concern should be for your medical welfare, not defending my motivation.

3)If you are aware of the historical precedent of insults against black people, yet your initial response when witnessing, or hearing of such an insult is to defend the possible innocence of the offender, rather than the feelings of the offended, you are allying yourself with racism, If not becoming allied with an actual racist.

Example: Don Imus called the Rutgers basketball players an insult that was directly tied to their race.  He knew this when he did it.  If your initial reaction to the story was to defend his freedom of speech as opposed to your being offended at the racist nature of the event, you have just allied yourself with racism at the expense of those being directly affected by that racism.

4)Being nice to a racist does not make you a racist.  Excusing or saying nice things about the racist things a person does or has done… is probably racist.

Example: Saying nice things about Strom Thurmond is not racist.  Saying you wish Strom Thurmond would have won the presidency when he ran on the platform, and in the party, whose stated purpose was segregation, is a statement saying you wish the racists were in charge.  Why would you say that if not racist?

Lastly…

If you get an email breaking any of these rules the correct responses are:

  1. Delete
  2. Reply with a request to cease and desist.  Maybe even correcting the mistake
  3. “Reply all” refuting the error in the email
  4. Attempt all the earlier and if it is an elected official sending you the email… call the press.

Feel free to email me anything you like.  Just sayin’.

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10 Comments

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10 responses to “PSA, a Note on Political Discourse

  1. Comment originallyposted on wrong heading
    Submitted on 2011/04/25 at 10:55 am
    I agree it is wrongful to be racist, and you paint the picture that it is the white who is racist against the black, but in reality, it goes both ways, and in all colors. Broaden your scope of the form of racism to include all races and you will find it is prevelant (sp) in any place where there is a predominate race over a minority. Virtually all countries have the same problem. At any rate, it is wrong.
    Obama and staff are poor excuses for any political party, and color should not be the issue.

  2. To previous…..
    You are right but:
    I have two children. One punches the other in the nose. Is my best response to the one who got punched, “I’m sure you have punched someone before”?

  3. Olive

    So do we forever in the future teach Caucasian children that calling a black person a chimp is ray-cist? Is this really “ray-cism?” Or just your definition? Why do you think it’s your job to tell people what free speech they have or don’t have? Why should I fear being called a ray-cist by you? It is a word that only makes white liberals wince and endlessly grovel for forgiveness. The word is meaningless nowadays anyway, and can mean anything to anybody. Are Black people such children that they cannot deal with being called a chimp or you can’t use the word “niggardly” in front of them without getting fired from your job? Are their egos so fragile you have to always walk on eggshells around them? When will they grow up and be just like you? And why is there always a double standard? One for “blacks” another for “whites.” Blacks attack a White, or another Black, nobody cares. A White man hits a Black woman and it’s on the front page of CNN. Because White people aren’t supposed to do those things. That’s Knee-grow behavior! Everyone is equal, but some are more equal than others. I think your note on “political discourse” is RETARDED. There, I said it. The “R” word. Horrors.

  4. B

    “The word is meaningless nowadays anyway, and can mean anything to anybody. Are Black people such children that they cannot deal with being called a chimp or you can’t use the word “niggardly” in front of them without getting fired from your job? Are their egos so fragile you have to always walk on eggshells around them? When will they grow up and be just like you? And why is there always a double standard?

    This is a very difficult discourse to to participate in. You are probably not African American or a minority so your relationship with racism is undoubtedly different than non-whites. I’m wondering what place these type of comments are coming from. Anger, frustration, fear, ignorance are my guess and are exactly the feelings and emotions that perpetuate a racist society.

  5. Olive

    This is a very difficult discourse to to participate in. You are probably not African American or a minority so your relationship with racism is undoubtedly different than non-whites.

    You want to label and classify me, B? You would be surprised. You are the ignorant one. Of course it is a difficult discourse to participate in. Because you think you can put people in a box. I am not afraid. I am not ignorant. I am frustrated and angry with condescending white people like you.

    Mike, you can call me anything you want. It is your First Amendment right.

  6. matt laclear

    I agree 100%

  7. concerned citizen

    I would call Olive racist AND ignorant!

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