Racism

Racism is in the Air and Everywhere, but Especially Deep in the Souls of White People


Racism seems to be everywhere nowadays. It seems to be in the air and everywhere.

Racism is so popular nowadays that it reminds me of that old VD (that’s venereal disease, which is an STI [that’s STD for us olds], which stands for sexually transmitted infection [or disease, you see?] for those too young to know and too embarrassed or unengaged to ask in the comments) PSA from the 1960’s. I never knew it was considered confusing. I’ve always had fond memories of it because I thought it was cute and clever.

But, like the song cleverly says, VD is for everybody, not just someone else! Anyone can have VD, just like you and me! Or, at least, that’s the way I remember it. Feel free to remark on the lyrics and how confusing or otherwise it is in the comments. Honest. You’ll be glad you did.

Seriously, the GQP has been rolling with the old crime and out-of-control border racist dog whistles for weeks. Dems are freaking out because the polls have all tightened and the Repubes have pulled ahead in some key races.

I don’t know why anyone is surprised, though. To paraphrase my sometimes faulty memory of song lyrics, Racism is for all white people, not just someone else! Any white person can be racist, just like you and me! And just like in the song, you can be going about your daily life doing whatever thinking yourself a card carrying non-racist — some of my best friends are Black and I only occasionally make cringe-worthy microaggressive comments — and then slowly get pulled into the dog whistling conga line on the way to vote as your inner racist whispers sweet stereotyped shibboleths into your ear like some siren out of Odysseus.

The inner racist of white people is so pernicious and vulnerable to dog whistles, that well meaning liberal activists even scored an own goal with the Defund the Police slogan from 2020. Yep. Led the inner racist of 50+% of white people to the polls to vote Republican and for the hairless flabby white ass like some chauvinistic Pied Piper.

Here at Ye Olde Blogge, we’ve diagnosed the problem in a multitude of ways and even prescribed a cure, but just like chemo and radiation, no one wants to take the cure unless they absolutely have to. Unfortunately, there ain’t no kindly doctor sitting across a desk explaining the test results to you and recommending treatment options. Yes, Mrs. Smith, I’m afraid you are racist. Fortunately, we have caught it early, so the prognosis is good.

It seems like it was just about a year ago, when I predicted that white people would be more than happy to throw over democracy in favor of white minority rule pseudo-democracy as long as they didn’t have to examine their inner selves too carefully.

This really is the problem: white people can’t tell the difference between describing someone as black and sending a picture of a gorilla with Michelle Obama’s face on it. Better just to do neither, unless you’re with certain company, just to be safe.

Seriously, you know you live in cray-cray land when you cannot say something that is plainly obvious to the most casual observer. Gee, that fellow over there is Black and that one over their is Asian, only not South Asian Asian, Far East Asia Asian, you know what I mean, don’t ya? Because we can’t say what is plainly obvious to the most casual observer, can we Ronny Chieng, even if it helps clear up confusion.

This is because white people, and I include lots of my liberal anti-racist friends in this, are too chicken shit to confront and encounter their inner racist. At least most of my white liberal friends won’t be voting Republican because they’ve been seduced by their not-so-veiled racism.

We will continue to live in crazytown until white people reach down their collective pants, grab their collective balls, and confront their inner racism. It’s going to be uncomfortable, even agonizing, but it has to be done if we are ever going to make progress towards creating a more perfect union.

Unfortunately, us it probably won’t ever be done because it is easier to use cognitive dissonance, motivated reasoning, confirmation bias, and just plain old smug self-righteous superiority to view the world while our democracy is gutted and an Apartheid-like oligarchy is stuffed into its carcass so it roams the world like some kind of animated corpse from some B-grade movie that we’ll all roll our eyes at and make into a cult classic.

So, if you’ve EVER voted Republican, it is time for you to roll up your sleeves and get to work to work out your racist views. It isn’t enough to silence the inner racist, you have to untie that Gordian knot.

Racism, it’s not just for your favorite drunk uncle any more. It’s for everybody.

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Image Attribution

That’s a meme I made back in 2017. I think I used some photo manipulation magic to cobble together pictures of Nixon, Reagan, and Trump. I don’t think they were necessarily in the public domain. Sorry. Anywho. That’s the best attribution I got. I lay no claim to it, though. Do with it as you will.

23 replies »

  1. These day’s all things are but corruptions of what they were. Kinda’ funny, in my ardent atheism (utter rejection of religion) I sometimes feel I’m closer to the god of my youth than anything I see today that calls itself “christian.” I wrote recently of the discreet little “Not of This World” window-sticker in my mother’s car fifty years ago; grant a bunch of sun-baked outcasts rolling on the floor babbling incoherently is a poor measure to … ahhh, measure against but I was pretty thoroughly indoctrinated ~ groomed ~ and I don’t see anything out there that resembles the christianity of yore.

    White-bread is in-bred. My grandmother taught me Heinz 57 Varieties …

    Liked by 1 person

    • Howdy Ten Bears!

      I’m not sure there really was an ideal Christianity of yore when you factor in the Inquisition, Crusades, “Indian” schools, child molestation, religious persecution, slavery, and every other atrocity committed in the name of god.

      Huzzah!
      Jack

      Like

  2. The song is classic, with all those perfectly nice looking (White) people. In the context of this post, that element of their whiteness matters. VD is not just for THOSE people, like the ones in the Tuskegee Experiment.

    Rooting out racism does require both individual and collective willingness to endure the pain of disillusionment, and more than anything, letting children be taught the real history, as uncomfortable as that is. That, is being fought tooth and nail.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It is very clear that MAGA isn’t willing to confront their own racism. It is clear that many independent white voters aren’t either. It is also clear that many PoC aren’t willing to confront their own internalized racism. Trump has called the racism from the its abode deep in America’s soul. We just aren’t willing to do the hard work to become a real democracy. We got close, and we failed.

      Huzzah!
      Jack

      Liked by 1 person

      • I think of the medical metaphors – a cancer, to be excised? A fever, long hiding, that could rise to be sweated out with delirium, and finally cured? A dementia, long eating away at the mind, reaching a stage of hallucination and paranoia? None of them quite fit something fundamental to a people’s understanding of themselves and their place in the world. From that, the way out is not political short of a revolution of consciousness, the deep assumptions radically rearranged. Of course, that is also the sort of change the climate crisis demands, because the the root assumptions are the same.

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        • Howdy Bob!

          I guess that is the root of my pessimism when considering the future. The problems causing our authoritarians to run amok and destroy our democracy and causing our climate crisis deniers and foot draggers to to sip our coffee declaring how much they adore the warmth of a good fire while the house burns down around them are very deeply embedded in the human psyche and require determined effort to change.

          In that sense, the GOP is right, we need a strong-armed authoritarian system to confront climate change and make the hard decisions because as a body politic, we cannot.

          Huzzah!
          Jack

          Liked by 1 person

          • There is only one large country with an apparently secure authoritarian leader who seems to possibly understand the need and the tricky business of moving a population along the path. That is China. The catch is the focus on maintaining social stability. Most of the other authoritarian and would-be authoritarian leaders are, unfortunately, in the drill-baby-drill camp.

            Liked by 1 person

            • Howdy Bob!

              What’s interesting is the rumbling of unrest coming from within China as the economy continues to suffer from their zero-tolerance policy on #COVID19 and continuing issues with environmental degradation. Xi has done a good job of promoting nationalism and patriotism and enduring hardships, but they’ve seen actual protests in some cities during the past six months. I’m sure Xi is smart enough and capable enough to adjust to smooth things over.

              I wish that our own authoritarians would have such consideration for keeping the middle class comfortable and happy.

              Huzzah!
              Jack

              Liked by 1 person

              • When it comes to actual governing, our authoritarians are amateurs in the pockets of oligarchs, like the ones in Russia. Xi made his career in a system that can tolerate some corruption, but only some, and only when it does not too embarrass the Party, and which goes very hard on real incompetence. He really is a Communist managing a system of state capitalism. In the terms of traditional Chinese political thinking, he has the Mandate of Heaven and intends to keep it, and that means managing change without pissing off too many of the people too badly too often. The history of failed emperors and disastrous revolutions in China is long and well studied.

                Liked by 1 person

                • Howdy Bob!

                  If as our friend Ten Bears says, our future lies in constructed highly regulated interior environments, then governance belongs to the technocrat devoted to the system. I believe Xi started out as a technocrat. That deep understanding of the Chinese bureaucracy and economy has served him well. He’s kept his middle class growing and happy, for the most part. And, traditional Chinese nationalism and increasing nationalistic rhetoric means, ain’t no body care about no Uyghur or Tibetans or any other minority that the state chooses to crush with Han Chinese migration.

                  Huzzah!
                  Jack

                  Liked by 1 person

                  • I think that’s pretty accurate. Much of China’s history is of governance by bureaucrats. We Americans love to complain about the “unelected, faceless bureaucrats” and “deep state” who control our lives. The fact is that any large system needs those technocrats and bureaucrats who know how it works and maintain continuity and stability beside change. That is part of why politicization of those functions is so damaging. Political appointees can sometimes bring an expertise, but generally they make better figureheads and PR spokespersons.

                    Liked by 1 person

                    • Howdy Bob!

                      In my reckless youth, I lived in a housing co-op near our university. We tried to make all of our decisions democratically and transparently. Sometimes, trying to arrive at a consensus on even trivial matters was hell, and then we made some really stupid decisions like allowing one of the residents to turn a crawl space into a living space. The building inspector wasn’t too happy when he discovered it. But, it was the residents who had been there the longest or had the positions of responsibility that were the most influential. They had seen most of the problems that could arise and understood how they were resolved. That experience was really important in the year-to-year operation of the organization.

                      I can imagine, as bad of a name as bureaucrats get, how much more important it is when running something as big and complicated as a government.

                      Huzzah!
                      Jack

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • That saying about those who forget history certainly applies in organizations, and there’s also a lot to be said (and, sometimes against, as in the case of structural racism) organizational culture carried by those longest inolved.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • Howdy Bob!

                      Organizational culture is one of the more interesting aspects of Organizational Psychology, especially the way you go about introspection and changing it. I don’t see the US ever getting rid of its racist impulses, though. That’s the problem with and strength of democracy: you can elect an authoritarian, but you can also right the ship and get rid of them, too.

                      I am damn glad people turned out in bigger numbers than they did in 2018. It bodes well for the future, but it’s one election at a time.

                      Huzzah!
                      Jack

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • As long as people can look at others and not be able to miss that they are significantly different, some will find that uncomfortable to the point of intolerable.

                      Every election is unique and an experiment.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • I’m afraid that’s the truth. Some of us will be more sensitive to differences than others and it really depends on social norms, especially in our ultrasociality. Right now, every election is the most important in our history and will determine whether our democracy survives. We survived 2022, but just barely.

                      Huzzah!
                      Jack

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • I think that complacent confidence, the idea of finally having won and being permanently safe, may be more dangerous to democracy than any ambitious authoritarian. Knowing that it is always surviving by the skin of its teeth, and never perfected, is certainly to be found in the writings of our Founders and earlier thinkers on the subject.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • Admittedly, it has been forty odd years since I’ve read anything other than the Constitution and Bill of Rights that our Founding Fathers wrote, but the pieces that get referenced in the media coverage show that they really understood human nature and how it could be used against a democracy. They understood both human nature and democracy in ways that most of us don’t nowadays.

                      You’re right though. Every election from the first to the next is about whether democracy survives to hold another election.

                      Part of the lesson of the past six or so years is that we grew complacent in protecting our democracy and assumed that it would always be here.

                      Huzzah!
                      Jack

                      Liked by 1 person

  3. These racist beliefs, may be due to how we were, socialized to hate those who are, different than we are, and, we feel threatened by their, existence, simply because, we’re, too, ignorant, and, uneducated, and, a lot, these, racist beliefs, had been, etched, in to our minds, and, souls, that it’d become, impossible, for us, to, change.. it’s all by, socialization, not, inborn.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, racism is part of the deep culture of the US. Culture, including our racist deep culture, gets passed from one generation to the next and changes very slowly. Without eradicating racism from our culture and our society, we will never be a real democracy. We will always be finding ways to limit the votes of PoC. Many white people will swear we’re a democracy because they vote, ignoring the fact that PoC are not allowed to vote.

      Jack

      Liked by 1 person

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