Day by Day

Friday, November 01, 2013

The funny thing about charges of racism

I was just thinking that charges of racism only work to shame those people who are obviously NOT racist.

That is to say, you cannot use the charge of "You're just a racist" against a member of the Klan or any of the 'White Power' skinhead groups. Their likely response? "Yeah. Your point being...?"

It only works to shame people who agree that being a racist is such an abhorrent thing that they should stop saying anything lest they prove the charge true. It does nothing about topic under discussion, except make it okay to use the threat the next time the topic comes up.

Unfortunately for those out there who have used the charge too often, when the first response to any perceived threat is to glibly throw around the charge of "Oh, that's just because you're a racist. You want lower taxes because you don't want a black man in the White House. You don't want the government dictating your health care choices because you're a secret member of the Klan. You think the IRS threatening political groups is wrong only because you hate Muslims. You're just a homophobe for insisting that marriage is the basis of civilization. You're just a H8RXTIANIST for not wanting the EPA to triple the cost of energy. He won and now no one has to pay their rent or phone bills or health care, so SUCKITHATERS."

Which, fuck that. They have overplayed their hand, and the charge is utterly worthless, but only if you call them on it every time they use it. Whenever they make the charge, make them look like fools by making that explicit: "Damned skippy, pal, I hate anyone not in the human race, now answer the question about {whatever topic they are avoiding}." Every time. (Or your own variation, but make it clear that they are making charges solely to avoid answering the embarrassing question. So let's embarrass them.

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