Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Quote of the Century

[Content note: racism]

“I’ve never had a reason to go to [a Ku Klux Klan rally]. But they take [the Confederate flag] away and holler that we’re the racists, so, yeah, I’m here.” -attendee at recent KKK protest in South Carolina, via The New York Times

The man's suggestion here is that he has been unfairly "hollered at" that he's racist.

That, folks, is what racism in the US looks like:

1) Being thought of as racist is, to some white people, even more offensive than being so racist that one attends a rally in support of the KKK; and

2) Even attending a rally in support of the KKK isn't enough for some people to identify themselves as holding beliefs that might in some way be racist.

If you read the entire article, you might also notice that it contains a fair amount of both sides are just as bad framing of the Black Panthers and the KKK, both of which were in attendance:
"The [crowd] chanted — or at least heard — volleys of incendiary speech and shouts of “white power!” and “black power!” 
Bystanders watched people wave flags celebrating Pan-Africanism, the Confederacy and the Nazi Party. And they watched as black demonstrators raised clenched fists, and white demonstrators performed Nazi salutes."
Setting the stage for this comment:
“We’re not allowed to have this as a heritage,” Jerry Anderson, a 49-year-old white man who drove here from northwest Georgia, said as he gestured toward another man’s Confederate battle flag. “But they can fly theirs, and they can say what they want to, and it’s O.K.”
By ignoring historical context and structural power inequalities, a white man implies that a private group of citizens flying a flag is equal to a state flying one at its state buildings and that therefore, by not allowing the state to fly "his" flag, he is the real victim of injustice and inequality.

This line of thinking is why so many white people and others with privilege end up thinking others groups have "special privileges" and "advantages."

On Bigotry, Again
On Hatred and Bigotry, Again