We are about to go into a “phase” as my mother used to refer to my dependence on a specific set of terms, ideas or behavior. That phase is going to be around for awhile and it’s going to drive us nuttier than a 4 year presidential election campaign. It is a ‘racism’ phase and it will end up giving the neocons apoplexy, the centrists gout, and the make the left wingnuts tongue-tied.
No. racism doesn’t have to be black vs. white. If you think that you haven’t had to be paying attention. It can be British vs. French, Indian vs. Pakistani and a hundred other real or imagined lines of descendence that we think makes a difference. It is all the same racism.
And it is now open verbiage to be applied to uncritical street cred and maniacal approaches to everything imaginable. You are racist if you want secure boarders. You are a racist if you don’t care one way or another. You are racist if you want a strong UN. You are raciest if you want your children to go to public – private – parochial or military school (pick).
As for those that think we have a black President it must be dead, pleassssseeee! Spend some time in the south, in the north, east, west, in prison, on a cruise ship, in a space program…
Know racism is not dead. It is not even sick. It is alive and well and willing to come out with a joke, a glace, a decision to stay home from the blues concert. It is euphemism expressed openly. It is seen in almost any non- SNL skit where “nudge – nudge, wink – wink” says it all. It is at every eatery you drive thru or opulently satiate yourself at as well as every level of management seeking a vision to hide our primitivism. It is convoluted, reverse, covert, overt and illegal. It is in front of you and it is behind you. Worst of all, it will never die any more than fear that generates it will be die.
In the end, it is an abject announcement that ‘my cave is better than your cave’ and that I am more in charge of my future if and only if I can make some entity less so that I will be more. It is yours for use as long as you are willing to accept ‘Diversity training’ for your transgressions. It is yours for use as long as you can point to your involvement in affirmative action pamphleteering or some absurd “Guilt-be-gone!” behavior equivalent to two wrongs make a right.
As complex interacting humans that are endlessly pressured to define who we are, we need to call people on their use of racism, and be called on ours, in communications of all sorts. Just ask, “What do you mean?” Otherwise, its easy use will morph to an all encompassing modifier to give credence to our position or shock value to our voice.
So, now we need to turn our phasers on and be ready to shoot down, stun or punctuate any conversation or ink that rides the coattails of an Obama victory to profess their new slant on bigotry.