I’ve blogged less about racism than I have about sexism. This isn’t because I think racism is a less important issue than sexism; I don’t. It’s because I am steeped, like strong coffee, in my white privilege. In other words, I don’t blog about racism as much because I don’t think about racism as much because I don’t have to think about it as much because I personally am not confronted by it as much. For this we can thank my blue eyes, blonde hair and reasonably fair skin.
But today, for some reason, I am finding myself reading about racism at every turn. I shouldn’t say for some reason; one obvious reason is the passage of Arizona’s SB-1070, otherwise known as the Fuck All You Mexican-Looking Motherfuckers!!11! law. It’s having unsurprising fallout already even outside Arizona’s borders, and what’s really been boggling the mind (mine, anyway) is how supportive the Libertarian contingent has been about it. (The reason I’m aware of it is that my housemate, a self-identified Libertarian, is completely horrified by the evidence piling up daily that a lot of other, so-called Libertarians favor this law. He can’t understand that dynamic at all; to him it’s a clear-cut massive governmental infringement of citizen rights along the lines of the Patriot Act as well as a blatant crossing of the line between states’ rights and the constitutional jurisdiction of the federal government, though admittedly in the opposite direction of the usual infringement. Poor baby.)
I have some Facebook friends who are generally all about individual freedoms, but they’ve pretty much all also come out in support of Arizona. One even declared boldly that the opposition to the new immigration law makes him want to go visit there even MORE (this was in response to a link I posted about the RNC deciding against having their convention there, which is some tangy irony if there ever was any). As I pointed out in response, with his own mop of blonde hair and white skin, making such a, er, radical and rebellious trip into ShowMeYourPapers!OrIArrestYourAss!Land isn’t all that impresionante.
I do understand when people hold differing views from me, and under certain and specific conditions I have no difficulty respecting said differing views and even seeing quite clearly where they are coming from and generating a reasonable amount of empathy. However, there are those conditions…the one that is being massively and regularly violated for me now is the consistency condition. I have encountered this issue before–for instance, in the everlasting abortion debate. If you tell me, for instance, that you truly believe that developing human cells in utero are morally equivalent to a born human being and this is why you violently oppose abortion, I can absolutely comprehend where you are coming from…as long as you don’t also display stances ranging from total indifference to wild-eyed enthusiasm about killing off those living outside the womb, for instance, via state-administered executions or foreign war initiatives. I am sorry, but when your concern about the rights of citizens being egregriously violated by the government suddenly becomes gung-ho eagerness to jump right in and help the government do it if said citizens happen to have brown skin or speak English as a second language, my contempt begins to uncontrollably sprout up between us.
I admit, when Barack Obama was elected President of the United States, while I wasn’t such a mooncalf as to even remotely credit the whole we’re now living in a post-racial America! meme, I did hope it was at least a small and permanent swipe at the underpinnings of white racism. However, I am becoming more and more convinced that the existence of a self-identified African-American President is actually acting like fertilizer on the apparently-unkillable weed infestation that is racism in America. Because of this
I didn’t necessarily think Obama’s presidency would make racism go away, but I didn’t think it would make it worse. (Was that the blindness of my white privilege again..?) Not that there are more racists now–ha! but that they’re all losing whatever it was that was preventing them from being utterly and unapologetically aggressive about it previously.
Is that a good thing? Now that it’s so much out in the open, will that make it easier to kill? Maybe–but, like the Arizona’s new laws, how many people are going to get really hurt in the process? And what if there’s not even an end that’s justifying these means?
Please, folks, stop doing this. Is it really that horrible to you that we have a black President? Is it..?