Wednesday, 30 April 2014
“Yeah, on second thought that was pretty racist and I’m sorry,” said nobody on the planet ever.
If you’ve ever worked up the nerve to call out a racist, you know they’re just going to deny it or come up with an excuse that insults your intelligence.
If you’ve lived your life as part of an ethnic minority, you’ll have heard them all, from the stupid and the specious to the downright pathetic crap people come up with just to avoid being called a racist. Here are ten of the most common.
1 – “I didn’t know it’s racist”
The thinking goes that if a person doesn’t know something is offensive, they can’t have intended any offence. And if no offence was intended, then no offence was committed, right?
Don’t fall for the trap of treating ignorance as a glorified ‘Get Out of Jail Free’ card – that would be rewarding stupidity.
2 – “I’ve been saying that for years and nobody ever complained”
This is a passive-aggressive way of questioning whether you’re being overly sensitive. This person actually believes there’s nothing wrong with what they’ve said.
“No, it’s just that everybody’s too polite to say it to your face” is probably a little too subtle a response for such people.
On the other hand, “That’s because we all secretly think you’re an asshole, but you’re too dumb to realise it” would be awesome.
3 – “You’re trampling on my freedom of speech by saying I’m racist”
This spectacular load of horseshit is usually uttered by highschool dropouts who feel empowered after reading a headline about social justice in the news.
What they don’t understand about ‘freedom of speech’ is that while they have the freedom to say racist things about you, you have the freedom to call them racist.
Now watch their minds explode as they process that.
4 – “You’re being racist by calling me racist”
Some people call this “reverse racism”, but racism is defined by a dominant culture imposing its prejudices and stereotypes on a minority culture. It is, by definition, impossible for there to be such a thing as reverse racism. It doesn’t just not exist – the very idea of it is idiotic. People who want to plead reverse racism are better off just saying “No, I’m just a dickhead and there’s nothing you can do about it.”
5 – “The Japanese used to do to it to me while I was in Japan, so why can’t I do it to them when I’m at home?”
This isn’t so much an excuse as it is a declaration that two wrongs must make a right.
Just don’t ask them what they think of the war in Syria – they’ll probably tell you it’s a case of ‘baddies versus baddies’.
6 – “Racism is about ethnicity, not nationality”
This breathtaking misuse of logic is often used to justify racist attitudes towards multicultural countries such as the USA and the UK. It goes a long way towards explaining why some Australians have no problem slagging off Americans even though there are clearly one or two in the room saying “Hey, we’re not all like that.”
It’s like a person who’s read all the rules of football, but has no idea what to do when actually handed a ball. They need to get out some more.
7 – “But you’re all like that, aren’t you? I’ve seen it for myself sometimes so it must be true.”
I’m going to borrow a line from Hugh Grant and say “Well that’s just ridiculous. Have you actually met all of us?”
8 – “I have an Asian friend and he doesn’t have a problem with it.”
That’s because he’s an idiot.
9 – “But they’re changing our values and our very way of life.”
Really? Is someone pointing a gun at your head and telling you not to eat pork?
10 – “People have a right to be bigots, you know”
This excuse was used by Australia’s Attorney-General George Brandis to justify watering down the country’s Racial Discrimination Act.
The trouble is that no such right actually exists. It’s not in the Constitution, and there are numerous laws relating to parliamentary privilege, defamation, telecommunications and more that effectively prohibit behaviour that would amount to bigotry.
We may as well have a giant turnip for our country’s top lawyer than this guy.