Thursday, October 29, 2015

Don't Act Dumb

Few things prove white privilege quite like a racist Halloween costume. It's not just the costume's concept, but the dishonest defense afterwards. The wearer knows in advance that it is going to offend people - that's why they think it's cute. So why do they act surprised when people get offended?

Are they surprised that there are social consequences now? Probably not because there has been push back about this for years. Indeed, here is Jet magazine criticizing Joan Crawford for doing a song in black face back in 1954. Of course, whites were a lot more insulated from criticism back then. In fact, that was the point - hitting those who cannot hit back. Well, now minorities can and racists say it is sad and unfair.

Moreover, I imagine a lot of these people whined about "political correctness run amok" even before they got their 15 minutes on the news. So that is another reason not to buy their surprise.

Likewise, prefacing a racist statement with the words "This is going to make some people mad, but -" is the new "I'm not a racist, but -" The speaker is setting the stage by suggesting the response. Logically, mock shock is the only kind of shock the speaker can follow up with when the audience does not respond with universal approval. That is unless he or she is a complete moron with the memory of housefly.

In short, the clueless excuse is past its expiration date. The costume isn't cute and your innocent act isn't cute. What really shocks you - if you are shocked at all - is that you could not handle the blow back.

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