Me? I am not racist, I promise. I try to ignore racial stereotypes, but I still appreciate the cultures of each individual race; I’m not color-blind. I can list so many racist things that I definitely do not do, I swear.
I’m sure you aren’t racist either, we could go on for days about how we’re not racist. But when someone accuses you of being racist, what are you supposed to do? If you aren’t racist, you’ll want to reply, “I’m not racist.”
But that’s what a racist person would say.
No matter what you say, you’ll push yourself further and further into a corner of unpleasant, benevolently racist arguments like, “I have black friends.” What can you do to avoid making yourself look like a jackass?
The first step is arguably the hardest part for people: don’t be racist.
Okay, now that you’re over that obstacle, the next step is to avoid things that a racist person would say or do. This will probably cut out most of the accusations that are left after step one. Reminiscing about “the good ol’ days,” complaining about oversensitivity and people being too concerned with race “these days.”
The next step takes a little bit of work, but is really worth it, you guys. You should avoid them, but if you have make a racially-based joke, make sure you understand what it means. You need to deliver it correctly to the appropriate audience or you’re screwed. Satire is a popular stance here, but even if you’re good at it, it’s very easy for people to call you out on it.
In March 2014, “twit hit the fan” when Stephen Colbert was attacked on Twitter with the hashtag: #CancelColbert after “The Colbert Report” account tweeted a seemingly out-of-place line that was a reference to an earlier skit on the show, but failed to include a link to the segment. The skit was about Colbert’s character starting a foundation to support Asian-Americans called “Ching-Chong Ding-Dong Foundation for Sensitivity to Orientals or Whatever.” Rough, right?
Ching-Chong Ding-Dong was a character Colbert had developed earlier in the series to shine light on the ignorance surrounding racism in our country. This fake foundation was made to make fun of Dan Snyder, the owner of the Washington Redskins, in direct response to the “Washington Redskins Original Americans Foundation.”
“People tell me I’m white, and I believe them,” Colbert said, “because I just spent the last six minutes explaining how I’m not a racist. And that is about the whitest thing you can do.”
But what if you’ve made it this far and followed my steps and still get accused of being racist? Don’t be defensive. I’m sure the person who is accusing you, will gladly tell you what you’ve done wrong. Learn from this experience. Only then can you be less racist.