Tag Archives: racism

If You’re Latino And Still Support Trump…What The Fuck Is Wrong With You?

Trump’s recent pardon of racist asshole Joe Arpaio crossed a line for me, in terms of how I look at the fact that there are Latinos who inexplicably continue to support him.  Up to this point, Trump’s racism, xenophobia and general-assholery has been obvious to anyone without blinders on, but I could always see how self-hating, ignorant Latinos could find a way to look around all of that and think “Trump’s my guy.”

When I think of what goes through the mind of Latinos who are pro-Trump, I think about, of course, the familiar escape mechanisms.  When Trump called Mexican immigrants “rapists,” he was talking about illegals, don’t you know?  If you’re an American citizen, he’s not targeting you.  When he degrades disabled people, women or Muslims – well, if you’re not one of those people, and completely lack empathy and decency, I can see how you wouldn’t care.  I can understand how some conservative Latinos might think that when Trump says “Make America Great Again,” he’s talking about an America that fully includes them.  Which isn’t true, but I get how a person can be deluded into thinking so.

But, unless a person is completely ignorant of what exactly landed former Sheriff Joe Arpaio in violation of the law, I don’t understand how certain Latinos can not only silently accept the brazen racism-acceptance of Trump’s pardon, let alone continue to wear their dumbass MAGA hats and vocally support it.

The list of egregious human rights violations and affronts to decency that Arpaio committed is a long one, but for most of them, if you weren’t an inmate in one of his jails or an illegal immigrant, I can see how you might not particularly care.  After all, Arpaio was only being a monumental dick to incarcerated criminals or people who weren’t American citizens, right?  I guess in some people’s fucked up mindsets, those people deserve to be treated as shittily as possible, so who cares?

But Arpaio was also guilty of targeting and detaining people who were merely “suspected” of being in the country illegally.  If you’re Latino, THAT POTENTIALLY MEANS YOU, ASSHOLE.  I suppose if you have features that allow you to pass for a Caucasian, which many Latinos do, you might not think it’s you.  But ultimately – yes, it still is.  Because as much as you might not want to think so – at the end of the day, after all of the darker people have been harassed – they will come for you next, once they realize that you are of Latin heritage.  You will never, ever fully “fit in” with the racist, conservative white people you want so badly to be.  As much as you might hope, you’re not one of them.  You are only fooling yourself into thinking so.

Of course, you could simply be a glutton for punishment, and actually enjoy being treated like a second-class citizen.  In which case, hey good luck.  But if not, ask yourself, what the hell happened to you in the course of your life, that made you such a self-hating sellout who wants so badly to be accepted, that you would continue to support racist assholes like Trump and Arpaio?  One thing that the age of Trump has really exposed is the degree to which people can delude themselves – into thinking they aren’t racist, for example.  But it also includes people who fool themselves into thinking that Trump really gives half a shit about them, which couldn’t be further from the truth.  This is no better exemplified than by Latinos who think Trump and his supporters view them as equals.

 

Photo credit: Gage Skidmore [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Yes, Anyone Can Be Racist. But It’s More Damaging When White People Do It.

The terror attack in Charlottesville last Saturday, in which Heather Heyer was killed while protesting against racism, and Trump’s subsequent blaming of “many sides” and apparent sympathizing with white supremacists, has spurred a spirited back-and-forth about the topic of racism in America.  And, you know what that means.  Lotta bullshit making the rounds on social media.

One thing I see being said whenever a topic like this is brought up, often by racism deniers, is that there are racists in minority groups as well as among white people.  The point being that it sort of “cancels out” the racism of Neo-Nazis and other assorted tiki-torch wielding assholes, since minorities can hate too.  As a rebuttal to that flawed argument (which I will get to in a moment,) there are also some people who say things like “black people can’t be racist.”  Which, while I understand what they mean when those people say that, I disagree with.  At least in a literal sense of the word, in a hypothetical, neutral universe (and not the current American reality in which we live.)

The sad truth about racism is that yes, anyone can be racist.  Anyone can be a bigot.  Anyone can view and treat others differently (often worse) based on their skin color.  As a Latino, some of the most racist stuff I have heard has been said by Latinos about other races, including about other Latinos.  I remember when I worked as a waiter, talking to one of my co-workers and hearing her refer to “wetties,” and thinking that it was kind of weird to hear a Latino disparaging other Latinos in such a manner.  That kind of self-hate helps to explain the fact that there are some minorities who embrace and defend racists like Trump.  That fact is often pointed to by Trump apologists as a means of demonstrating “see, he’s not racist, minorities like him too.”  But that’s bullshit too.

However, while everybody can be racist, it carries much more weight when white people do it.  And that is due to the fact that our society is still dominated by a white patriarchy.  We often have the illusion of diversity, on television and in the corporate world, but at the core, America has a long way to go when it comes to different races being represented equally and having comparable influence.  For example, you can look at professional sports.  The NFL and NBA in particular are dominated by players of color.  But the situation is much different when it comes to the makeup of the mega-wealthy owners.  Same with corporate America.  Yes, the workforce might be made up of seemingly diverse assortment of races, religions, genders and sexual orientations.  But take a look at the profile of the upper levels of management and CEO’s.  Different story there.  Progress is being made, but we’re not there yet.

When white people are racist, it potentially resonates with a far greater number of people, including people in power or of influence, who can set policy that affects millions of lives.  Keep in mind, this is not simply a “white people thing” in the abstract sense.  It’s simply because numerically, America is still dominated by whites.  When black people or other minorities are racist towards white people, it might be repugnant and offensive, but the difference is, they’re “punching up,” not down.  And that’s the key distinction.  The ironic thing is, white supremacists like the ones in Charlottesville often indirectly make this argument.  Because one of their fears and grievances is that they’re becoming outnumbered.  As if that’s somehow a bad thing (it is.)  The truth is, they know that they are privileged and they’re pissed off because they see minorities making gains, and see it as a threat to their dominance.

Racism is an ugly thing, and people often don’t like to talk about it.  But I think it’s critical that we not only talk about it, but do so with honesty and without fear of saying stuff that makes people uncomfortable.  So yes, in the abstract, anyone can be racist.  But in the actual American society we live in, not all racism is of equal weight.  Far from it, in fact.

 

Photo credit:  Pixabay.com/OpenClipart-Vectors

 

Race And Racism Influence Our Reaction To Gun Violence

So I was thinking about the recent shooting of Congressman Steve Scalise and the reaction from the media thus far, and I gotta say – it’s time for some race-baiting.

A country can reveal it’s racism and racial bias in many ways.  Not just in the obvious ways, such as the existence or prevalence of neo-Nazis or Klansmen, etc.  But also in the collective reaction of its media and the talking points that are generated after a violent incident, depending on the race of the shooter.

I have noticed a stark contrast in the conversation which happens, depending on whether the shooter is white or black, Latino or Muslim.  In general, if the perpetrator of a violent crime is a minority, the perceived threat that they and their actions pose become something external, to be kept at bay or controlled with more policing or security measures.  If he’s a Muslim, it’s terrorism – and it brings up the issue of immigrant vetting, not to mention discussion (criticism) of Islam.  If he’s a black person, the issue which makes the media rounds, in particular on state media like Fox News, becomes about “broken homes” and “thugs.”  A Mexican guy would bring up a similar conversation about immigrants and gangs.

Which brings me to the Scalise shooter, a white man named James Hodgkinson.  The discussion thus far, and the issue of what to blame for the violence, has been concerning “political rhetoric,” as well as possible mental illness.  Conservative outlets like Fox have even had the nerve to try to blame “the political Left,” but other mainstream media sources have also raised the question – is our lack of civil discourse to blame?  Is the issue one of the mentally ill having access to firearms?  Are prescription medications making us crazy?  The problem becomes one that reflects an internal societal dysfunction, rather than an externalized threat.  The blame shifts from the shooter himself to a more generalized “have we become too hostile” or “is something making us violent” scenario.

It brings to mind the differences in approach between drug epidemics, depending on the communities that are affected.  The recent problems with opiate addiction and overdose deaths from prescription painkillers are viewed and talked about in terms of a health “crisis.”  Which is not to say that it isn’t.  But look at the difference between that and the way the crack epidemic of the 80’s and 90’s and other drug problems that plague inner cities (black people) are talked about and handled.  In the case of opiates, the issue is seen as one of public health, whereas with the latter, it is a dangerous scourge, and for years has been dealt with by harsh criminal penalties.

One of the problems with talking about race and racism is that far too often, the very idea of it becomes a sort of taboo that is linked with overt and obvious perpetrators.  Nobody wants to be considered racist, and what frequently comes to mind when racism is mentioned are extreme examples, such as the aforementioned Neo-Nazis or white supremacists.  What we often forget is that racism and racial bias can be more subtle and nuanced, and reflected in not only the beliefs and words of racist people themselves, but also in our general, more indirect characterizations of people’s words and actions and how they fit into our view of the way society should function.  Any honest discussion or race should include the latter.  We shouldn’t be afraid to talk about this issue, and we need to be aware of how media can and often does shape our thinking and perceptions.

Photo credit:  Pixabay.com/IIIBlackhartIII

Mike Huckabee’s Flippantly Racist Cinco De Mayo Tweet

Um, okay…

So, our favorite moron and two-time failed presidential candidate Mike Huckabee tweeted this out today, May 5, which also happens to be Cinco De Mayo if you speak Mexican.  As of 10:37 a.m. pacific standard time, the tweet is still up, and is from his verified account.

I guess it’s another one of Huckabee’s lame attempts at humor, or a way to boldly proclaim “hey I’m a racist fucking asshole!” without using expletives.

Either way, it just goes to show how emboldened the racist fucks in the GOP have become under Trump’s reign.  They are apparently giddy at not having to disguise their bigotry in the slightest, because, well look at what a racist asshole the president is.

By the way, if you want to see Megyn Kelly almost call this fucknozzle “Mike Fuckabee” on live television, go here.

Oh, and go fuck yourself, Huckabee.

Donald Trump Seems To Think All Black People Might Be Friends With Each Other

Donald Trump’s casual racism was revealed recently at a press conference in which he asked reporter April Ryan if members of the Congressional Black Caucus are her friends.

Remember, this is coming from a man who says he is the “least racist person you have ever encountered.”  Yes, he actually said that.

The exchange also revealed further Trump’s status as one of planet’s biggest douchebags.  Apparently, he thinks it’s suitable to ask a professional journalist to set up meetings for him.  What else do you need Trump?  Should Ryan sweep and mop the floors, too?

Hey Laura Ingraham, I Did Nazi That Coming

Ingraham - Nazi

Back in July, conservative radio host Laura Ingraham made a gesture at the end of her Republican National Convention speech, which looked a lot like a Nazi salute.  She understandably got a lot of backlash on social media, and although it definitely looked bad to me, I thought that it could have been an awkward wave or unintentional. Besides, would someone really have the nerve to do that on national television in America, representing one of the two major political parties? I thought there might be a chance that it was sort of accidental.  Accusing someone of being a white-supremacist is a pretty heavy allegation, and it’s not something to be thrown around lightly.

However, after watching a recent video from The Atlantic which has surfaced, which shows white supremacists (I am refusing to use the passive euphemism “alt right”) offering up actual Nazi salutes and shouting “hail Trump!” at a conference in DC, any doubt that I had regarding Ingraham’s gesture has begun to fade. It simply looks like the exact same thing that Ingraham did, and there is no question as to the intention behind it, among the racists at that conference.  There are plenty of people who deny that Ingraham was actually performing a Nazi salute, and they often provide still frames of other famous leaders mid-wave which appear to look the same as what Ingraham did.  However, when you watch the video of her full gesture in context, it doesn’t look like just a coincidence.

How has the GOP come to this? I mean, full-blown white supremacists now? We have known there to be racists in the Republican party for years, but these days they aren’t even trying to hide it. Scary times, indeed.

#Resist

Jon Stewart Is Letting Trump Voters Off The Hook Too Easily

Jon Stewart recently did an interview on “CBS This Morning”  and was asked about his thoughts concerning the recent election of Donald Trump to the presidency.  I am seeing a lot of this conversation being shared online, with a highlight on Stewart’s claims of “liberal hypocrisy” regarding viewing all Trump voters as a monolith of racists.  He makes the point that a lot of people he knows that aren’t afraid of blacks, Muslims, Mexicans, etc. voted for Trump because of reasons other than his racist rhetoric, and the message is being taken that we shouldn’t call all Trump voters racist.  The interview can be found here.

Well, nope! Jon Stewart is wrong on this point. I know some people want everyone to get along, and unify and settle our differences, but in my opinion he is letting Trump voters off the hook too easily. Racism is not something that exists in absolute forms – that is, it’s not a simple black and white, yes or no question. There are varying degrees of racism that people can have and display. And racism is not just defined by one’s behavior, but by the behavior they tolerate. And at the end of the day, Trump voters saw a man who disparaged Muslims, Mexicans, the disabled and women, and ran a campaign promising to register people based on their religion, or outright banning their immigration to the country. And those Trump voters said, by voting for that man – “hey, that’s okay with me.” And that is despicable, and we shouldn’t forget it.

It’s like when we had slavery. Not everyone was personally a slave owner, but the people who supported those in power who did own slaves were in their own way supporting that practice. So, by voting for Trump, people validated and supported all of his divisive rhetoric and the campaign promises he made (whether he actually fulfills all of them or not.)

I understand that people have an instinctual desire to get along with other people, and it’s easier to brush differences under the rug than to expose them and talk about them honestly. But the election of Trump is and should be viewed as an outrage. Those who voted for him displayed absolutely no respect or empathy for any of the groups he routinely disparaged. So, we’re divided. And I don’t know if it’s even possible that we can “heal” that division. But that’s reality, and we shouldn’t hide from it. Hiding from and denying reality are part of the reasons that led to a president-elect Trump in the first place.

Trump Voters Racism

 

Photo credit:  Defense Dept. photo by Air Force Tech. Sgt. Adam M. Stump [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

 

 

America’s Lack Of Outrage Towards Institutional Racism

Over the past year in supposedly post-racial America, we have seen some glaring examples of racist viewpoints running the gamut from an elderly billionaire like former Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling secretly recorded telling his then-mistress not to bring black people to his games, to college-age youngsters in the University of Oklahoma chapter of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity engaged in a racist sing-along on a bus.  These repulsive displays of bigotry caused outrage among many Americans, and rightfully so.

However, while reading Facebook comments pertaining to the recorded chants of the SAE members proclaiming that “there will never be a n____” among their brothers, I came across a critical observation made from a former colleague regarding how American society and the media treat examples of racist attitudes from individuals versus institutional racism, as well as the consequences (or lack thereof) that come along with them.

The “bus o’ bigotry” incident of SAE led to the University of Oklahoma launching an immediate investigation into whether the people in the video are actually students from the university, and threatening to kick the fraternity off the campus if that were the case.  That didn’t matter, though.  The chapter was promptly shut down by SAE leadership anyway.  Donald Sterling was forced by the NBA to sell the Clippers, and received a lifetime ban from the league.  All in all, fairly clear indicators that such blatant displays of racism are not going to be tolerated and are unwelcome is today’s America.

Yet, there were also recent examples of both individual and institutional racism that didn’t seem to ignite as much of a response from the American public as the ones mentioned above, nor did they have immediate consequences that were as severe.  At least not for the institutional part.

The U.S. Department of Justice released a report weeks ago, highly critical of the Ferguson police department and court system for its use of racial bias in policing.  Data was compiled for months, which indicated higher incidences of the use of force with blacks, as well as other practices deemed unconstitutional.  Racist emails that had been circulated among officers in the department and others in the city’s court system were also found in the probe.  Those emails led to two police officers resigning and a city clerk being fired.

But it wasn’t until weeks after the announcement of the investigation’s findings that the Ferguson police chief, Thomas Jackson, finally voluntarily resigned.  There hadn’t been widespread condemnation and outrage directed at Jackson or the Ferguson police force for the findings of the DOJ.  At least nothing that could compare to the beatings that Sterling and the SAE bus bigots received in the media and online.  It is frustrating how, in America, what a person says seems to carry more weight than what a person actually does.  There are even racism deniers, such as the conservative, corporate-mouthpiece hosts of Red Eye Radio, Gary McNamara and Eric Harley, who assert that institutional racism just doesn’t exist anymore.

Just as there are surely more than a couple of individuals across the country that share the same repugnant attitudes of Donald Sterling or the former SAE frat boys, we can’t sit back and pretend that the Ferguson police department is the only American institution that is plagued by racism and discrimination.  And when it is demonstrated that institutional racism exists, there should be just as much, if not more, outrage directed at said institutions from the public.  Because it is this type of racism that has severe real-world implications and effects.  We can’t help what some individuals or groups of people may think of other races, but we can and should do our best to ensure that the institutions meant to serve all Americans do so in a fair and just manner.

Photo source – Pixabay.com – WikiImages