Ugh. I have lost count of the number of times I’ve had this conversation.
Ugh. I have lost count of the number of times I’ve had this conversation.
Doing something racist is easy- you don’t even have to think about it. But keeping racism alive? That takes work! Luckily for you, racism is deeply entrenched in our society, so all you need to do is hold the gates against those who would try to dislodge it, and let them wear themselves out. You’ll want to use the tactics listed below to protect your own racist behavior, as well as those of others- after all- racism works because we work together!
Winning the war against equality!
No matter what, your objective is to be able to maintain these three beliefs at the end of any exchange:
1) I’m not racist.
2) I didn’t do anything wrong.
3) I don’t have to change at all.
If you can hold on to that, then you win!
How it works
Like a drinking problem or drug habit, racism works best when no one is willing to talk about it, and even better, when everyone works together to cover up the problem. The most important thing is to make sure that you can hide your problem from yourself- it’s key in maintaining those 3 beliefs that will keep you racist for a lifetime!
Saying or doing something racist will come naturally to you- but defending it? You’ll want to use one of the following tactics. They’re listed from the more soft handed and defensive tactics to the most aggressive, giving you a full range of options! Don’t worry, whether you’re liberal, conservative, in the closet racist, or tatooed and ready for Rahowa, there’s something here for you!
A. It’s not that serious
1. We didn’t know better (and we never will)
2. You’re too sensitive
3. It’s not a big deal because it’s just (a movie, a song, a book, words, etc.)
4. Why should we care? (You don’t matter anyway)
5. We didn’t mean any harm (But we’ll do it again)
6. I was drunk on klanschlager/high on nazi-X/taking Xanax
1. POC do XYZ to themselves (so it’s ok that we also do XYZ)
2. I’m oppressed too!
3. Hey! Look at sexism/classicism/Global Warming! Diversion
4. One POC says it’s cool
5. POC can discriminate too!
6. What about reverse racism?
7. We’re not discriminating AS MUCH (as other people/as we used to), isn’t that good?!? Give me a cookie.
8. My best friend/spouse/adopted child/my ancestor 5 generations back is POC
9. I’ve done XYZ, which proves I’m not racist, and I get a free pass for anything else I do.
1. You’re oppressing me by making me be “PC”
2. You’re too stupid to be in this conversation and everything you say doesn’t matter
3. Racism is over now
4. If we don’t talk about it, it’ll magically go away
5. Under my definition- it’s not racist
6. You’re too angry/You’re being irrational
7. Racism has always existed, we can’t fix it, you should stop complaining.
1. Be glad it isn’t worse, we could be doing XYZ/I’ll give you a reason to cry
2. You brought this on yourself/ If you people didn’t… XYZ
3. Go back to where you came from!
The Russian Retreat (Be like Water)
Naturally, anyone who attempts to call you on a racist behavior, will probably try to also refute your defense. Fortunately for you, when your defense isn’t based on actual reasons, but simply irrationality, you can switch tactics on the drop of a dime without any explaination. Simply switch from one defense to another, randomly, and let your opponent continue to wear themselves out trying to penetrate your happy wall of racist belief!
For additional fun, you can switch to a tactic you’ve used previously. Half of them will not even notice they’ve been led in a circle, the other half will lose all hope and give up! Hurrah for ignorance!
The Wall of Whiteness
As the Greeks knew, the key to a good defense was teamwork. If you have more than one person supporting racism involved in the conversation, then all of you should use different tactics simultaneously- your opponent will have to fight on multiple fronts, and have to keep switching his or her train of thought to meet each defense. They’ll wear out in no time, and, you can reinforce and protect each other’s 3 beliefs.
Judas is your friend (when you’re Roman)
You may be fortunate enough to have rallied POC allies in racism. Their 3 beliefs replace “I” with “My white friends”, and they’re just as willing to defend you as another white person. These allies are pure gold. They lend credibility to your defense that you’re not racist, and what you’ve done isn’t racist. Instead of simply wearing out your opponents, these allies will completely demoralize them and wound them to the heart, opening them easily for the kill.
The Theory of it all
The best part of irrational behavior, is that you don’t need to understand a lick of it. But some of you may wish to further your studies on the path of racism, so it’s best to be armed with the theory behind the tactics. Luckily, in our modern era, the information is but a few keystrokes away:
Denial is a defense mechanism in which a person is faced with a fact that is too painful to accept and rejects it instead, insisting that it is not true despite what may be overwhelming evidence. The subject may deny the reality of the unpleasant fact altogether (simple denial), admit the fact but deny its seriousness (minimisation) or admit both the fact and seriousness but deny responsibility (transference).
Denial of responsibility:
This form of denial involves avoiding personal responsibility by blaming, minimizing or justifying. Blaming is a direct statement shifting culpability and may overlap with denial of fact. Minimizing is an attempt to make the effects or results of an action appear to be less harmful than they may actually be. Justifying is when someone takes a choice and attempts to make that choice look okay due to their perception of what is “right” in a situation. Someone using denial of responsibility is usually attempting to avoid potential harm or pain by shifting attention away from themselves.
Denial of impact:
Denial of impact involves a person avoiding thinking about or understanding the harms their behavior have caused to themselves or others. By doing this, that person is able to avoid feeling a sense of guilt and it can prevent that person from developing remorse or empathy for others. Denial of impact reduces or eliminates a sense of pain or harm from poor decisions.
Denial of awareness:
This type of denial is best discussed by looking at the concept of state dependent learning. People using this type of denial will avoid pain and harm by stating they were in a different state of awareness (such as alcohol or drug intoxication or on occasion mental health related). This type of denial often overlaps with denial of responsibility.
Denial of cycle:
Many who use this type of denial will say things such as, “it just happened.” Denial of cycle is where a person avoids looking at their decisions leading up to an event or does not consider their pattern of decision making and how harmful behavior is repeated. The pain and harm being avoided by this type of denial is more of the effort needed to change the focus from a singular event to looking at preceding events. It can also serve as a way to blame or justify behavior (see above).
Denial of denial:
This can be a difficult concept for many people to identify in themselves, but is a major barrier to changing hurtful behaviors. Denial of denial involves thoughts, actions and behaviors which bolster confidence that nothing needs to be changed in ones personal behavior. This form of denial typically overlaps with all of the other forms of denial, but involves more self-delusion.
Remember, ignorance doesn’t just maintain itself! Only with your hard work and diligent efforts can we keep hate alive!
cct cultural competency training multicultural multiculturalism
Depressingly…. predictably, public discourse in the UK is yet again making the issue of religious arbitration and women’s rights a “Muslim” question.
The BBC article reads:
“BBC Panorama has uncovered fresh evidence of how some Sharia councils in Britain may be putting Muslim women “at risk” by pressuring them to stay in abusive marriages.”
Really? You don’t say. We already knew this. Yes we did. What we don’t know much about is what kinds of treatment Christian women accessing Christian religious arbitration or ADR (alternative dispute resolution) are facing.
Having researched the issue of religious ADR in the UK during my graduate studies, I’m somewhat familiar with the literature. I’m also familiar with the fact that the majority of the literature critiquing religious ADR is on Muslim and Jewish ADR. Isn’t that odd? In a country that has a deeply rooted, invisibilised Christian foundation? A country in which a significant proportion of family law is derived from Canon law? (See Bradney, A. “Law & Faith in a Sceptical Age” ). Not odd at all apparently. In Britain, that which is Christian is considered “secular”. Only religions that are considered “exotic” fall under the radar of the BBC et al.
There is no doubt that the advice being dispensed by this Sharia Council “judge”/adviser is deeply problematic and informed by a patriarchal worldview. However, where is Panorama’s investigative journalism on the advice being dispensed by Christian ADR organisations such as Resolve? Why is the public discourse on religious arbitration in the UK (and especially via the BBC) always a Jewish or Muslim question when in fact it is religious arbitration on the whole that is threatening the rights of British women? And furthermore, why are Brits so accepting of this lazy, essentialist journalism that instead of addressing the issue of women’s rights in the UK, simply contributes to the pervasiveness of hypocritical attitudes and prejudice?
International Women’s Day resources for equality are available here.
Excerpt (below) from a superb article by Joanne Richard for the Winnepeg Sun.
“Red flags of an abusive relationship”:
Here are some excerpts from an insensitive and poorly researched article by Deborah Tetley at The National Post (Canada):
“This is hard for us because Derek will be missed, but we feel so much grief for all those families, too,” said Fay, 20.
“So, tonight we are trying to enjoy and remember Derek for the guy he was and not how he went, because we don’t know that guy.”
“He could finish your basement, then tune your car up and act as your hunting tour guide,” said Fay. “He knew how to do everything and would do anything he could for anyone at any time. A shirt-off-his-back kind of guy. That’s why none of this makes sense to us.”
Here are excerpts from another insensitive and poorly researched article by Nadia Moharib at The Calgary Sun.
“Friends say he was a popular young man, the type who wouldn’t even pick a fight.”
“Everybody is making him out to be a villain,” said a close friend who didn’t want to be named out of respect to Jensen’s family.
“And he’s not.”
Below is a blogger’s empassioned, succinct and accurate response to journalistic pieces (such as those by Nadia Moharib and Deborah Tetley) that are an embarrassment to the profession. What is most frustrating about the two examples given above, is the fact that they are not only written by public educators, but by women.
“When women are murdered, the most likely perpetrator is her intimate partner. In all cases of domestic violence, women are the victims 85% of the time, and women who are killed by their spouses are most often murdered after separation. It is absolutely ridiculous to read an article about Derek Jensen being a great guy who “shockingly” murdered three people and then committed suicide. This was not a random attack, it was not a mental breakdown, it was a case of spousal violence. Jensen murdered his girlfriend and shot the three others who were with her. The article’s mention of Jensen’s “broken heart” is laughably irrelevant, and does not even come close to justifying his violent murder of his ex-girlfriend. Additionally, it was not a “mix of booze and rage or something” that caused Jensen commit these murders, as his close friend speculated. Call it what it was: domestic violence. Ignorantly disregarding this fact does absolutely nothing to help the thousands of Canadian women who are abused or killed by their intimate partner every year.”
My thoughts on media representation of violence against women.
I guess the fact that Derek Jensen shot at four people including himself and killed three (including himself) is a minor detail to the teams at The National Post. What is this perverted obsession that media outlets have with representing CLEAR cases of stalking, partner violence and eventual murder as something random that just “makes no sense”? Are the writers of such articles ignorant? Dishonest? Stupid? All of the above? What about the editors that permit such yellow journalism to be published? What happened to their sense of duty towards the public? To educate? To present facts? Particularly on matters that affect their daughters, mothers, sisters, wives, friends and girlfriends? If you read the details of Tabitha Stepple’s relationship with Derek Jensen, it becomes patently obvious (to someone who has made an effort to educate his/herself on the most pervasive kind of abuse in the entire world) that what Derek Jensen did, DID follow a pattern. It makes absolute sense that his behaviour went from controlling, abusive and threatening, to physically violent and murderous. If you don’t wish to take my word for it, watch this video (and the remaining two parts). It will only take up 15 minutes of your time in total.
All the research is available yet so many individuals and media outlets are either ignorant to or deliberately misrepresenting violence against women as some “random” “inexplicable” act. Quite frankly, I can’t say which is worse. Why is this happening? I think we all know why. As my husband describes it, it’s the elephant in the room.
There’s Lundy Bancroft’s book “Why Does He Do That? Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men”, there’s Sut Jhally’s documentary “Dreamworlds 3″, there’s Jackson Katz’s book “The Macho Paradox” , there are his videos/documentaries such as “Tough Guise”. These resources are all designed for public education. What more information do people want? Everything is a click away. How lazy and irresponsible can the media industry get? Why the hell aren’t editors at The National Post and the authors of articles that are so devoid of ethics, asking themselves “WOULD I WRITE SUCH A GLOWING REPORT ABOUT THE MURDERER OF MY CHILD?” Somehow, I don’t think they would.
This is not a call to start a media lynching of men who were a product of a society we all contribute to. This is a call for journalists, editors and media outlets of all kinds to do everything in their power to understand intimate partner violence since they are contributing to the education of the masses.
This post is dedicated to Tabitha Stepple. A young woman who – regardless of what the ill-informed might think or say – was blameless in her demise and the demise of her friends. This was NOT a case of “temporary insanity” or a “crime of passion”. If we as a society were not so hell-bent on blaming women for all of the world’s woes (including their own murder), if we were not so pig-headed and in denial about what the realities of intimate violence actually are, perhaps Tabitha and many others would be alive today.
Tabitha was a victim of not only an abusive and violent young man, but a society and culture that normalises behaviours like jealousy as expressions of “love”…and murder as an acceptable outcome of “heartbreak”. Society does this through negative and inaccurate depictions of masculinity and relationships not only in movies, music videos, video games and patriarchal interpretations of religious teachings, but through irresponsible journalism. Journalism that instead of explaining the causes and solutions of violence against women, seeks to paint murderers of women as some inexplicable anomaly, a bleeding lamb that must have been wronged by women or society and is therefore justified in murdering a woman. Shame on Nadia Moharib, shame on Deborah Tetley. Shame on every journalist and media outlet that reinforces the idea that heartbreak is an acceptable reason to kill a woman. IT IS NOT. As public educators, you have a duty to know what you are talking about it before you type or publish a single word. It seems that journalists and editors will not understand the gravity of their irresponsibility unless they are unfortunate enough to be touched by the brutal violence and misery of intimate partner violence that Tabitha’s family and friends have had to endure. I would never wish that upon my worst enemy.
It is time for the widespread ignorance and denial on the subject of intimate violence to be formally addressed and it’s time for us to educate ourselves on the most pervasive form of abuse and violence of our times. No-one else is going to do it for us.
Further information: For those who would like an example of responsible journalism on the subject of intimate partner abuse and violence, here is an excellent example, by Joanne Richard at the Winnepeg Sun.
“Rethinking Charm” by Lundy Bancroft. Bancroft comments on Facebook “Charming people tend to be instantly appealing, but as often as not, they are trouble. Here’s why.”
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