Buh buh buh but...Fighting Racism Is Too Hard & Won't Make Me Popular!Kai has a post up about one of the latest racist blunders, this time it's Rosie O'Donnell. She thinks this is a funny imitation of Chinese people, "ching chong ching chong". Are you laughing? Me neither. (By the way Kai, we all *heart* you, get used to the permanent blush.)
Kai links to Yolanda over at The Primary Contradiction and she says:
Asian Americans have said for years that anti-Asian racism seems to be beneath the notice of the general American discourse on race. While I agree with this general assessment, for me there are deeper questions about the blackout in O’Donnell coverage—-or to put it more accurately—-the lack of pretend outrage from good white liberal commentators over her remarks.
If you don't already know where the title of my blog comes from:
In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends. - Martin Luther King Jr
—-the lack of pretend outrage from good white liberal commentators over her remarks. Hmmm, yes. How many times have I heard people say it isn't the gaffes that are so infuriating. It's the reaction, which is either lacking, or worse, excusing racism and telling us anti-racists to get over it and stop being so sensitive...not from right-wing bigots, but from our so called allies on the left.
And then jenn at reappropriate has a progression of blog comments and Rosie O'Donnells response to them. Read the progression, and tell me it doesn't remind you of FDL during blackface Joe, or Amanda during burqagate. You know, the non-apology apology without quite understanding what you are apologizing for, talk of intent vs. what really happened, then you get enough ignorant racists just like you telling you, "Hey racism is cool! Nuthin' wrong with it at all!" so that you can dismiss those "whiny complainers" and um, "debunk" the charges.
From a recent discussion, BlackAmazon says:
"If I was some equivacating bean counter I'd say the tip on THIS issue is that sexism will get a rise out of folks faster than race."
Yup, yup. Quite a few were up in arms over sexism at FDL, including POC. But for far too many fighting privilege is only about themselves. They expect us to have their back, but when we are the ones being slammed, it's - put on the blinders and get out the earplugs quick! Pretend you don't notice because otherwise you might have to do or say something about it. It's really unpleasant when it's "your friend" who is pulling this crap or an A-lister who might delink you. So hard to choose between loyalty to your racist friend or someone you're trying to impress vs doing what's right.
I bet Martin Luther King Jr. had something to say about this too...
Cowardice asks the question - is it safe? Expediency asks the question - is it politic? Vanity asks the question - is it popular? But conscience asks the question - is it right? And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular; but one must take it because it is right.
Very similar to what Yolanda said in the second paragraph, on the FDL Racism/Sexism Round-Up I said:
it's A-ok to hate Asians over at FDL and sadly, not many are willing to come to their defense. I assume it has to do with the fact that most Americans are so ignorant about Asian people, cultures, and histories, that it's almost like ridiculing them is like ridiculing fictional or cartoon people. Now that I think of it, much of racism is this way.
Nope, not much in it for you, this hard work of anti-racism. You're not a POC, don't personally know any Asians, or Native Americans, or Blacks, etc. So why cause trouble? Why stand up for the powerless when you can hang with the powerful instead?
Thank you for our true friends, the ones who wouldn't entertain thoughts like this. The ones who see our common humanity. The ones who won't take the easy way and who do fight racism when they see it. But I also wish I didn't have to thank you. I wish this reaction was common and ordinary. I wish the cowardly way wasn't business as usual in America.