You hear a lot from people on the right about how they’re not really racist, how the left are the real racists for continually bringing up racism and race.  These people insist that they’re not racist, over and over, and get outraged when someone says they are.

Now, a lot of the conversations about this get bogged down in arguments over whether or not supporting Republicans and Trump in particular is synonymous with bigotry.  We could go on and on about whether or not giving a rubber stamp to crimes against humanity being committed against Latinos makes you a bigot, whether or not “White Lives Matter” is a bigoted slogan, whether or not having a Thin Blue Line flag or sticker to show support for law enforcement is an endorsement of systemic racism in law enforcement, and so on ad nauseam.  Clearly, that won’t get us anywhere: every possible argument, hot take, and deep dive on these matters has already been written, for both sides, by plenty of other people.

Let’s instead take a step back, and ask what, simply, does it mean to be a racist?  I think both conservatives and liberals would agree that at its core it means that you treat people differently based solely on their perceived race.  If you see a black man and think “I should treat him/talk to him like X”, but then see a white man and think “I should treat him/talk to him like Y”, you’re engaging in racism because you think the color of their skin, their “race”, makes a difference in how you should treat them or how you expect they’ll react to what you say or do.  They’re not just human beings you treat the same way, regardless.

I think this is why so many conservatives believe they’re not bigots: they’re not interested in our liberal elite, highfalutin’, college edumacated, fancy ivy league theories about racial theory.  They insist that they don’t let skin color affect how they treat people, ergo they’re not racist.  Period, end of discussion, it’s just that simple.

Well, I have bad news for you, white conservatives: even by that simple, boiled down metric, you’re still a racist.  How do I know?  Because I’m a white man, and you’re doing it to me.

I can’t see how white conservatives treat people of color, so I can’t say for certain if they’re being bigots when I’m not looking (unless, as is increasingly common, POC videotape them being bigots when other white people aren’t looking).  However, I can see how I am treated by them.

As a white man in a red state, I cannot tell you how often I have been accosted by white conservatives out of the blue in political conversations as though we’re on the same side:

“You think Trump is going to win these challenges and stay in office?”
“Can you believe what Nancy Pelosi said this week?”
“Someone really needs to do something about that crazy Maxine Waters”

“Joe Biden has gone completely insane, this relief plan of his is a giant giveaway to foreign countries”

“This neighborhood is full of people on welfare.  You can tell who they are when you see ‘em, you know?”

All of these are real things that have been said to me by white conservatives.  All of them without warning, in some cases while I wasn’t even talking to them to begin with.  Some random white person (usually an older one) just walks up to me, and starts talking about their political views with the tone and attitude that they’re talking to a fellow conservative.  In other cases, we were having a discussion completely unrelated to politics that veers hard into it out of nowhere (in one of those, we were talking about which vegetables to plant in our gardens and what kind of flowers were good for attracting pollinators when suddenly “Biden’s” immigrant crisis came up out of nowhere).

I don’t wear a “Make America Great Again” hat.  I don’t have Republican bumper stickers on my car, or Republican campaign signs in my yard.  For that matter, I don’t usually have ANYTHING political in my apparel, and I definitely don’t have them in my yard or on my car (I’m concerned about vandalism; this is Texas, after all).  I’m just a regular, big ol’ white dude with a beard, minding my own business.

Why, white conservatives, do you see a fellow Republican when you look at me?  What makes you so certain, seeing a white man minding his own business, that you’re looking at a fellow Republican?

It’s because I’m a white man.  They wouldn’t presume to walk up to a random black person or Latino and start badmouthing AOC, they might get push-back or called a racist.  But a white man, like me?  A grown one, not some college kid?  Clearly I’m sympathetic, I’m on their side.  They have absolutely nothing to back that assertion up or give them that impression.  I’m just a white man.

They see white skin, they assume I’m a conservative and a pro-Trump Republican.  That’s racist.  It’s not evil, like lynching a black person or blaming the victims of a crime against humanity for it happening, but it’s racist.  They are making broad, sweeping judgments about a person based entirely and only upon their race.

It really is that simple.  It’s why I don’t buy it for one second when they insist, in outraged and righteous anger, that the left is wrongfully painting them as bigots when nothing could be further from the truth.

I see y’all.  I see how you act when those temperamental POC aren’t around to call you out, when you think you’re among others who “get it”.  If you’re a bigot, you’re a bigot all the time.  If you’re going to be racist with me, you’re damn sure going to be that way when you’re looking at a black person.  Don’t piss on my leg and tell me it’s raining, and don’t racially profile me then tell me you’re colorblind.

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Thursday, May 6, 2021 · 9:35:30 PM +00:00 · Toro Blanco

UPDATE: Out of respect and not wanting to trigger anyone, I’ve left out some truly vile shit I’ve heard over the years as well.  Like many other commenters, I’ve heard a lot of racial slurs, hateful speech, and bigoted assumptions out of nowhere as well.

The main idea I wanted to express was “If you think all white people are like you, you almost certainly think all POC are a single stereotypical way too”.  Some of them only start with political talk, some start with “political” talk that is dog whistling (Like the person who told me “you can tell by looking” who’s on welfare in the neighborhood), and some just drop N-bombs without fear or shame.

The underlying assumption is I’m a fellow white, therefore I’m on board with their bigoted worldview.  They’re just as incapable of seeing me as more than my skin color as they are anyone else.  It’s just how they view the world.  I just didn’t want to type the hateful garbage they’ve spewed, and hoped I could make my point without it.

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1 COMMENT

  1. This story is something that needs to be said more often. Racism isn’t just about doing evil things to people of another race, but appointing a stereotype about them based solely on their race; regardless of what that race might be. People who are racist don’t get that. It’s not just the act of racism that makes you racist, but your twisted perception of the world.

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