Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

How racism poisons political discourse

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The problem is only partly racism itself, it’s the fact that it becomes impossible to discuss. See this post by Kevin Drum, who discusses the problem.

We’ve learned that when someone makes a racist remark or joke, you do NOT say that s/he is a racist. S/he may or may not be, and in any event it’s none of your business: we treasure the right to have private thoughts and opinions. However, the remark can be called racist (if it is). The person might immediately say, “I’m not a racist,” and you make perfectly clear that you accept that, but the remark (or joke or photograph or whatever)  itself is racist, and you probably can explain exactly how it is. In other words, you talk about the remark (joke, photo, etc.), not about the person. The idea outcome is that the speaker is mollified but also decides (privately) not to make that remark (or joke or whatever) again.

Written by Leisureguy

4 October 2013 at 10:20 am

Posted in Daily life, Politics

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