Don’t Become Too Fixed on Overt Racism

Overt Racism and Social Media

There’s been a lot going on since I last wrote an article on race relations, dealing with white racism trolls in the comments section of every other column.  Let’s see… we have Donald Sterling, an ex-NBA team owner who (putting it lightly) doesn’t seem to respect those who work under his watch.  A very delusional man, who even proclaimed that his team loved him.  Talk about living in a bubble.  Then you have Justin Beiber who at age 14 “joked” around with the notion of joining the KKK and killing black people.  Now you have a deranged woman named Janelle Ambrosia, a stripper drowning in afrophobia who thinks she can reinvent racial slurs single-handedly, completely removing racial context from a racial slur — all while calling someone of that targeted race that racial slur.  You couldn’t make this shit up.

You gotta admit that social media is revealing racist asswipes left and right.  Personal interactions going south can infinitely be recorded and held as a record, uploaded on the internet, placing you into a position where you are social enemy number one.  Overt racism will be theatrical, over the top, asinine, ignorant, disgusting, and in some cases, hilarious.  Eyes will be glued to television screens, computer monitors and phones and other means to view social media.  Everyone, to include those who are on the wrong side of race relations stand ready to point at the ignorant, blatant racist.  The problem here is that there’s a bigger issue that racists like these actually help perpetuate: subtle, covert racism and implicit bias.  Implicit bias, or more accurate, subconscious racism, is indeed the bigger threat. 

Implicit Bias is Worse

Subconscious racism is far worse than your blatantly obvious often cartooonish style of racism.  Because society marches on, people like Janelle and Donald Sterling will simply put, get theirs.  They will pay; either by the judgement of society as a whole or by other means.  These people, thanks to social media especially, get exposed. They are stupid; too dumb to live.  They are pathetic.

But for those who have a subconscious issue like afrophobia for example, these are actually, normal people. It can be your co-worker or boss. It can be a loved one.  A friend. A person of respect or note, who otherwise would be considered decent.  They do or say racists things and don’t even know it, because it’s a subconscious fear issue.  They commit what is called micro-aggressions.  And this is worse; this is the type of thing that make people not hire blacks, but they swear they are not racist because they didn’t consciously operate with intent.

So, I attempt to inform everyone to… keep your eye on the ball. While I can go on for days on the problems with these blatantly racist dingbats, they do everyone a disservice being that some people actually think that’s the only way racism manifests.  And that my friends, is dangerously short-sighted thinking.  If you think this is the only way racism exists… we still got a long way to go.

Photo credit: Kyle DaShawn

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