“Racist” – The New Word for “Shut Up”

There is a problem going on in this country, and no one seems to notice. The problem is that REAL racist, bigoted people are hiding, plotting, lying in wait for the chance to spread their vile ideals and turn brother against brother a la 1860.

Where are they hiding? They are hiding amongst a bunch of people who are NOT racist, but are accused of being so because of their birthplace, political views, income level, and so on. REAL racists find true cover hiding in plain sight, because they know that so many other people who are NOT racist are getting stuck with the vile label that they can operate in the open.

The problem is a symptom of another sickness in our society. The word “racist” has become the new way to silence opposition. It is highly effective because nothing you can do or say will prove the accusation is untrue. It has become the top tool of weak-minded individuals who wish to have their opinion be the only one heard. And the use of this tool is helping real racists thrive.

Allow me to explain from my own personal experience.

I was once called racist because I was dancing to a hip-hop song in a way that someone assumed was making fun of hip-hop.

“Racist,” I asked, sort of in shock.

“Yes, you are making fun of black people because you are dancing like a retard to black music.”

Well, I will let you readers figure out who was insulting who in that statement, but as someone who grew up in a family, and married into another, that had the very fortunate and joyful experience of living with actual persons with mental retardation, I think you can guess what I thought.

That was not the first time in my life I was called a racist, but it was probably the first time I was shocked by it to the point of feeling hurt. I don’t blame the accuser. He knew I was from Alabama. He saw I was bald and white. He later became, and at least I hope, still remains a good friend today. It was an incident the illustrates how easy it is to accuse someone of one of the most awful things in humanity, and doing so very casually, as if it meant nothing.

And racists love it. Well, I assume they do. I assume they love when well-meaning and forward-thinking people are casually tossed into their company willy-nilly.

I once offered someone who was not white a can of orange soda because I was going to get one myself. I found myself on the receiving end of a Navy counseling chit because of the offer. Why? Apparently something I said was racist, and apparently I was a racist. This was news to me. I love orange soda. To this day I still have not heard a satisfactory explanation to the episode, but I am sure any real white racists in the area were glad to see me tossed into their group.

Recently I was called racist on a popular social media site because the person calling me that thought I was a supporter of Donald Trump (at the time I was backing Ben Carson or any Libertarian option). Well, they were wrong on both accounts, but that’s not what is important here. What is important here is that it has become totally acceptable to call someone a racist because of their support for a politician.

Someone I really care about went as far as to say that ALL Trump supporters are racist. Really? Millions of people you never met, never witnessed a single hateful act from are racist. So you are saying we now take on all characteristics of the politicians we support.

You like Bill Clinton: You must be into infidelity.

You like Hillary Clinton: You must be stupid when it comes to email and national security.

You like George W Bush: You must mispronounce nuclear as nucular.

I suppose by this logic all supporters of Ben Carson may be brain surgeons. I am a Carson fan, so maybe you would be willing to let me operate on your skull…

I do not know what it feels like to be called ni**er, sp*c, g**k, w*p, wet**ck, or any of those other things. I imagine it must sting. It must burn your very soul. I imagine it must cause not only rage, but also great pain to know that in your own country, among your own neighbors you would be thought of in such a way. I have no idea.

But I DO know what it feels like to be called a racist. It stings. It burns my very soul. I causes not only rage, but also great pain to know that in my own country, one where I fought for the freedom of every person in it, not just the white ones, that among my own neighbors and brothers in arms, I would be thought of in such a way.

That accusation should stop being used as a way to silence those with views that differ from your own. It should be used as a way to shame those who really are the bigots. They should be singled out and exposed. Every time you call someone like me a racist, you give the real bastards a place to hide, and you weaken your argument.

If we are ever to complete the healing that the Great Emancipator had in mind in 1864, we have to, at some point, not consider the race, religion, or geographic roots of the person with whom we are having a disagreement, and instead consider the content of their character. When we ignore the character and first look at those other attributes, we spit at the memory of the great man who first introduced that idea, and was killed by a real racist for doing so.

At some point, we have to get to a place where saying “All Lives Matter” is considered good common sense, not a racist statement.

If you are a real racist, please unsubscribe from my blog. Stop interacting with me on social media, and go seek help. But you won’t. You have a great place to hide. You can hide behind me, and others like me, every time we are given the vile label and put into your company.

If you are a person who plays the “race card” as a first play in confrontation, I would urge you to think about that. That card should always be the one you hold in your hand until the very end. Playing it too early buries it in the deck, and allows race to drive the argument. Not only will it allow racists to hide behind decent people, I have a feeling it creates new bigots. Sort of like the old adage – “Well, if you are going to accuse me of lying, I guess I might as well lie.”

If you would like to add to my thoughts on this, comment below. I look forward to hearing from you.