Thursday 17 August 2017

#222 Are you a racistist?

I was reading a story earlier about the racist behaviour of a man in his eighties. One of the comments attributed the old man's actions to his age, which was of course ageist but may also have been true. She then wrote something like "We'll just have to wait until that generation is gone. It won't be long now".

"Ma'am, you're being racistist." I wrote back. Perhaps ageist would have been more valid but that seemed far too obvious. "The man's views were most likely all but dictated by the the time and place in which he lived and in any case," I went on "at its worst, racism effectively classifies a group of people as an impurity, the likes of which would leave behind a better world with its departure. By referring to a group of people in the same way, you're echoing the very sentiments propagated by such xenophobes".

I did hope the irony wouldn't be lost on her. I thought I'd laid it out quite clearly but then the point had been so glaring, she must have been blind to it. What a shame it was that there were no guide dogs for that kind of blindness. I wondered how good artificial intelligence had become at recognising irony. It seemed like a difficult task for a computer.

It's difficult to go through life without hating anyone but that doesn't legitimise malice. The trick is to be aware of our hatred and then out of that awareness comes a more considerate type of behaviour. Do I feel angry when I hear a racist remark? Maybe. Do I think those who make such remarks might benefit by learning how to be more compassionate? Maybe. Do I view them as bad people, who deserve to die? I don't think so. Nobody's perfect.


Fizzfan said...

My Grand Father In Law was 99 when he died and was so racist it was almost funny. He was also very deaf so passed his comments very loudly. Taking him out at times was mortifying if he happened to spot a non white person. He had a heart of gold but to him ALL foreigners were invaders of his green n pleasant land.
The other thing about rasicm is it's alright if it comes from someone of that race. One of the funniest comedy performances I've ever seen is Chris Rocks take on....(see I daren't even say the word but it begins with n)
I'm not racist (and here comes that dreaded BUT word) I do get a bit weary of whole swathes of life and commentary being hi jacked by do gooders banging on about what everyone can and can't say, despite the fact that we know people continue to think it. Suppression is also unhealthy and I just long for a day when we can all kind of take the piss out of our differences (in a good way) but just totally accept each other at the same time.

Profound Familiarity said...

Yeah Chris Rock does a good job of talking about the issue in a non-offensive way. His routine in the run up to Obama's election was funny as hell and it also had quite a meaningful undercurrent to it.

Running on empty said...

Today an anti Muslim senator called Pauline Hanson wore a burqua into the Australian Parliament, to make a point. I thought it was hilarious. I wondered how many senators feigning fake outrage went home to have a belly laugh. Of course, some of them were really upset, but I doubt all were.

Profound Familiarity said...

A senator should know better.

Running on empty said...

Not how the real world works, unfortunately.