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Constructive Ways Of Administering The Cluebat

The next time you’re in a situation where a person says something racist and then says “But I’m not racist why would you say I’m racist?” don’t even bother trying to talk them down from the failtree. Just point them at this clip from VH1’s Bad Girl’s Club and walk away for a little while. If they don’t see where they’re going wrong after watching this classic, yet unbelievably insane trainwreck of human interaction, you might not be able to reach them just now.

Hat Tip To Blame: sparkeymonster

12 thoughts on “Constructive Ways Of Administering The Cluebat”

  1. Sara says:

    Okay, but (white woman speaking), what do I say to my Indian (from India) friend who watches this with me and says, “that’s not racist!”? Because on the one hand, okay, as a person of color she knows racism better than I ever can. But on the other, that was racist. (I never know what to do when this happens.)

  2. LDR says:

    I recently saw a very nice example of someone admitting they had inadvertently done something racist, and it made me think that a lot of people over-react to accusations of racism. I mean, they can’t admit they were wrong because OMG racism I’m not racist that would make me a bad person. But this woman simply says, “Yes, I made a mistake. I wasn’t thinking. My bad.” (It’s also instructive to read the comments on that post from people telling the OP, “You’re being too hard on yourself. Diversity isn’t important. I don’t see color anyway.”)

    1. PlusSizedWomanist says:

      Exactly. It’s because too many people think racist = cross burning KKK member who lynches people of color. No, that’s on the spectrum of racism, but not the ONLY instance of racism. When many people drag it on and consistently try to defend themselves, they are rationalizing their prejudice.

  3. Tyg says:

    Hi, this isn’t relevant to the post so much. I followed the Blogroll link from Alas a Blog and it went to the outdated wordpress version of this blog. I only realised after seeing the blog moving post was from April, that I was not at the current ABW.

  4. dianne says:

    So glad to see you posting again!

  5. brownstocking says:

    Is there a way to say, “that’s racist” (a la Jay Smoove) without it becoming instant denial? I mean, I don’t know how to say, “It’s racist, but I’m not saying you’re ‘grr’ racist just ‘la la la’ racist.”

    You know what I mean? Just accept your privileged gaze and deal. Sometimes I really do want to say “you’re racist, but that’s okay, we were never going to be friends.” But that still invites a discussion I actually am not interested. I’ve been on anti-racist educator hiatus for a couple of weeks now, and I may not go back into the field. Not enough in-group folks pulling their weight.

  6. STG7 says:

    Why, why did I read the comments at the source? Why?

  7. Emburii says:

    Kind of off-topic but on the recognition or privilege or lack thereof…

    Trying to point out that a situation, action or word is racist or even privileged without people getting defensive is almost impossible. I tried to point out on Jim Butcher’s forum that his white privileged character calling a pitch-black animalistically described servant creature a ‘tarbaby’ in his newest book is kind of icky but, instead of recognition of discussion behind the problems and politics of that particular bit, got jumped on for calling him a racist and for worrying about such small problems when there’s bigger issues to worry about and blah blah blah.

  8. Logoskaieros says:

    The what you said/are distinction is really helpful because instead of someone trying to comprehend how our entire society (and so therefore they themselves) is racist, you can focus on how words–regardless of intention–can have a history and a context that makes them not okay.

    But ya, even after immersing myself in anti-oppression blogs and philosophy, I sometimes find myself jumping on the defensiveness bandwagon as soon as I am out of the margins and back in the center.

    If anyone hasn’t seen Jay Smooth’s video:

  9. b@citup says:

    Sara, why do you assume that your ONE Indian friend represents all Indians or the opinion of most POC’s? If your ONE Indian friend feels that it’s not racism then that’s her INDIVIDUAL opinion about it! As an Indian and a POC myself I feel that YES it is racist! VERY racist! It’s the typical excuse given by many white people when racism is pointed out, “Well my (fill in ethnicity) friend wasn’t offended so how could it be racist?”

  10. David says:

    As one of your swedish readers, I find myself a bit confused; the blond girl in the video do not want to attend a “black club”.

    I wonder if someone of my fellow commenters could explain the term. do you actually still have dance clubs that openly refuse entry to POC? Or is this some sort of euphemism for “club in black area of town”?

  11. Whit says:

    I think that POC do not have some magic insight into how racism affects other ethnic groups that they don’t belong to. Take, for example, the tensions between african and asian americans on the west coast or philly. Or indigenous americans and minority immigrants. There is conflict. We’re not all one big brownish tan monolith that think alike and have the same values. So just because a indian doesn’t feel that something is racist towards blacks does not mean that s/he does or doesn’t have a good understanding of how structural racism constructs stereotypes of and oppresses black people.

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