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by Archie Kennedy
Sunday, May. 08, 2005 at 1:20 PM
Sometimes admissions of racism can be a healthy and open acceptance of responsibility for collective or individual sins of White privilege. Sometimes these admissions are cynical ploys aimed at normalizing racial abuse.
The following statement is one of the more clever displays of camouflage ever devised. It seems to be used mainly by White liberals. Conservatives that take the trouble to try to appear non-racist may also resort to it. The statement is: "I'm a racist and we are all racists."
It looks very good at first. Making such an admission takes courage and insight, you'd think.
It is like the tactic of a crow, hiding in plain sight. Soon, nobody pays attention to them.
The reason for this admission is to normalize racism. It is one the most hateful tactics of social and psychological subterfuge ever devised. This clever admission of guilt serves to legitimize the myriad of the crimes of racists; from subtle ostracization to lynchings and genocide. It provides a rationale for White privelege, a privelege that has been won through a long history of mass murder, ruthless theft, and racist declarations to affirm our nefarious birthright.
Racism is not normal and it isn't human nature. It is part of an artificial continuum of domination that is hundreds of years old. Racism is a means of promoting, securing and legitimizing White privilege for the people and the heirs of the people that have killed, enslaved, and ostracized Blacks, Asians, and Aboriginals. People that take comfort in that privilege will both rationalize racism with statements like, "everybody is a racist and it's human nature" and then contradict themselves by saying that racism is either not a problem or not much of a problem.
You see a very similar pathological dynamic with religious zealots. People like George W. Bush and other members of the Christian Right will proclaim themselves to be sinners; that we are all sinners and if we ask our Lord for forgiveness and believe in Him, we will be granted out rightful place in heaven.
A bit of a cartoonish mental scam but one that is surprizingly common and resilient against the light of rationality and common sense.
These humble servants of the Lord then proceed to slaughter thousands to steal their resources. They hold a gun in one hand and a bible in the other. They spit venom through their fangs and declare war on evil.
Like the liberal racists that ignore their own racism, they take comfort in their sick and pathological skill at ignoring the immense pain that they inflict.
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