Sunday, October 18, 2009

A Primer for Helping Bigots Know When They're Bigots

Louisiana justice of the peace Keith Bardwell refused to marry an interracial couple. He did so, he said, not because he's a racist, but because he needed to ensure bi-racial kids aren't born because they are not accepted by either the black or white community. Didn't Barack Obama get 96% of the African-American vote? Doesn't Tiger Woods have a monstrous white following? Where exactly are all these suffering bi-racial children?!? Let's start a telethon!

In his defense, Bardwell said the following:

"I'm not a racist. I just don't believe in mixing the races that way. I have piles and piles of black friends. They come to my home, I marry them, they use my bathroom. I treat them just like everyone else."

Are you kidding me?

Nobody describes their friends as "piles." Sorry, but that's an adjective reserved for manure, which might very well be what the guy was thinking. (One blogger who I can't recall asked rhetorically if the friends were still alive, as it's hard to put living people into piles).

More importantly, when people defend themselves against an accusation, they do so by pointing out noteworthy things that run strongly contrary to the assertion. Someone says John McCain is a Republican party lackey, and he highlights votes where his party needed him desperately, and he said no. Persuasive stuff that.

But anybody who thinks that letting a black person use your restroom is noteworthy in the same way isn't just a racist; he's a closet segregationist. "See folks? I'm not racist. I let black people do what has been mandated by law for over forty years now - I let 'em use a white man's toilet!' Bardwell's completely idiotic comment reminds me of every man accused of being sexist whose response is, "I'm not sexist. I have a mother, a wife, and a daughter."

Most Americans will write Bardwell off as a crazy old crank from Louisiana, not someone who should disrupt our post-racial, Obama-in-America euphoria. They would be wrong.

In 2005, Gallup conducted a poll on interracial dating that revealed over a quarter of Americans still object. As poll respondents consistently mask true feelings to give the politically correct answer, the real percentage is undoubtedly higher. Had the question asked about interracial marriage, it would have been higher still.

The survey showed that black men stir unease in white people (shocking, I know!). Even among the 72 percent of white respondents who approved of a white man dating a black woman, seven percent of those didn't approve of a black man with a white woman. In contrast, Latinos and African-Americans who support interracial dating didn't care about the gender/race component.

Sorry, but if you think that there is a problem with people from different races dating or marrying, you’re most likely a closet bigot. Nobody complains about dating among equals. I understand many people of all races may think interracial dating will be too difficult because of cultural complications, but if you say you are against it across-the-board before you even consider the other person's education, socioeconomic status, upbringing, family sentiments toward interracial dating, and the like, you're just a bigot.

Sorry, but at least now you know who you are and you can start confronting your issues head-on instead of sounding like an idiot while you say some of your best piles are black.


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3 comments:

joel said...

holy crap! Chris, did you just post on your blog from 1956? That's some great wifi.

Paul K. Ogden said...

I "ditto" this post, Chris.

Anonymous said...

I diagree that he is a closet segregationist. He seems to be clearly out of the closet on the issue of segregration.