In response to the recent shootings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, and the plethora of racist justifications I’ve seen on social media, I present a spin-off from this beautiful article on toxic relationships written by Shahida Arabi.
I call it the 20 Tactics of Racists. Some of these I’ve experienced. Others are caricatures. They’re all based on a sickening truth.
1. Gaslighting: “I wasn’t being racist. You assumed that.”
2. Projection: “You’re the racist! Stop making everything about race! You’re dividing people!”
3. Nonsensical conversations from hell: “Look at these numbers…well you only looked at the numbers you wanted to look at.”
4. Blanket Statements and Generalizations: “Well black people don’t care about themselves. They don’t even protest violence in their own neighborhoods.”
5. Deliberately misrepresenting your thoughts and feelings to the point of absurdity: “You just want special treatment! You just want attention, that’s all!”
6. Nitpicking and moving the goal post: “Well maybe if people had guns, these terrorist shootings wouldn’t happen…Well he got shot because he had a gun…It doesn’t matter if his gun wasn’t drawn, look at his criminal record!”
7. Changing the subject to evade accountability: “Well white people get killed all the time, and what about black-on-black crime? Where are the protests for that?”
8. Covert and overt threats: “I hope [insert crime] happens to you and the police don’t come!”
9. Name-calling: “Thugs!”
10. Destructive conditioning: “Pro-black? You love yourself? You must be anti-white! That’s racist! You’re racist!”
11. Smear Campaigns and stalking: “G.Miller, you speak against police shooting, but your book promotes war!(the book was titled Angel of War).”
12. Love-bombing and devaluation: “I like you. You’re an exception compared to other black people because you’re very well spoken.”
13. Preemptive defense: “I’m not racist but…[insert racist statement].”
14. Triangulation: “Jesse Williams made a speech about race. Fire him, ABC!”
15. Bait and feign ignorance: “I’m sorry if you were offended when I said it was the victim’s fault.”
16. Boundary Testing and hoovering: [After a racist comment] “I didn’t mean it. I was just angry. I’m not that kind of person, I swear.”
17. Aggressive jabs disguised as jokes: [After insulting black joke] “Aw, everyone’s overly sensitive. I’m just kidding, I love black people.”
18. Condescending sarcasm and patronizing tone: “Oh yes, let’s defend a [insert irrelevant criminal record].”
19. Shaming: “This is why cops shoot you!”
20. Control: “Oh that shooting was terrible…Vote for me with no guarantee that I’ll do anything about it.”
Things won’t change until we do, folks. Let’s get started by tackling racism head on and calling it what it is. It will continue to hurt us until we fight back.
Fight the status quo, my friends.