Internet Crush: I'm Not Racist But...
Time for Internet Crush! A new series highlighting the latest thing on the interwebs that we love.
You can pick your friends, but you can't always pick what shows up in your news feed (no matter how much I've messed with my Facebook settings). I'm Not Racist But... is a website that's been gaining notoriety recently for its screenshots of publicly available Facebook posts featuring the "Post-Racial" Phrase of the Century, "I'm not a racist but...." As many of you know, these sentences tend to end with incredibly racist statements. (On that note, be forewarned, there are some really racist statements ahead.)
Some showcase laughable ignorance...
and others are far more disturbing...
This Tumblr (and its sister site, "I'm Not Sexist But...") is just one of the latest in a meta-online commentary commentary (see: Privilege Denying-Dude or Literally Unbelievable, a collection of people who take Onion headlines at face-value with alternately hilarious and horrifying results). While many people experience enough racism in real life to not want to willingly relive again it online, as Channing Kennedy on Colorlines points out, the site is a kind of social barometer, a way to bring what a lot of (privileged) folks consider to be "not real racism." (Cause, like, apartheid is real racism, I just happen to think Asian people are better at math!). In addition, Kennedy notes these sites make "use of publicly accessible resources to illustrate an inconvenient point about modern society. Knowing that racists are on Facebook means knowing that...racists went to your elementary school, and racists love your favorite Thursday night sitcom. And some unknown number of said racists are bosses, or parents, or future city council members."
While "I'm not a racist but..." is a recognizable (but poor) prelude to being completely racist, Plain Old Racism (and cissexism, ableism, homophobia, xenophobia, and sexism) is alive and well IRL and on the internet--bad spelling, ignorant reasoning, and ridiculous disclaimers aside. (Microagressions documents this.) As Dumi wrote in "Reclaiming Racist" on Racialicious in 2006, "We live in a world without racists, but in a world full of racism." Hopefully the site will not only serve as a call-out space but as a reminder to people who feel the need to judge and extol on experiences that aren't their own to check their racism...as much as they're loath to admit it.
I'm Not Racist But...
"Reclaiming Racist" [Racialicious]
"‘Not Racist, But…’: A Catalogue of Modern Facebook Racism" [Colorlines]
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