Website Tracks Racists Who Excuse Themselves in Advance
Now that we’re (mostly) all aware of derogatory, offensive language, and segregation is (mostly) dead, those who decide to make such remarks have taken to precluding their statements with, “I’m not racist, but…”
An anonymous college student has compiled these kinds of quotes from public Facebook profiles (using Openbook, a search engine that trolls users who forget to update their account settings). The resulting Tumblr, entitled I’m not racist, but…lists these quotes from Facebook statuses along with a line or two of the author’s commentary.
The people who make these statements are magnified versions of that one frenemy you have who says, “No offense, but those shoes are super ugly,” like the precursor to her insult somehow makes it okay. Or when you hear, “Wow, you’re so bad at everything you do! Just kidding! [Insert one-sided cackling]” Obviously, these sites display a more dire form of the classic I-know-this-is-offensive-but-here-we-go-anyway syndrome. It’s almost funny, how these people think they’re innocent.
I see two main points of interest in scrolling through these (strangely addictive) statements:
First, the coincidence of prejudice and bad grammar. Nearly every post in I’m not racist, but… and its sibling site I’m not sexist but…features grammatically incorrect, misspelled sentences. This may seem trivial, but it proves two cases of ignorance: one of diversity and the other of language. Not only do these people choose derogatory words; they also prove their lack of knowledge superficially. No offense, but learn how to spell.
Amidst the general ignorance embedded in these statements, the strange characteristic of these quotes specifically is that these people know they’re being racist or sexist. When they write their Facebook statuses, they think, “Oh, maybe this sounds like I’m racist. But obvi I’m not. Better make sure everyone’s aware!” It’s then a veiled offense. If someone argues with their declaration, the first counter-argument must be, “But I told you, I’m not racist! I even wrote it right there, next to my slur of choice!”
One woman writes, “not to be racist or anything, but I just realized I hate black people.” Whoa. But surely, she wouldn’t think of writing simply, “I hate black people.”
They know enough not to state their opinion directly. And yet, the message of hate and fear is very clear. In pulling these people up from their caves of delusion, the Tumblr masters of these two sites show us that discrimination is still very much alive. Read, and reconsider your thoughts on the level of acceptance in our world.
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